Originally Posted by etudiant
I don't understand why this topic engenders such personal vituperation.
Afaik, cattle are very much part of the organic food chain, sort of our substitute for the buffalo or bisons that we efficiently exterminated.
No argument that feed lots and finishing the cattle on a grain feed to marble the meat is unhelpful, but apart from that peripheral issue, cattle allow food to be produced from marginal areas that are otherwise not suitable for farming.
I know nothing about Highland cattle, but suspect that Scotland breeds are tough, as would be expected from any cattle raised in a country where the thistle is the national flower.
Ed, this whole silly cattle issue is a straw man to demean me and somehow justify real AGW hypocrites in the media. Doesn't bother me a bit.
But what you related above is all 100% true.
Tens of millions of bison roamed our prairies for millennia before the arrival of the white man and his repeating rifle. I suspect those shaggies had nothing to do with climate then nor do cattle nowadays.
To be sure there are large scale cattle operations that can do a far better job as it relates to good stewardship of our surroundings--overgrazing, watershed use/abuse, etc. I've been critical of those operations in the past here on this very forum.
The lion's share of western ranches do a great job as it relates to cattle production. Most of us like beef! And if we aren't gathering wild game, we as a society depend on ranch-raised beef.
Highland stock are the epitome of enviro-friendly, it's hard to imagine a more efficient, natural way of raising meat regardless of what climate loonies may believe.