The calls to shift to a plant-based diet to help mitigate climate change are getting louder. Farmer Daniel Slabbert and their supporters, however, look at it differently. They believe cows and cropland can help save the planet.
In South Africa, there are still plenty of grasslands or veld. Farmers such as Slabbert are practicing regenerative agriculture, farming, and grazing that rebuild soil organic matter and restores degraded soil biodiversity.
The practice, according to Slabbert, is just like trying to mimic nature. He rejuvenates the land by increasing the cattle herd. Herds are enclosed in a rectangular patch of grassland with a low-voltage wire. The herd consumes all the grasses they can find before the wire lifts, and they move to a new section as it replenishes the land. Eventually, crops are planted in the grazing area.
Cows contribute to 145 of all global emissions. A single cow, according to researchers at UC Davis, can belch around 220 pounds or approximately 100 kilograms of methane each year.