Dead Setts: Please Fight For Badgers

“As hunt saboteurs we are witnesses to the all-out war against wildlife which seems to be the main activity in the so-called countryside. Open country is the playground of the rich, and a few patches of scrubby woods remain only because they are managed for hunting and shooting. These copses and areas of scrub are not of sufficient size or quality to maintain a great diversity of plant and animal life. Whatever animals do manage to survive are terrorised, poisoned, trapped and shot by gamekeepers, terrier men, blethering aristocrats and various other professional or amateur sadists. While crossing the countryside to sabotage a foxhunt we will usually find much evidence of other wildlife abuse – shooting pens, snares, larsen-traps and often active shooters. I have seen a pair of rifle-shooters halfway through the day surrounded by the corpses of at least fifty wood-pigeons and a crow. Without our intervention they would have killed another fifty birds in the rest of the day. Walking, cycling or driving through country lanes it is all too easy to believe that the countryside is an idyllic refuge for nature, but looking a little deeper it appears more like an enormous factory of waste, pollution and animal abuse. Even the massacre of wildlife does not compare to the stinking farmyards, littered with dead machinery, where millions of sick and suffering animals are raised on antibiotics, hormones and cash-crop concentrates to feed up the next generation of European heart-attack victims who occasionally trundle past in their 4x4s. An irate farmer once said to a sab, “What would happen if I wasn’t here managing this land? The trees would grow and the birds would come back! There’d be little birds everywhere! And then what would you do?” This fear and hatred of wild plants and animals is typical of the alienation from nature that agro-industrial workers suffer. As usual, hatred justifies abuse.” from Do Or Die issue 10

Today I went badger sett checking with a group of people which included another hunt sab, someone from badger watch and someone I absolutely didn’t trust. Please watch the clips for info on the day –

 

 

 

The cull zone is being extended to the point that it is going to make it so difficult for us to be an effective presence of resistance and to protect the badgers. So we need people who are sympathetic with the cause to join in and to sab the cull. We need people who are trustworthy, safe and reliable, because informants and infiltrators could potentially create a huge amount of problems.

Here is info on how to join the hunt sabs.

Here is info on how get involved outside of direct actions.

Here are some 2 links on laws you should be aware of – link 1, link 2.

Here is information on how to badger watch.

Some photos from today at the sett that’s been killed off –

 


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Industrial Agriculture Is Punishing Soil With Fertilisers And Creating Oceanic Dead-Zones

These are the words of soil expert Rick Haney on agribusiness’s pursuit of maximum crop yield –

“We were applying fertilizers and getting these big yields, so that system seemed to be working — until we began seeing, for example, the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico [created by algal blooms triggered by high nitrogen levels from fertilizer], and we started wondering if this was really working right. Are we putting on too much fertilizer? And the answer is, “Yes we are.”  It’s like instead of feeding your children a balanced diet, let’s just feed them vitamins. That’s not going to work, is it?

Our mindset nowadays is that if you don’t put down fertilizer, nothing grows. But that’s just not true, and it never has been. The biggest issue with all this is that we keep wanting to get higher and higher yields. But the reality is that you are shooting yourself in the foot doing that …

… Well, if we are going to overproduce corn, wheat, soy, sorghum — look at the price. Why is the price low?  Right now, these guys are planting corn around here, and I’ve talked to several of them who tell me that they won’t be making any profit this year. They are looking at a loss. It’s just crazy. If you are going to overproduce your product, the price drops. So what are we doing?

We had a guy I talked to last week who said, “If I adopt these soil health principles, my yields will fall.” And I said, “Yeah, I hope so, I hope everyone’s yields fall.” There’s just this mindset that we’ve got to increase the yields, increase the yields, increase the yields. You can’t keep doing that.”

Taken from this piece on Yale Environment 360.

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More on Mexican dead zone here and here.

Desertification – Agriculturally Induced Ecological And Climatic Shifts Created The Sahara Desert

When thinking about the Sahara do you picture a green landscape, lush with vegetation and teeming with life? Of course not! Because today the Sahara is a desert, dry and arid: a harsh and unforgiving landscape. The ecoregion is the worlds largest hot desert, stretching across North Africa, from the Red Sea to the Atlantic ocean. […]

Very hot climate - Sahara Desert, Libya copy

When thinking about the Sahara do you picture a green landscape, lush with vegetation and teeming with life? Of course not! Because today the Sahara is a desert, dry and arid: a harsh and unforgiving landscape.

The ecoregion is the worlds largest hot desert, stretching across North Africa, from the Red Sea to the Atlantic ocean. Geoarcheological research by Dr. David Wright of Seoul National University has found that human driven ecological and climatic changes, brought about through the advent of agriculture, are the principle cause of the shift from the lush green landscape it once was into the ecoregion we know today.

His research has found that, as vegetation removal increased to introduce domesticated livestock, the amount of sunlight reflected off the earths surface increased, causing shifts in atmospheric conditions that resulted in reduced monsoon rainfall. This then lead to escalating vegetation loss and desertifiction, creating a feedback loop that spread across the ecoregion.

Agriculture owes its roots in shift from hunt-gatherer polycultures into the monoculture of civilisation at approximately 10,000 BC- the cradle of civilisation being the fertile crescent, which spanned from the Persian Gulf to Upper Egypt. Urbanisation and the advent of cities are other defining features of civilisation, whose origins for contemporary global civilisation are found in the fertile crescent.

When discussing the introduction of agriculture by Euroamericans in the Americas, Dr. David Wright states – “(m)ore analogous to the African context, the introduction of domesticated livestock by Euroamericans into semi-arid and arid regions of the Americas profoundly altered the ecosystem, inducing regime shifts in many regions. Grazing and browsing ungulates evolved in the Americas during the Cenozoic and were a critical component of the ecological matrix (Grayson, 2011; Woodburne, 2012). Prior to Euroamerican settlement, vast prairie grasslands spanned the interior upland regions of both North and South America. However, with the exception of Highland South America, there were no domesticated grazers present before the arrival of European settlers. Cattle (Bos taurus)  introduced a new pressure to the landscape that spatially and temporally correlates to a regime shift from grassland to scrubland (Van Auken, 2000).”

Dr. Wright’s research displays how, as well as being an immediately destructive process through the loss in vegetation, agriculture creates conditions for escalating feedback loops, with increasingly worsening results. And with the contemporary food crisis bringing about a global land grab for domestic consumption, changes in climate and soil destruction is worsening too. In Britain, soil degradation through intensive farming has gotten us to the point where we have about 100 harvests left, at current rates of consumption.

Extensive damming and draining projects are now worsening the ecological conditions of the area that once was the fertile crescent, with no efforts by the governments to reduce or reverse the damage. And given that 15% of the worlds human populations currently live in deserts, the importance of Wright’s findings are apparent because, as he states “the implications for how we change ecological systems have a direct impact on whether humans will be able to survive indefinitely in arid environments.”