This is a great graphic for showing the problem. With how entrenched this has become, looks like another reason for being vegan and personally opting out of the demand side of the economics involved completely.
Amazing graphic illustration…thanks for providing this. And these graphs don’t even show the cost in lives of native wildlife due to welfare ranching on public lands out here in the West. But what a deal–the AUM (animal unit month– the amount of grass it takes to feed one cow & calf for a month; the formula is different for other livestock) for 2010 is as low as it can go to graze on public land–$1.35/month.
“The actual grazing fee for 2010: $1.35. That’s right, just 12 cents more than it was in 1966. One dollar and 35 cents for all the forage and water a cow and calf can consume in a month, in our national forests, wildernesses, and BLM land. The same grazing privilege on private land goes for at least $10 – $15.
Eighty percent of the land that the two agencies (Forest Svc. & BLM) administer can be leased for such grazing (that’s 258 million acres). Yet less than 3 percent of the beef produced in the U.S. comes from cattle on public range.” http://www.hcn.org/blogs/goat/welfare-ranching
Not only are we being ripped off for the use of our public lands, ranchers then utilize the euphemistically-named Wildlife Services (USDA-APHIS) to slaughter wolves, coyotes, prairie dogs and anything else that might cut into their profits. Yellowstone’s iconic wild bison are also victims of the livestock oligarchy, with exotic cattle claiming more rights to the land than wild native bison who are routinely hazed, injured, and/or shipped to slaughter when they migrate out of the high-elevation park onto surrounding public lands.
Thanks, Kathleen, for laying bare the idiocy of federal grazing and land use policies.