The full video of my conversation with Brad Littlejohn of the Davenant Institute on Jordan Peterson is available here. Brad is a close friend and a great conversation partner: it was fun to record a couple of our conversations for a wider audience.
See our earlier conversation about social media here.
About Alastair Roberts
Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
I am grateful for your podcast and your blog. If you and Brad Littlejohn have chosen to add these conversations of yours to Facebook’s endowment, that is strictly speaking no business of mine, since I deleted my Facebook account some years ago and intend never to return. If Facebook absorbs the entire Internet, I shall read more books and contemplate the sky.
I have a throwaway account for things like this on Facebook, but, yes, I wish I could link to these videos elsewhere.
Got transcripts? For those of us who are anti-video, but love your work (and Littlejohn’s).
We don’t, sorry. Both Brad and I were speaking without notes and no one has produced a transcript.
Too bad, I always prefer reading to watching.
Unrelated, but I read the article about “sustainable” meat that you linked. This happens to be a topic that I am well versed in (something of a practitioner), and it is very hard to find non-ideological information. If you have questions or would like thoughts feel free to email me.
I’m generally the same, although a conversation requires only a fraction of the time to produce.
I’d be interested to know your rough impression of the article I linked.
I certainly don’t expect you to produce transcripts of your videos, just expressing my preferences! I’m sure you could find a fan to transcribe your content, though.
WRT the Quilette article, very briefly:
The piece is a useful corrective for much of the alarmist media that has been produced over the past few years. However, it seems to make mistakes in the other direction. It also focuses almost exclusively on cattle, which is useful as they are often the punching bag in the discussion around the environmental effects of eating meat, but ruminant husbandry is fundamentally different from raising poultry or pork, and the author probably should have made it clear that he was only addressing the former.
A few areas where I think the author overstepped in his claims:
– Water usage – it is reasonable to include rainfall in water usage numbers as it represents an opportunity cost compared with growing vegetable matter. I think water usage numbers in an aggregate situation obscure more than they reveal and Pimental’s numbers are worse than useless, but I don’t think including rainfall is an appropriate criticism.
– Grain usage – the authors contention that most grain used for livestock is spoiled or otherwise unsuitable for human consumption is bizarre. In reality cattle eat a lot of byproducts from various manufacturing processes, especially brewers or distillers grain, and much of the grain that they eat is stored and handled in such a way that renders it unsuitable for human consumption, but it isn’t as though there are millions of tons of grain that don’t get sold in time, spoil, and get directed to feed lots.
-Overstating the ecological benefits – the author states on numerous occasions that grazing land promotes biodiversity and he doesn’t make it clear that this claim is only true in comparison to a monoculture of grain. Certainly there is more biodiversity in 50 acres of cattle pasture than in 50 acres of field corn, but neither is likely to be as biodiverse at 50 acres of tall-grass prairie (though this may be achievable with some grazing systems, if maximizing production isn’t a concern).
The whole discussion should really be taken in a different direction which is more attentive to the nature of our natural environmental and ecosystems. Some areas are very good for cereal production, some areas are excellent pastureland, some areas make good small holdings with mixed agriculture, and some areas are best left “wild.” Also, though I’m not a big Salatin fan, I think he is right that our agriculture should respect the nature of the animal in question, a pig is built to dig in the ground – to raise it in a concrete box is to deny it a fundamental part of its nature, and is to make it raw material for exploitation.
This is much to long for a combox already.
Very helpful, thank you!
As regards the videos, if anyone wants to transcribe them, we’d be delighted. However, no one has offered.
Can you please post this on youtube?
I’ll ask Brad what he thinks.