Natural meals manufacturing could also be key to saving our land | Letters

George Monbiot (On a vegan planet Britain may feed 200 million individuals, 13 Could) quotes me as calculating that “whereas a eating regimen containing a reasonable quantity of meat, dairy and eggs would require using 11m hectares of land (4m of which might be arable), a vegan eating regimen would demand a complete of simply 3m”.

He doesn’t level out that these figures relate to chemical agriculture utilizing synthetic fertilisers and pesticides – practices that he later says he doesn’t help. I additionally made estimates for natural vegan agriculture with inexperienced manure being ploughed instantly into the soil, and for natural husbandry through which inexperienced manure is fed to dairy cows whose manure is composted, whereas pigs and chickens are considerably ate up meals waste. Each techniques require about 6.5m hectares of arable land to offer a nutritious diet for everybody within the nation. The vegan system is barely extra environment friendly in its land use, whereas the livestock system offers a extra different eating regimen.

Given the rising value of synthetic fertilisers, the necessity to cease utilizing the fossil fuels from which they’re made, and declining insect populations, the natural choice is trying more and more engaging. Have been it to return to cross, the remaining 11m or so hectares of grassland could be open to quite a lot of land makes use of, akin to nature restoration, grazing cattle and sheep, planting extra timber, power crops and so forth.

My guess is that relatively than selecting to rewild all of it, as Monbiot suggests, most individuals would like a various, multifaceted panorama supporting a thriving rural financial system.
Simon Fairlie
Bridport, Dorset

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