TED Conversations

Linda Hesthag  Ellwein

Communications, Change, and Photography, Oikonomia, Inc.


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How attached are you to your deeply held beliefs? If solutions to global problems challenge your worldview, how do you react?

Allan Savory's recent TED Talk introduced an unlikely and politically incorrect solution to reversing global desertification and climate change with the use of livestock as a tool, and different decision making.

Well-meaning laws, bureaucracies, and activists at the mercy of public opinion have stifled this work from moving forward on a large scale in the US. Belief systems and the fear of being wrong often prohibits change.

How do you respond to ideas that challenge your belief system? How do we stop our paradigms and prejudices from unfairly shaping decision making, and allowing us to take real risks for lasting change? What's your reaction to cows helping save the world? What idea have you believed and been completely wrong?


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    Mar 6 2013: Step No. 1 ----
    • Mar 8 2013: Destroying life?
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        Mar 8 2013: Dear Travis,

        It looks like you are new to the TED community!! It is my pleasure to welcome you !!
        I recommend listening to all Talks published by TED.
        Click on this and hear the talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change.html
        He is an amazing man :-)

        ~Best regards.
        • Mar 8 2013: Not new to TED, just new to this conversation, I have watched the video and my question still stands. What I'm saying is it really depends on your perspective with regards to the comment you made. In many areas of the world consuming animal flesh is 100% necessary part of existence. For example His Holiness the Dali Lama becomes ill if he goes too long with out meat. It is not the consuming of animal flesh that is wrong, it is the manner in which it is done, with little or no reverence to the live given. I have a hard time with orthodox vegan thought. I think that it is fairly narrow minded in general. While it has it's place, so does the omnivore. If we can reintegrate the grass lands and nourish an entire population, I fail to see the "destruction" of life you speak of. All things are impermanent and everything serves a purpose. I could go on, but you get my point. Thank you.
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        Mar 8 2013: I am humbled to know that my comment intrigued you or anyone into participation in TED conversations:-)

        ALLAN says that "40,000 elephants were killed first - before reaching full understanding - just based on a FALSE BELIEF ".

        To see the "destruction" of life I speak of listen to (T: 6:20 - 6:37) at http://www.ted.com/talks/allan_savory_how_to_green_the_world_s_deserts_and_reverse_climate_change.html

        I am thinking agroforestry, reforestation, soils, permaculture, rebalancing carbon, climate...and...healthy human bodies... for that we need to eat a balanced diet of nutrition that is responsibly and naturally and organically produced, free range, free of hormones and pesticides, etc. Which brings us right to the value of poo :-) There is the sheep, goat, cow, chicken, giraffe, hippo..and elephants to consider.

        Elephant basics: an elephant can be born every five years....it can reproduce from age 15 until age 40...but there are only four days in five years for courtship, and mates have to find each other miles and oceans apart, and coordinate their iCals. So with maximum luck, we can have 5-6 elephant births in an elephant’s life time (in 60 years). Poo basics: 7 kg of dung, per elephant, per day multiplied by 40,000 elephants..I am not going to do the math for each animal here but....I am guessing that was a factory of some good organic fertilizer :-)

        And now that we lost those elephants who were there to begin with, (and it probably took them 100 years to get to that population number :-( we humans have to desperately move around the world and assist them breed as fast as possible.

        On a separate note, I am honored that you have awarded me the title "orthodox vegan"...I love you for it....but unfortunately for me, I can not accept it because I failed that aspiration and I too remain an omnivore. And I agree with everything you have written:-)

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