Thu, 7 September 2006
Howard Lyman (aka The Mad Cowboy) is a figure to pay attention to. If converting from a Montana cattle rancher to a strict vegan is not enough of a reason to raise an eyebrow, Lyman has since devoted his life to educating the public on the dangers of animal-based diets.
Lyman has been a fourth-generation family farmer in Montana for almost 40 years. Using personal experience, he denounces chemically based agricultural production methods, calling them unsustainable and ecologically disastrous. His experiences range from working in a large organic dairy to raising registered beef cattle to owning a large factory feedlot. He has farmed thousands of acres of grain and reproduced a herd of over one thousand commercial beef cows. Lyman has raised chickens, pigs, and turkeys, and grown crops such as wheat, barley, oats, corn, alfalfa, and grass.
Howard Lyman was farming at the time when it was either get big or get out. Educated on the modern industrial methods of agriculture, Lyman saw his organic soil go from a living, productive base to a sterile, chemically-saturated, mono-cultural ground.
In 1979, a tumor on his spinal cord caused him to be paralyzed from the waist down. Realizing that the farming methods he used were the problem, he decided to become a voice for the family farmer and the land. That led him to work for the Montana Farmers Union and from there to Washington, D.C. as a lobbyist for the National Farmers Union.
Lyman has made many trips to British Columbia, and this broadcast will feature his speech given at the Taste of Health event hosted by EarthSave Canada in 2002. The recording is courtesy of the Necessary Voices Society.
"The question we must ask ourselves as a culture is whether we want to embrace the change that must come, or resist it. Are we so attached to the dietary fallacies with which we were raised, so afraid to counter the arbitrary laws of eating taught to us in childhood by our misinformed parents, that we cannot alter the course they set us on, even if it leads to our own ruin? Does the prospect of standing apart or encountering ridicule scare us even from saving ourselves?" - Howard Lyman