Raising cattle has its pros and cons, but one big pro is it gives you an all-you-can-pick-and-eat buffet about anywhere you want a bite. What do I mean by that? Well, I was taking part in one of the cons of raising cattle this weekend by fixing some fence in the oppressive heat. I was hot, tired and hungry and maybe was borderlining on “hangry”. I went to pull up a few wires buried in the weeds and there in front of me was a glorious sight.
Wild raspberries! The whole side hill was loaded with them! So I totally forgot about the down wires and went into glutton mode. I just stood there, picking raspberries and eating them while ignoring the poison ivy that was right next to the bushes. No pain, no gain.
So if you’ve never had them before, wild raspberries taste a lot like domesticated ones, but they are smaller and have more seeds. So they are a little more crunchy, and if you have diverticulitis I would strongly recommend not having them.
Also, right next to them was a gooseberry bush. You may remember this berry from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, when they get all excited because she made gooseberry pie. Gooseberries are super tart, which makes them not as pleasant to eat raw but fantastic in a pie with a scoop of ice cream on top.
So why are both of these related to grazing cattle? Just like I talked about last year with my post on insect biodiversity, plant biodiversity is preserved through cattle on grass. Grazing cattle allows the owner of the land to return a profit from ownership, and if done correctly grazing creates the environment for plant life like these berries to thrive. Of course this in turn promotes wild animal populations as well.
When activists demonize red meat, which in this country means beef cattle, remember that without red meat production this land with its native flora and fauna would be plowed under to farm other sources of protein. If we want biodiversity, we need beef production. And with beef production, we can always have the opportunity to grab a wild snack on the go.