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Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.


Post by Stanley » 17 Nov 2017, 14:36


I promised you I would tell you why I object to the more extreme opinions which paint me as an unfeeling brute because I am an omnivore. My beliefs are based on a working life in which for many years I was very closely connected with farming, husbandry and the animals. Incidentally, I believe that one of the most rewarding jobs in the world is caring for animals. I have my favourites, cattle and pigs are wonderful companions!
Many years ago when my beard was black I used to go regularly to a farm in the East Riding run by Mr and Mrs Bramley. They ran a mixed farm, grew Barley and good grass and fed bullocks in indoor yards on straw in winter. These bullocks were bought in Ireland and were the best obtainable. They were fed on ground barley, chopped turnips and clean straw. They trod their dung into the straw of the yard and all winter clean straw was added. By the time Spring came and they could be put out on grass there was a carpet of rich farmyard manure three feet deep and this was taken out of the yards, piled into large heaps in the fields and left to rot down for a year. Each winter the FYM from the previous year was spread on the fields and harrowed in before the turnip and cereal crops were sown. This regime ensured fertile soil with high levels of micro-nutrients and trace elements, in short, land in good heart.
I once asked Mr Bramley how he could pay high prices for the best Irish Bullocks, feed them all winter and make a profit. He told me he couldn't, but he no more expected profit from his beef than he did from his farm machinery. The Bullocks were in effect, farm machinery. They converted food into good manure which in turn fed his crops and grass and maintained fertility in the land. His cash flow came from the beef and Barley he sold but the profit was all from the latter.
This what most vegetarians don't understand. In the absence of animals recycling fertility back into the land in the most natural way, the only way to enable it to produce is use artificial fertilizers and a consequence of this is that the levels of essential micro-nutrients in the soil drops. Instead of being rich natural loam supporting a huge population of worms and microbes which are part of the cycle you have a sterile growing medium and all the life from insects through to birds suffers.
After many years of reliance on artificial fertilizers, most progressive thinking now is in favour of old fashioned mixed farming like Mr Bramley's as it preserves the land, the environment and the quality of the crops. Eliminating the animals would be a disaster both for food quality and the environment, farming would become just another industrial process and I would lose my friends, the animals. Do you think they would be kept as pets?


The Lad on the right with some of his friends at Gargrave Show, 1970.
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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