World map indicating the grasslands. These can be used as food to grow animals.
World map indicating the appropriate native animal species per region

Animal husbandry is a form of agriculture in which livestock is bred and raised. The livestock is then eaten, or for example in cows and chickens, used for milk or eggs. Sometimes additional products can be attained such as leather, and the animal can also be used as a draft animal or used for transport. Although animal husbandry has several negative effects (see below), some areas naturally have (or had) open grasslands and are are not the native region of specific (plant-based) protein-foods (ie tofu, ...). Due to this, in these circumstances, growing animals may be appropriate. It however should be used only as a last resort.

In the map on the right, you can notice the appropriate locations were this can be done. The animals should be fed only with grass, the growing of other crops (ie maize, soy, grain, ...) would make the approach unappropriate and highly inefficient (these other -imported- crops would then be best eaten by the person itself). Note that one of the main reasons why the growing of animals can be appropriate in some situations at all is simply due to the presence of protein in the meat, calories can often be attained from other plants that can be grown in the region.

The other map on the right shows native animal species that (in some cases) can be used per region.

Pros of animal husbandry[edit | edit source]

  • by growing wild animal species, it allows the the animals to be be released into the wild once we no longer need them (once suitable crops are found for the region), hence allowing the discarding of the use of animals. The whole setup hence allows to immediatelly strengthen the local ecosystem rather than weakening it, and extra GhG emissions are avoided, as these species would have existed in the wild anyway.
  • it reduces the distances food needs to travel
  • several animal species can be grown for a range of applications, including transport and use as draft animals
  • although animal husbandry has a negative impact on the environment, the impact can be a bit reduced. Some of the key tools to grazing management include fencing off the grazing area into smaller areas called paddocksW, lowering stock density, and moving the stock between paddocks frequently.[1]
  • increased amount of food products from animals

Cons of animal husbandry[edit | edit source]

  • Creates huge methane emissions (882,598,500,000 Kilo pascals worldwide, According to scientists rounded out about 5 billion kilo pascals or 5,001,391,500 kilo pascals[Unit of Measurement for gases] is sufficient to kill everyone on the planet, due to climate change and the melting of the glaciers)
  • Can transfer disease,
  • Wasteful method (energy is lost in conversion of grass to meat)
  • Very labor-intensive and (depending on what it's compared against, low-yield) method of protein production
  • Can disrupt the local ecosystem by taking up a lot of space and preventing the housing of other animal and plant species
  • Ethical considerations by certain individuals

Specific issues[edit | edit source]

Regarding labour intensity:

Note that cattle farms are always very labour intensive, as they generally feed with grain, ... (not grass). That is however if you include the work for the growing the feed.[verification needed]

Although due to the increased use of machinery (ie harvesters), a lot less people are required to grow grain, grain still requires a lot of processing (cutting, beating/dehusking, may require pesticide use, water, ... ) So it is nevertheless very energy intensive, labour intensive (though not human labour intensive) Regardless, what I mostly mean is that a additional crop is often grown to feed the animal at all, and this should be prevented. If the animal is only fed with grass (which is a crop humans can't digest), the issue is completely eliminated.

Note that besides allowing the animals to graze on the grasslands, it may also be appropriate to grow (and/or store) native grasses, herbaceous plants, legumes to feed the animal ie in certain periods of the year. See

Slaughtering and processing[edit | edit source]

The animal needs to be slaughtered and processed in such a way that most of the animal can be used. There is always a degree of waste (unusable animal parts), and not all animal parts are as healthy/tasty. See Butchering a Beef (Bittersweet, Volume VII, No. 1, Fall 1979)

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Discussion[View | Edit]

Disagreement re... giraffes (???)[edit source]

User:KVDP: This article contains some important issues (such as methane & animal husbandry) which need numbers and sources to make them more valuable.

But... who raises giraffes, other than zoos, nature parks and game reserves? And okapi? Rhinos? All the other wild animals mentioned here? These are rhetorical questions - don't answer them here, but either provide a source when writing about unorthodox things like this, or just don't add them. (Sources need to show not just that someone does raise giraffes or gerenuk for meat, but it needs to back up the claims made - if you're saying that these can be good choices, show why - does it have a lower environmental footprint? Do the animals have a different impact on native grasses? Details, facts!)

I guess the most important issue I focused on for this is their diet, ie they indeed consume grasses. For protecting the natural vegetation (grasses), we need to keep the grazers intact, as the local ecosystem needs to remain operational (we hence also need predators too, although these are a bit less important than the grazers). Re the lower environmental footprint: that depends, I think the biggest issue here is whether the cows are fed with grain, soy, ... or simply grass. Another major difference would be whether the cow is eaten (meat) or whether the milk is drunk. In the latter case (milk + fed on grass), I doubt the effect in regards to greenhouse gas emissions will be lower. However, protecting the environment is more than just reducing GhG emissions, it also means protecting natural environments, an in this regard, raising native animals is a better option.
Regarding the details/facts:I found some straightforwarded data on the environmental effect of cattle, ... although no data is available on the animals I'm proposing here (so it's not yet possible to compare the 2). There was allready some info available at and but it was not accurate enough (ie didn't compare the co² output of 1 kg of meat nor co²/protein or kcal. See

And stop implying that native is necessarily the suitable or appropriate choice, without considering the whole context. We have discussed this, but the article still assumes this, and it is not demonstrated, and there is not even a case made for this assumption.

