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Old 30-08-2006, 05:47 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,misc.rural,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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Default "dead-frog numbers [was: faq collateral included deaths in organic rice production]"

__________________________________________________ __________
From: diderot
Subject: dead-frog numbers [was: faq collateral included deaths in organic rice production]
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 02:28:51 EDT
Newsgroups: alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,talk.politics.animal s,rec.food.veg
Message-ID:

frlpwr wrote:

Maybe you would like to explain why, when I counter claims of feral
cat depradation with observations gathered over twelve+ years of
daily interaction with feral cats, the members of the peanut gallery
boo, hiss and throw rotten tomatoes?


actually, feral, your thrown-away cat dissertation(s) was the catalyst
(intended) for this faq. it is no secret i think you have the reasoning
ability of a juvenile turnip, and your philosophy is dumber still, but:
you are consistent, your philosophy is coherent if silly, and what you
wrote had the ring of truth - you knew your subject and it was pretty
obvious you were not cooking the books with your observations and
anecdotes.

it was a good case study and it made me examine my cats' behaviours more
closely. my well-fed (but outdoors-living) house cats still kill a lot
of stuff, but far, far more rodents and amphibians (we have a *lot* of
frogs and anoles in this part of the world) than birds. before you
wrote what you did, i would have bet on birds.

you were constantly whining for numbers that gave some idea of deaths in
agriculture, and here some a 2x - 3x - 5x - 10x - 100x beyond your
wildest dread, but there they are. and ... they are incredibly
conservative, still. life is an incredibly bloody business, itsownself.

are they 'accurate'?, meaning 'accurate' in the scientific sense? no,
of course not. the numbers i used describe easily observable, reliable,
repeatable ranges, and within the range of conditions i describe, they
are valid. they are conservative, reasonable estimates by an
experienced observer backfilling populations from incomplete information
and years of observing. you, yourself, are familiar with the
methodology.

Right off the bat we have a problem; there is no methodology. diderot
does not claim to collect, count, measure, weigh, sort, reconstruct or
otherwise quantify the animals in his fields, living or dead.


the single 'accurate' count i can ever recall was of insectivores (no
rodents in this instance) in a meter. it was at a short course i
attended, and some grad students picked a random square meter of
short-grass prarie and deconstructed it. that was the first time i had
ever seen a short-nosed shrew, or a long-tailed one for that matter, or
a vole of any variety and there were 20 of those tiny boogers in the
show.

that is where i heard the 9-35 *on average* and i believe that is
probably conservative for an annual population considering the fertility
of soft-soil ag lands, the fecunditity of shrews and mice and the
gestation periods.

There is an implied high density of amphibians in the "green waterfall"
that roils in front of diderot's combine and he uses a vague measure of
its force to estimate how many amphibians are in the field at the time
of cutting. He tells us, parenthetically, that a "hardshower" means
10,000 amphibians per acre are crossing the header bar into the blades
and a "deluge" signifies a whopping 50,000 are frog-kicking to their
fate, but he doesn't tell us how he came to assign these numbers to his
figurative description of force. If you and I were riding a combine
through the paddies, do you think we could agree on what was a "shower"
and what was a "deluge"? For that matter, do you think we could agree
on the color "green"?


rice is cut twice, and those are numbers from two cuttings. even the
most jaundiced onserver would agree, 'damn that is a *lot* of frogs
hopping around out there.' i was not specific on the types of frogs,
and therein might be part of the wide-eyed problem. there are either 2
or 3 varieties of tree frogs - little bitty boogers, and we have leopard
frogs and grass frogs larger and fewer, but still plentiful. by count,
i would guess there are 10x the number of tree frogs as all others
total, and there are plenty of leopards and grass. in one pool of
water, there were seven varieties of frog & toad eggs. we have a *lot*
of frogs in the gulf coastal plains.

Elsewhere, diderot says that he can, "...easily see 10-20-30+ frogs and
several anoles within the top few inches of a foot stand of rice." He
is tempting us with a volume of amphibians, but he doesn't tell us over
what surface area the top few inches of frogs is spread.


a square foot of rice, of the variety we plant, has about 75 stems.
walking around the test patches (calibrated patches we cut to get the
header length and ground-speed worked out before harvest), and paying
only half-ass attention, it is not at all unusual to see one or two tree
frogs on just about every stem. tree frogs eat mosquitos and leaf
hoppers midges and similar, and we have plenty of those, too. in the
afternoon, when the dragon flies hatch and whip mosquito ass flying just
abouve the grain heads, you can see leopard and grass frogs nearly
knee-to-knee on the grain-head mat hoping one fly will come just a
little bit closer. all this activity takes place in the top foot or so.

on the understory, are the toads bullfrogs, snakes and plenty of rats,
and, i would presume, some mice, too.

not only do we have a *lot* of frogs in our part of the world, it is a
pretty interesting cycle of life, also.

diderot could
count the number of individual frogs in a sample area of this size and
so could we, but instead he continues to rely on "eyeball estimates"
and, perhaps, a little Texas folk wisdom.


ok, get your calculator out, we'll be numerate he

it takes 7 passes with a 30' combine to cut an acre (208' x 208'). to
digest 7,000 frogs in that acre (7,000 1st cutting + 3,000 2nd cutting
for a total of 10,000 - hard shower), that means 1000 unlucky (slow, bad
jumpers, ...) frogs in the 6240 sq.ft. that constitutes *one* pass, or
one per 6+ sq.ft. or 5 per lineal foot of travel.

i *did* say these numbers were conservative, didn't i?

for the 'deluge' (i used 35,000 in the faq, divided 25k & 10k per
cutting), the numbers are ~3500 per pass; one for every 1 sq.ft.; and
~17 per lineal foot of travel.

[...]

The closest diderot comes to providing us with evidence we could
possibly remeasure is his "500 yard long, foot-wide windrows of drowned
grey and brown (rats)". You and I could layout rats in a matching
configuration and do a head count, but there wouldn't be much point
since diderot goes on to say that this mass drowning occurs "whenever
the rice is flooded". Then he neglects to tell us how often he floods
his fields.


rice has to grow in water, so it is flooded in april, drained for
harvest in july/august, reflooded and drained in october. we flood in
mid-december for waterfowl, and drain in february. in february and
march, the land is disced and planed.

diderot is careful to include the phantom or unseen deaths of rodents
which he declares,"...have to be substantial in number." Without an
explanation of the number, he decides to include another, "...3/4th of
one collateral death per sq ft...", or an additional 33,000 deaths per
acre.


again, v. v. conservative. considering both floods and all the activity
with machinery and disturbance (invisible deaths by the score in
cultivation actities), i regarded .75/ft as an elegant number, which
*should* be 3x, 4x that, don't you agree?

I got the impression that diderot had grown weary towards the end of his
essay, maybe all the talk of killing made him miss his dear-departed
vertebrate friends, but, I doubt it. Just so he didn't slight the
larger vertebrates, birds, snakes, turtles and such, he packed all their
deaths in a tidy little bundle of 2,000 which, coincidentally, made his
total number of deaths easily divisible by weight of his harvested rice.


i hope you didn't put your calculator up since our last excercise, but
we'll let you fully participate and do this one differently. there are
two tires on each side of the combine and they are 42" wide, each
(actually there are 2 more on the back, but they track with the inside
front tire). using the same seven passes per acre, calculate the total
square footage tamped gently down by the 19,000 lb combine.

if you don't like my round number of 2,000, supply one from your
calculations from the number of escaped frogs, plus the toads, snakes,
rats, ....

-------

someplace in here (and it *will* be included in the 2nd iteration of the
faq) several insecapable facts/conclusions should be noted:

- there is not only death in agriculture, there is a lot of death, and
the number of deaths (particularly *visible* deaths) are related to
populations more than farming practices.

- conventional agriculture results in many more, but more 'invisible'
deaths. our conventional plot is across the road from our organic plot,
it started out with the same millions and billions of amphibian eggs.
only a few thousand frogs are harvested on the conventional side - they
were all killed off as eggs or tadpoles by agricultural chemicals.

- we manage the whole area (larger than just the farms) is a pretty
natural fashion and we have a lot of wildlife. the number of deaths is,
at least, partially a function of total area population. we could
reduce the number of visible deaths by flogging the ecology, but we
prefer life and cycle-of-life over a sterile monoculture.

- every farming environment has a different mix of animals and the
largest number and largest variety, both, will be found in
semi-tropical, mixed ecology lands like we have. monocultures will have
the smallest numbers and the smallest numbers of species. the numbers i
have presented hold true in the gulf-coastal plains for machine-farmed
organic rice and may well vary in california and arkansas.

- if one desires to 'eat organic', i strongly urge research into what
your state considers' organic.' it is very likely not as chemical-free
as you might like to believe.

cordially,
diderot

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Old 13-09-2006, 08:26 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,misc.rural,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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Default "dead-frog numbers [was: faq collateral included deaths in organic rice production]"


wrote:
__________________________________________________ __________
From: diderot
Subject: dead-frog numbers [was: faq collateral included deaths in organic rice production]
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 02:28:51 EDT
Newsgroups: alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,talk.politics.animal s,rec.food.veg
Message-ID:

frlpwr wrote:

Maybe you would like to explain why, when I counter claims of feral
cat depradation with observations gathered over twelve+ years of
daily interaction with feral cats, the members of the peanut gallery
boo, hiss and throw rotten tomatoes?


actually, feral, your thrown-away cat dissertation(s) was the catalyst
(intended) for this faq. it is no secret i think you have the reasoning
ability of a juvenile turnip, and your philosophy is dumber still, but:
you are consistent, your philosophy is coherent if silly, and what you
wrote had the ring of truth - you knew your subject and it was pretty
obvious you were not cooking the books with your observations and
anecdotes.

Unlike you and your "green waterfall" evidence, I did not rely on
anecdotes alone to convince anyone of my claim that cat predation plays
a very minor role in the decimation of avian populations. I have
repeated posted the findings of global studies on the stomach contents
of feral cats, (US: Nillson, Sperry, McMurray. New Zealand: Hubbs,
Conan. Australia: Brunner. Europe: Leyerhaussen. Pac. Islds: Van
Aarke. Africa: App. and others). These studies showed that birds
constitue less than 8% of feral cats' diets. Further, the average is
skewed by study results from Pacific Islands where there are no rodent
populations and cats, by necessity, must hone their bird catching
skills or die.

As for your opinion of my philosophy, I think it's fair to let others
here know that you first appeared in this newsgroup as a trophy hunter,
bragging about the thrill of killing African big game on safari. Your
description of death in the rice fields was meant to force vegans to
share in the bloodletting that you so clearly enjoy.

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Old 13-09-2006, 10:01 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,misc.rural,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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Default "dead-frog numbers [was: faq collateral included deaths in organic rice production]"


It's just [email protected] (david harrison) having a troll, frlpwr.

wrote in message oups.com...

wrote:
__________________________________________________ __________
From: diderot
Subject: dead-frog numbers [was: faq collateral included deaths in organic rice production]
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 02:28:51 EDT
Newsgroups: alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,talk.politics.animal s,rec.food.veg
Message-ID:

frlpwr wrote:

Maybe you would like to explain why, when I counter claims of feral
cat depradation with observations gathered over twelve+ years of
daily interaction with feral cats, the members of the peanut gallery
boo, hiss and throw rotten tomatoes?


actually, feral, your thrown-away cat dissertation(s) was the catalyst
(intended) for this faq. it is no secret i think you have the reasoning
ability of a juvenile turnip, and your philosophy is dumber still, but:
you are consistent, your philosophy is coherent if silly, and what you
wrote had the ring of truth - you knew your subject and it was pretty
obvious you were not cooking the books with your observations and
anecdotes.

