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Our Experience with Roots So Deep

PUBLISHED 19 July 2023
Source: Sequatchie Cove Farm

For years, I have struggled with many of the arguments the vegan community and now the plant based meat industry has made in regards to the production and consumption of animals for protein. First of all I want to say that I 100% identify and agree with the core argument that the industrialized meat production model is should be a crime as it is destroying the planet through the excessive use of gmo monocrops which are poisoning our waters, our soils and our atmosphere at an alarming rate. The confinement animal facilities are also terrible for the environment, causing huge problems with air quality, water quality and lack of biodiversity. These environmental issues alone should be enough to say no to factory farming, but then consider the animal and human welfare! These poor animals are trapped in tight quarters essentially in a cramped prisonlike environment their entire lives and are pumped with the cheapest feeds possible and kept alive with lots of antibiotics and growth hormones…and the people working in these facilities have horrible jobs, having to breathe the fumes and remove dead animals on a daily basis. This horror is what fuels our fast food planet that seems to value cheap food over all else, lets throw our morals in the trash when it comes to food production why don’t we?!!

This is the Vegan argument and it is 100% true! If this type of animal production was the only option then I too would be petitioning for humans to shift to a vegan diet…but its not the only option! And the plant based alternatives that many vegans have turned to are just another version of highly processed, industrialized food that relies on devastating monocrop production. As it turns out, we can raise animals in harmony with nature. Humans are 100% capable of upholding our morals in regards to food production! This industrialized food system is a relatively new concept, and the powers that be are making so much money off of it at the expense of human health, animal welfare and the planets health, that they will do and say anything to make us all believe that we can’t feed the world without industrialized agriculture. Well guess what? We have all been fed lies, literally! If your reading this right now, you are probably like us, you are thinking… yes Kelsey I read the omnivores dilemma a long time ago, I already know this stuff. And that is awesome!

The thing that I think is really cool is for the first time in this local sustainable food movement, there is now some really good comprehensive research beginning to happen, studying the production of cattle and the different methods of grazing the cattle. The study focused on difference between the conventional way most cattle are raised in a field that is continually grazed and are supplemented with hay and feed, and the method farms like ours use of mimicking nature and continually rotating the animals to fresh pasture just like the herds of Bison used to do. Our personal experience grazing in this way has shown us that we have the power to improve our land, raise healthy happy animals and increase the biodiversity on our farm while we are also producing healthy local food for our community. That is why we were so exited when Peter Byck reached out to us and said he was going to study these practices and prove whether or not they actually were having as positive effect on the land and the atmosphere as many farmers have claimed. During the 3 year study Peter not only organized scientists from all kinds of disciplines, ranging from, bugs and birds to carbon and climate specialists, but he also filmed the entire project. The final results are still being peer reviewed and hashed out, but you can learn a lot about what they discovered by watching the Roots So Deep documentary that Peter has done such a good job producing! We had a few film screenings in Chattanooga last month and are planning to have more screenings locally. The eventual goal is to have the entire 4 part series available around the world for streaming, but in the mean time you have to make it to one of the local screenings so stay tuned.

The takeaway from this project? As our personal experience had already shown us, it turns out that the scientists found abundant evidence that grazing cattle in a responsible way can actually help reverse climate change, increase biodiversity, absorb huge amount of rainfall that otherwise would be runoff into streams, heal the land, improve animals and the farmers quality of life and can actually be more productive than the conventional model…basically we can produce meat in an environmentally sustainable way that is good for us all and we can feed the world using these methods! Please check out the Roots So Deep website subscribe to their email list and also you can check out this CNN article that features the film Let us know what you think, and we will let you know when the next available screening is! This message needs to be spread far and wide, because as we all know it can be hard to find the truth when the airways and papers are so bogged down with lies and misinformation!