Where do we want our milk to originate?
Where will our milk come from: 'battery' farms or free range cows?
11th November, 2011
The recent axing of the Nocton 'super-dairy' renewed interest in how our milk and cheese is produced. The Ecologist visited two dairy farms - an indoor, intensive unit and a year-round outdoor operation - to assess their very different approaches
Deep down in Dairy Country, there’s a divide developing; the divide between old and new. Driven by consumer preference and government subsidies, farmers are choosing to throw in their lot with either more natural, traditional farming methods, or more technologically advanced, intensive methods.
Nowhere is this divide better exemplified than on two farms in Somerset, on the opposite side of the same lane, but operating centuries apart. As an environmentalist and ecologist I felt certain I knew which side of the lane my preferences fell. But on visiting these farms, my preconceptions were challenged.
Anyone with the vaguest understanding of the natural world usually comes to the conclusion that 'nature knows best.' How many times have we heard stories of humans blundering into disaster when trying to control an ecosystem? (Weevils in North America, rabbits in Australia, and Bullfrogs the world over to name a few). The complexity and interrelatedness of all things means that such manipulation is beyond us: nature is not for the taking.
It is this understanding which makes ecologists, environmentalists and greenies everywhere (including me) often balk at anything overly interfered with...
To view the rest of this article - you must be a paying subscriber and Login
Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.