Take care of the land which will take care of us. Grass is my boss. He tells me everything I can and cannot do regarding what livestock he can support, how many, if the grazing grass is sufficient and healthy, any diseases or insect infestations to address, drought resistance, and what tasks he needs me to do that day to support herd management. Bottom line, if he quits, I have nothing, for raising livestock would be way too costly for me, unhealthy for them, and possibly unsustainable for all.
This CAFO model is actually a fairly new experiment. Conversely, the “low tech” husbandry of livestock by farmers has been around since Adam grilled the first (beef) ribs. Generations of farmers, butchers, and other craftsman have improved the art of breeding and harvesting to naturally create heritage livestock that have developed resistances to illnesses and disease.
Modern technology can be ill-equipped at times to drastically manipulate the biological processes of livestock our families eat, especially when those processes are not fully understood. Our history already provides an alternate method to raise and butcher livestock from pasture to plate, (or stork to pork) that is tried and true. Locally-focused models gaining ground today through abattoir’s who utilize local meat production like the Farmstead Meatsmith.
This 20th century experiment is all our modern generations have known. A fast growing animal whose body cannot keep up with its own growth makes sense since that is all most of us have ever known.
“Sustainable” does not need to be an expensive word. Compared to unsuspected (PDF) commercial swine expenses, kunekunes in a natural homestead setting offers a long-term cost effective investment and a superior tasting and healthful choice. Kunekune pigs can fatten on good quality grass alone among their many other excellent traits for homestead producers and connoisseurs alike.