Allan Savory is a brilliant research biologist. When the Weston A. Price Foundation told me that I could travel to see him and his work at the Africa Centre for Holistic Management in Zimbabwe, I nearly keeled over in shock. I am a big admirer of Allan for various reasons: 1) he has some effective (and radical) ideas about reversing the earth's degradation, 2) he has withstood his share of controversy because of them, 3) and he has had the courage to acknowledge (and learn from) some serious mistakes he made as a young environmentalist.
But what endears me to him most of all is his use of the words "team humanity." This is Allan's clarion call. It is his effort to remind us that we are one race on this terrestrial ball: the human race. And we all must pull together if we want to keep the land inhabitable and fertile.
Motivated by this vision, Allan has dedicated his life to finding a solution to our earth's growing desertification. At one time, he was convinced that animals were overgrazing, ruining the land. (Many scientists still hold that opinion to date.) But after the "tragic error" of culling elephants, Allan now sees animals as key partners in our survival. He even goes so far as to say livestock are "our only hope" for greening the world's deserts and reversing climate change. They are the key to survival for "team humanity."
Now you can see why I called his ideas "radical" earlier! What a wild thought, no? How can animals help us? For starters, they disturb the soil just enough to stimulate new growth and then they fertilize it with their waste. It's nigh miraculous and nothing we humans do to the earth can compare! In Zimbabwe, I saw with my own two eyes what the livestock had done. Properly managed, they had indeed helped the land heal. There were streams of water, where before there had been none. Grass was growing waist-high (and higher), where before there had been only arid, dry land. It was something to behold. My husband put together a 2 1/2-minute video scrapbook of the visit, so you can see it, too. Click on the link below and you'll see some of the thriving eco-systems grasslands I described, community leaders learning at the centre, the majesty of Victoria Falls, and more.
Intrigued? Learn more about holistic management (the big picture approach to addressing the earth's degradation), by listening to this 30-minute interview: Allan Savory (Part 1) Holistic Management. Curious about the specific role of livestock in that important work (why they are a better "tool" than technology, fire, resting the land or planting crops or trees)? Click here for the follow-up interview: Allan Savory (Part 2) Livestock only hope.
Do you want to delve deeper still? Check out the resources below. On behalf of "team humanity,"I thank you!
Savory Institute website: savory.global TED talk: “How to green the world’s deserts and reverse climate change” “Holistic management: a new framework for decision making”
*** Hilda Labrada Gore is a health coach and the host of the Wise Traditions podcast (found on iTunes, Stitcher and at westonaprice.org). She is also the DC chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation.