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Helga Vierich-Drever's blog

Why animal domestication need not be exploitative

The flawed case put by many animal rights advocates fails to acknowledge that we are still in nature and never left. We are merely cocooned in a complex anthroecology that started with microbes and dogs and ended up including a vast number of other species as well.

Kalahari Fires: reflections on man's first tool of environmental management

Helga Vierich writes that Fire has long played a part in the ecology of the Kalahari Desert of Southern Africa. Among the Kua of the south-central Kalahari the power of natural and man-made fires is well understood. These hunter-gatherers use fire to control ticks, increase plant fruit yields, alter the species composition of wild plant communities, influence the movement of game, and to attract specific animals into snares and traps.

Fire stick farming

Fire stick farming is of great interest to me, as fire ecology as a tool for ecosystem manipulation appears widespread and old among hunter-gatherers worldwide. I made a study of this among the Kua, and it was actually what my grant was for, but I had to change topics in mid stream as Botswana had been converted to the "Smokey the Bear" philosophy by range ecologists at the world bank - so they had passed draconian ant-burning laws just before I got to the field.

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