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No Feed! Ranchers Face Drought Disaster

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On August 13th Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s plan to assist farmers, ranchers, small businesses and communities by buying $170 million of pork, lamb, chicken and catfish. The meat will be used in federal food nutrition programs and food banks.

Although much of Canada has avoided the worst of the drought, farmers in Ontario and Quebec are appealing to the federal government to offer assistance with feed costs. Ontario Minister of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, Ted McMeekin has asked Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada to assist livestock producers through the AgriRecovery framework.

Any temporary relief can only be a stopgap measure, as long-range forecasts predict drought conditions will become increasingly common and severe. While responding to immediate needs in the livestock industry, governments need to work with that sector to address environmental impacts issues that will only increase if global demand for meat continues to rise.

Food security involves all parts of the food system, from seed to plate. Placing this year’s drought in the context of a warming planet raises significant, long-range questions. One of them is whether or not humans should be eating meat at all. That is a large and contentious issue. Two Care2 posts published in 2010 still do a good job of exploring the associated aspects of the question:


Related Care2 Stories

U.S. in Worst Drought Since 1956

Drought Raises Beef, Poultry Prices: Time to Go Meatless?

1,000 Dairy Calves Left to Die in Midwest Heat Wave

Global Warming Could Scorch America’s Breadbasket

Animals Are Essential to Sustainable Food (On the Other Hand)


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9:36PM PST on Feb 28, 2013

Great comments, Heather. The human addiction to animal flesh is destroying the planet, cruelty to animals, and utimately affecting our health. In the West, we see our forests, water, soil, grasslands decimated by the Livestock Industry, which also demands that wolves, coyotes & other wildlife be slaughtered by the millions every year--at taxpayer expense.
Crops that have been grown in the midwest and the west, are largely produced for livestock feed, which is a terrible waste of soil and water. Now, the drought-ridden soil is becoming useless. Large semi trucks by the hundreds are taking hay to ranchers for feeding livestock, again much of this, a government subsidy. The ecosystem is dying. Ranchers need to go, particularly those who get subsidies to graze livestock on Wilderness, National Forests, BLM lands, and even Wildlife Refuges--Public Lands which wildlife needs to survive.
If we want to save Nature and her native wildlife, Public Lands Ranchers need to get off our Public Lands Now.

9:00AM PST on Feb 7, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

1:10PM PST on Dec 23, 2012


9:45AM PDT on Oct 11, 2012

This is a sad commentary on the climate and disaster that we are facing.

9:40AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

*has had a direct effect*

9:39AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

Barbra D., I highly doubt anyone can judge where or how another person lives based on their comments unless they explicitly state those facts, or whether they are adept at any particular field. We're at a general consensus that the world is in trouble. That statement only requires a look outside. I do happen to live in a rural area, have almost always lived in rural areas, and have had a garden for several years. I, for one, am more than aware that as things heat local fauna wither. And I have done a fair bit of studying. Your diet does have an affect on the planet, and on the survival of the human race. We could prevent, reverse, or even cure over 69 diseases just by strictly limiting or ending our consumption of animal products. In any case what I eat has made a direct affect on MY life. In fact, I'm sure that it has returned time that my previous diet would have squandered. The state of the world is not under debate, and the facts have been clearly presented. I would wager that none of us would even be on this article if we didn't have even the most rudimentary understanding. The thing I don't get is why people get so defensive about their dietary habits simply because I stated mine.

5:54AM PDT on Aug 27, 2012

If you want a full picture of how food ends up on your plate, watch the documentary 'Food Inc.' We should all be aware of where our food comes from and how the system is run.

5:53AM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

This is very sad:(

2:18AM PDT on Aug 25, 2012

Thanks for sharing!

3:58PM PDT on Aug 24, 2012

This is what happen when greedy man takes, and takes and takes and never gives back.

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