Indeed I am focusing a bit much on native species. I just always mention this because if it is going to be done anyway, it's worth doing it immediatelly as good as possible (I'm just decribing the way on how I would go about on things). A related reason is that as it's the most natural way to go about on things, it's also backed by environmental organizations.

Please stop adding content that you do not understand and have not fact-checked.

We need to come to an agreement about how you edit, as these problems continue to occur and we have to spend time trying to resolve them - I find this very frustrating. If you try sourcing each claim you make, that might be a good start - could you try that?

I'll try to add more sources in future articles, part of the reason why I don't add so much sources on Appropedia (as on Wikipedia) is because allot of references are allready on Appropedia, and I just assumed that people would also read these (and thus agree with the claims automatically) if they were researching an article.

I have removed the following section - I haven't gone through the whole article to remove all problems:

Note that cattle is discarded alltogether/not included in the list since it isn't a native animal anywhere (it is a species crossed by the human population, from the aurochs -itself now extinct-). the same is true for the zebu. Animals such as pheasants (which do not eat much plants, but rather berries, nuts, grain) are also not included in the list. The wild turkey also eats nuts, berries, grasses (it's an omnivore) but still consumes allot of grasses aswell.

The ancestor of the domestic pig, or rather the wild boar (Sus scrofa) is also not included in the list because, although it does consume grass aswell (actually omnivore), the many different subspecies (Sus scrofa scrofa or the european wild boar, Sus scrofa cristatus: (indian), Sus scrofa leucomystax (eastern), Sus scrofa vittatus (malaysian, Northern and Central Europe, the Mediterranean Region (including North Africa's Atlas Mountains) and much of Asia as far south as Indonesia) would lead us too far, and too much text would need to be placed on the map.

Other grazers in grasslands can also be considered, not necessairily living off grass, but ie off shrubs, trees, ... An example is the giraffe, gerenuk, dik-dik (all feed on acacia).

Also note that many other animals can be added, ie: rhinoceros, hippopotamus, deer, antelopes (ie impala, Ugandan kob, Topi, hartebeest, ...), other gazelles (Thomson's gazelle, ... ), common eland, springbok, blackbuck, Tibetan and Mongolian gazelle), alpine ibex, zebra, okapi, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus), muskox<ref>Muskox native to the Arctic areas of Canada, Greenland, and Alaska]</ref>, cottontail rabbit (genus Sylvilagus; 13 species), and the Amami rabbit.

Re the zebu/cow: these are indeed decendants of the aurochs, if I mention a claim like this you can be certain it's correct (I have then checked it myself). Reference at wikipedia. Any of the other claims are correct aswell, again I didn't back it up with references though but they're available at wikipedia.

Thank you --Chriswaterguy 20:08, 18 June 2012 (PDT)

My concern wasn't the ancestry of the zebu and cow being the aurochs - that's an easy claim to check. (However it doesn't hurt to have a reference, and if you're not sure, it's better to have it. I suggest always adding a {{w}} link to Wikipedia in such cases.) My concern was with saying or implying that they are undesirable in comparison to giraffes, zebras etc.
I never stated they are undesirable, and I'm sure that many farmers/ranchers would prefer them over the native fauna. I just find that they are the best solution as they marry preserving the natural landscape/ecosytem with attaining some revenue/food. Before writing this article, I saw the documentary "Afican Hunting Holiday, see , Somewhere in the documentary was mentioned that these parks also breed cattle and I believe also use them as animals for food (though it's not their main activity). After reading the texts again on the docu, I saw that the ranchers were Piet Venter, and Piet Warren, the first one appearantly owns "SA Hunting", see
BTW the reason why I write a specific article at Appropedia is often because is what I'm describing is generally not in wide use (ie niche activities). I for example would never write anything about raising cattle, for one offcourse because I don't agree with it (I'm not the only one that's opposed to it btw, read ), but also because it's just allready so well detailed in many on-line articles. Because it is such a niche activity, there is also often not much references to be found about it.
Re "I just assumed that people would also read these (and thus agree with the claims automatically) if they were researching an article." I see what you're saying, but don't make that assumption. References should be given in the context where the claim is made. It may be that (1) the reader doesn't know if there are sources or where they are, or (2) whether you have correctly interpreted the sources, or (3) whether the sources are themselves correct. I see claims you make and I doubt there are sources for them - but if you place the source right there, it saves this fuss and time-wasting - I can look at the source rather than getting frustrated with you. (And that's definitely preferable - you have passion, and I'd love it if we could use your energy and enthusiasm in a more constructive way, and certainly would rather not be frustrated.)
Re native species, and "it's the most natural way to go about on things, it's also backed by environmental organizations" - I think the full story will be much more complex. It would be good to have a well-sourced and detailed article on this, with each fact or claim backed up by a source. I'll be surprised if there's a lot of support for raising the common eland, Mongolian gazelle, etc, but I don't know. If the reader can see exactly who is making the claim, then they can address it, and either accept the reasoning or question it, or add an alternative perspective.
After searching a little further, it actually does seems like there is some support for raising such animals. See Appearantly, it can be upto 6x more profitable, and milk by some of the animals contains more protein, minerals, butterfat. I expect the same is true for the meat of specific native animals aswell. See also though this is about domesticated variants of native animals.
Thanks --Chriswaterguy 02:10, 19 June 2012 (PDT)
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