Well-behaved animals, a documentary filmed in Deux-Sèvres

Rémy Laugier has the chance to combine two fascinating professions: director of animal documentaries and breeder of organic cows in the open air. When his parents died, he took over the family farm with his sister and brother. In other words, he knows what he is talking about when it comes to ecology, environmental preservation and agriculture.

Shaped by extensive livestock farming, the bocage of Deux-Sèvres is of considerable richness: plants, insects, birds and mammals take advantage of the many hedges, meadows, ponds and wetlands offered by this ecosystem.

Unfortunately, breeding today has a bad press and more and more
hedges are uprooted in favor of large cereal monocultures completely
devoid of all animal life.

Eraising cows pollutes a lot. To make a kilo of meat, you need 10,000 liters of water; the carbon footprint of livestock farming is disastrous. Beyond the mere exposition of numbers, the reality is obviously
much more complex.

Through the testimonies of farmers and naturalists, I want to show that another model is possible.

On the family farm, the cattle are outdoors all year round and feed on grass from spring to autumn, and hay in winter. Rémy Laugier has dug
ponds that are home to frogs, newts, dragonflies and a host of other species. The
meadows are delimited by many hedges where sparrows find food and refuge, and finally the permanent meadows allow the maintenance of a rich and varied flora.

Eating meat from this farm is very beneficial for the environment. Breeding is therefore not the problem, but INTENSIVE breeding.

In fact, if you only consume organic vegetables, this does not necessarily guarantee that it is ecologically responsible.

Indeed, unlike livestock farming, field crops, whether organic or not,
are deserts of biodiversity. Often, we uprooted all the hedges, filled in the ponds, drained the streams… Opposing breeding and cultivation, vegan and omnivorous is not relevant in terms of ecologically responsible consumption. It is especially necessary to oppose the breeding and the intensive cultures (organic or not) with the breeding and the extensive cultures in polyculture/breeding which preserve the biodiversity and the landscapes.

Everywhere in France, farmers are getting organized to implement practices that are more respectful of the environment. This is also the case in Deux-Sèvres with the creation of the label: “Culture and taste” which will make it possible to group together as many farms as possible.

Climate change and agriculture, the challenges of tomorrow

Extreme climatic episodes are now unfortunately more and more frequent. Thanks to hedges and trees, the extensive model defends itself much better than the intensive model. The trees bring freshness to the plots, bring up the water by capillarity and the hedges retain the earth in the event of flooding and heavy rains. The runoff digs into the fields and brings tons of sludge into the rivers. It is an ecological disaster.

Another aspect of things, in the extensive model, the farmer is less taken by the throat by the yield. The extensive model is much more flexible to withstand the effects of climate change.

Prohibit the uprooting of hedges, prohibit the pruning of hedges in the spring, control more strictly the spreading of manure in the fields…Etat has the power to change everything very quickly thanks to the CAP. Farmers will find their way, consumers will find their way and the environment will be cleaned up.

WELL-RAISED ANIMALS

52″ documentary
Co-production: France Télévisions /Because! production
Producer: Norbert Liard
Writer-director: Rémy Laugier

Broadcast: Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 11:05 p.m.
On France 3 New Aquitaine

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