Unlike you and your "green waterfall" evidence, I did not rely on
anecdotes alone to convince anyone of my claim that cat predation plays
a very minor role in the decimation of avian populations. I have
repeated posted the findings of global studies on the stomach contents
of feral cats, (US: Nillson, Sperry, McMurray. New Zealand: Hubbs,
Conan. Australia: Brunner. Europe: Leyerhaussen. Pac. Islds: Van
Aarke. Africa: App. and others). These studies showed that birds
constitue less than 8% of feral cats' diets. Further, the average is
skewed by study results from Pacific Islands where there are no rodent
populations and cats, by necessity, must hone their bird catching
skills or die.

As for your opinion of my philosophy, I think it's fair to let others
here know that you first appeared in this newsgroup as a trophy hunter,
bragging about the thrill of killing African big game on safari. Your
description of death in the rice fields was meant to force vegans to
share in the bloodletting that you so clearly enjoy.



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Old 14-09-2006, 05:31 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,misc.rural,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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Default "dead-frog numbers [was: faq collateral included deaths in organic rice production]"

On 13 Sep 2006 12:26:21 -0700, wrote:


wrote:
__________________________________________________ __________
From: diderot
Subject: dead-frog numbers [was: faq collateral included deaths in organic rice production]
NNTP-Posting-Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 02:28:51 EDT
Newsgroups: alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,talk.politics.animal s,rec.food.veg
Message-ID:

frlpwr wrote:

Maybe you would like to explain why, when I counter claims of feral
cat depradation with observations gathered over twelve+ years of
daily interaction with feral cats, the members of the peanut gallery
boo, hiss and throw rotten tomatoes?


actually, feral, your thrown-away cat dissertation(s) was the catalyst
(intended) for this faq. it is no secret i think you have the reasoning
ability of a juvenile turnip, and your philosophy is dumber still, but:
you are consistent, your philosophy is coherent if silly, and what you
wrote had the ring of truth - you knew your subject and it was pretty
obvious you were not cooking the books with your observations and
anecdotes.

Unlike you and your "green waterfall" evidence, I did not rely on
anecdotes alone to convince anyone of my claim that cat predation plays
a very minor role in the decimation of avian populations.


How many cats are you talking about?

I have
repeated posted the findings of global studies on the stomach contents
of feral cats, (US: Nillson, Sperry, McMurray. New Zealand: Hubbs,
Conan. Australia: Brunner. Europe: Leyerhaussen. Pac. Islds: Van
Aarke. Africa: App. and others). These studies showed that birds
constitue less than 8% of feral cats' diets. Further, the average is
skewed by study results from Pacific Islands where there are no rodent
populations and cats, by necessity, must hone their bird catching
skills or die.


Why not eliminate them, like you "aras" want to do with domestic
cats, dogs, cows, pigs, horses, sheep, turkeys, goats...?

As for your opinion of my philosophy, I think it's fair to let others
here know that you first appeared in this newsgroup as a trophy hunter,
bragging about the thrill of killing African big game on safari. Your
description of death in the rice fields was meant to force vegans to
share in the bloodletting that you so clearly enjoy.


The vegan denial of their contribution to cds in rice production or
any other is FAR more contemptible than diderot bragging about
something he honestly did and is proud of.
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Old 14-09-2006, 05:31 PM posted to alt.animals.ethics.vegetarian,misc.rural,alt.food.vegan,talk.politics.animals
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Default "dead-frog numbers [was: faq collateral included deaths in organic rice production]"

On Wed, 13 Sep 2006 22:01:03 +0100, "pearl" wrote:


It's just [email protected] (david harrison) having a troll, frlpwr.


It's me presenting info that you "aras" hate, because that's
what I'm here to do. The fact that you "aras" do hate it, means
that it's a good thing to present. Duh.


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