Greece
Title: SwallowtailCanon Powershot SX10 IS
Swallowtail (44)
uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
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To peter_stoeckl: Swallowtail uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)::2011-02-13 12:56
Thank you, Peter, for your kind critique and it's good to hear from you that the Swallowtail is on the increase in Europe despite all the odds against this. Hopefully this will continue even though more land for food production will be needed in the future.
Best wishes, Ulla
...more land for food production peter_stoeckl Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)::2011-02-16 1:58
Thank you Ulla. I am sharing your concern about more land for food production to be needed in the future.

Sorry for taking all that space here now and for taking your time for reading this, and I am sure you are not the person necessarily to be adressed here. The theme just triggered my rising concern - and my wish to spread the knowledge about all those negative aspects on biodiversity caused by an increasingly dominant agroindustrial complex that is seducing us to consider it a perfectly normal and agreeable thing to have meat, cheese, and cow milk several times a day.

As long as Europe is concerned, with its more or less stable numbers of inhabitants, a simple reconsideration of what we altogether are eating would have great results on the consumption of landscape for food production. Returning to our grandparents' diet of meat only once or twice a week instead of several times per day would show highly favourable affects on both the health of people, and to the amount of land consumed for the production of food. All those herds of cattle producing rumpsteak, tons of milk, tons of butter and cheese have to be fed, requiring about ten times more land than would be needed for growing vegetables, fruit, nuts, oilplants needed for a mainly vegetarian diet. Raising cattle in Europe with its already very limited space is showing even worse effects on the biodiversity of grassland: their "turbo" food is derived now from deliberately overfertilized "green desert" grassland that is cut several times a year in order to make high nutrition silage instead of hay. A traditional mountain meadow cut no more than twice a year for the production of hay has been the home of several dozens of species of flowering plants, and several hundred species of insects. Artificial fertilization of such a meadow and harvesting it several times a year is bringing down the number of species existing there to less than 10 percent at once.

Dicussing that theme is quite complex, of course, and can't possibly be done in a few sentences here. But we may conclude: To a reasonable extend it is up to ourselves how we influence the consumption of land by what we choose for eating.

Let us bring it down to a very simple formula: one more beefburger per week, one more porton of cheese per week for each person equals 100 swallowtails extinguished. The more vegetables in our diet, the more swallowtails to be seen ...

With thanks, and all my best wishes - p*
Re: ...more land for food production uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)::2011-02-16 5:14
Thank you Peter for an interesting discussion subject. I certainly agree about a cut-down on meat consumption and we certainly consume too much dairy produce in Sweden. But if the poor of this world are going to have their portion of meat too, which they certainly deserve, it may not help however much we cut down. There are too many other factors to take into account in our complicated world.

Having been active in nature conservancy and environmental issues for years I think I’ve ended up rather disillusioned. As the rainforest is being cut down and there are other global issues on the agenda, our home environment is often forgotten. Sweden is very proud of its economic progress at the moment but at the same time more money means more exploitation. The slogan of our municipality is 'The Spirit of Food' and in this fertile and in many ways unique part of Sweden, nature is rapidly giving way to large agricultural businesses and around where we live the pine forest is now being rapidly cleared to give way to hundreds of new houses and new industrial estates! In exchange for this exploitation we’re likely to get a couple of isolated new Nature Reserves or ‘recreation areas’ as they tend to call them these days!

Remember the song? – Where have all the flowers gone …. Long time passing…… At that time we had the chance to react and reverse to a new life-style but now?

Sorry about this negative note but nevertheless, I try to keep on smiling and enjoy what is left!
Best regards, Ulla
Re: ...more land for food production peter_stoeckl Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)::2011-02-16 7:25
Thank you, Ulla, for your well considered thoughts and inputs.

What you are describing from Sweden is exactly the issue, a deeply saddening process, with similar things going on in other parts of Europe as well. There is no other way out of that than keeping the issue in discussion, fighting the spreading of settlements by supporting the policy of a much stricter handling of measures of conservation of nature, and refusing to give in to the agroindustrial complex that is still supported by our own mostly unreflected habits of comsuming.
My optimism comes from noticing a surprisingly large and still increasing number of young people - the more intelligent ones as a vanguard of course - getting much more concert about what they eat ad where it comes from, turning away from mass produced meat, even refusing to consume meat at all.
My optimism also has been nourished by seeing a clearly noticeable reduction of bringing out pesticides in all those garden areas in the suburbs of Vienna, a policy of forest management that discourages monocultural planting of trees in favour of a much wider spectre of deciduous trees, the deliberate decision to leave dead wood in the forests - and the consequent returnal of once threatened species such as Nymphalis polychloros and both kinds of Swallowtails in the open areas, the Stag Beetle becoming quite a common sight in suburbial Vienna during the last few decades again, even the Rosalia longicorn to be found close to the metropolitan area with just a little bit of good luck. A very fragile process of improvement that unfortunately still cannot be observed in many rural areas, a process of turning to the better that has to be contantly encouraged and nourished, of course.
Let's keep on. With all my best wishes to you.
Peter
Re: ...more land for food production uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)::2011-02-16 10:16
It is very encouraging to hear your report about Vienna and the management of nature obviously varies here too from town to town. This very much depends on the attitudes and priorities of those who 'rule'!

One must remember though that the academic world is quite separate from the world 'outside'. Living in a popular seaside suburb to Kristianstad we see the other side where materialism, computers and television tend to dominate young peoples' lives. There's also a tendency to have more children. No time for gardening either, the gardens are covered by concrete slabs, pots and the odd plant. This I find very sad and it also affects birds and insects which have drastically declined over the past couple of years. We used to have the Large Blue as a visitor to our garden but no more!! This may, of course, also be due to climatic conditions.

I'd certainly love to see a strong global movement for the preservation of nature - perhaps this will happen via Facebook, Twitter or the like, who knows!

With best wishes, Ulla
Re: ...more land for food production peter_stoeckl Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)::2011-02-16 11:26
Thanks again for taking up the discussion, Ulla. I'm fully with you and understand your deep concern about the precious region you live being so much under pressure. Being confronted with all the brutaly of dumb materialism can make us feel quite helpless at times. But there is always more than just one reality also in the world "outside". Hope dies last ("Die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt") as we are saying. Would love to celebrate the returnal of the Large Blue to your garden, I cordially wish this will happen soon. All the best to you,
Peter