Words from Kenya

Livestock herders dream of grass like this.

Good Grass

This is what the grass looks like in a conservation area. I am a pastoralist by marriage, we love our livestock. Cows, goats, camels; pastoralists love their animals beyond all reason. And that, I guess, is the trouble. There are now so many animals that there is rarely any good grass to be found any more. Poor rains don’t help, but even when the rains are good the grass never gets that way, unless it is in area protected from livestock. The livestock we love is striping northern Kenya bare, and then what will we do? It will be like a drought year every year. We will be picking up animals trying to keep them alive, dragging carcasses out to be scavenged. We will be crushed under the weight of our losses more and more frequently until there is nothing left but bare earth, empty stomachs and sadness.

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