We all Breathe the Same Air
The air is precious to the red man, for all things share the same breath – Chief Seathl
Our environment is the same one that our domestic animals use and the same one that sustains the diverse population of wild animals. Because we shield ourselves, in our homes, vehicles and workplaces, from the worst short-term effects of environmental damage and hide from the obvious, we often fail to see the effects on the wild. The toll on our planet of our modern way of life is very serious and is unsustainable. As I was writing this page, I looked back on the day, today, in which I saw one lonely pair of Lapwings in their courtship flight, over the Berkshire Downs. When I was a child in this area, there were thousands. They would spend their summers on the hills and their winters in crowds in the valley pastures. They are just not to be seen now. This applies as well to skylarks and to so many other creatures. A night drive used to be plagued by moths on the windscreen. Not now.
Modern farming is not sustainable. The cheap food policy of successive governments drives the system ever deeper into trouble. In fact, the ‘cheap’ food that we buy would not be so cheap if the cost of removing agro-chemicals from our drinking water were to be added to our food bills instead of to our water bills and if the environmental cost of ‘food miles‘ were to be added. There was time when the heron and various birds of prey were threatened by DDT. Happily, the noble heron and others have recovered well, since those bad times. Modern pasture management, however, with its monocultures of ryegrass and its use of artificial nitrogen fertilizers and herbicides is a disaster for biodiversity. Bees and other vital insect and vertebrate life are under bombardment from agrochemicals. A greater move to organic farming is part of the way out and consumers can effect that shift, with a little effort and expense. This applies just as much to our gardening at home, if not more so, as it is our immediate environment.
This particular aspect is only one tiny facet of the whole problem. We must each walk lighter on our world, or share the fate of the Lapwings and Skylarks. I hope that the pages in this web site will help readers each to see at least one way in which they can reduce their own impact upon our own ecology and upon that of our fellow creatures.
At the AVMC, we believe that with a deep respect for Nature vet practice should be environmentally friendly. As a step in that direction, we have an environment policy. Concern for ecology, Nature, wildlife and the environment is integral with holistic thinking.