Author Topic: Goatherds Wanted in Portugal  (Read 491 times)

Offline Fleur-de-Lys

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Goatherds Wanted in Portugal
« on: August 19, 2019, 12:51:09 PM »
Here is a great opportunity:

Portugal is Using Goats to Prepare for Wildfires, But There’s Not Enough Shepherds
Tom McKay
Saturday 6:30pm

https://earther.gizmodo.com/portugal-is-using-goats-to-prepare-for-wildfires-but-t-183733704


Goats used to clear brush in Portugal’s Algarve region, 2018.
Photo: Armando Franca (AP)

Portugal, which has been ravaged by wildfires of increasing severity and duration in the era of climate change, is turning back to the goat to clear underbrush in the hopes of limiting potential fuel sources for the blazes, the New York Times reported on Saturday.

One issue? A critical shortage of goatherds and shepherds in the ongoing pilot program dedicated to the initiative. Per the Times, after starting with a budget of “just a few thousand euros” last year, the Portuguese government program has managed to enlist nearly 11,000 goats—quite a few but still not enough:

So far, it has enlisted 40 to 50 goatherds and shepherds across the country, with a combined livestock of 10,800 goats that graze across about 6,700 acres, in selected areas that are more vulnerable to fire.

“When people abandon the countryside, they also leave the land extremely vulnerable to fire,” said João Cassinello, a regional official from Portugal’s Agriculture Ministry. “We have lost a way of life in which the forest was seen as valuable.” ... There is no doubt that poor government land management has worsened Portugal’s fires. The project is part of the country’s effort to recover. But challenges remain.
The program is part of a broader effort by the Portuguese government to enhance preventative measures in the wake of multiple high-profile fires in recent years. Wildfires are common Portugal, but the ongoing infernos have reached an unprecedented scale, burning hundreds of thousands of acres annually. In 2017, two giant blazes in the middle of the country killed dozens of people and wiped out the town of Pedrogao Grande, with reports indicating that around half of the 60-plus confirmed deaths there were of residents fleeing in their cars. Portugal’s fire season has expanded from July to the end of September to June until October, according to Time.

While Portugal is now allocating “almost half of its rural firefighting budget on prevention measures,” up from 20 percent in years before, the goat-centered effort has remained modest, the Times wrote. The intent of the project is to have the herds create natural firewalls in remote areas, preventing or at least stalling fires from expansion. (Goats are voracious brush-eaters, with 10 goats capable of clearing an acre in a month.) But there’s a shortage of shepherds willing to do the work, which is part of the pattern of rural depopulation that has played a large part in regions of Portugal becoming particularly vulnerable to wildfires in the first place.

“It’s just become very hard to find people willing to do this hard work and live in such areas,” a board member for the forestry and conservation institute in charge of the project, Nuno Sequeira, told the Times. Shepherd Leonel Martins Pereira, a project participant with a herd of 150 Algarve goats, said that he estimated the extra earnings from the initiative at just $3.35 a day—much cheaper than operating machines to do the work of stripping areas of underbrush but not enough to justify moving his herd to at-risk areas that are sometimes less than ideal for farming by government request.

“The state has been wasting taxpayers’ money for years by mismanaging forests and is now saving some money, but without compensating the shepherds properly,” Pereira told the Times. “Being a shepherd is a vocation, but I don’t think this is worth the extra work and hassle.”

“In the past we never used to have such massive fires like today,” Fernando Moura, whose herd of 370 goats was tasked with clearing nearly 125 acres of firewall over five years, told Agence France-Presse last year. “We used to have thousands of animals cleaning up by grazing and there were hundreds of herders like me. Now I am the last.”
 
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Offline Vetus Ordo

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Re: Goatherds Wanted in Portugal
« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2019, 08:38:23 AM »
A nice opportunity for those who want to have an experience working abroad in a traditional occupation, far from the decadence usually associated with city life and in a country that is still culturally Catholic.

And you'll be just a step away from Fátima.
DISPOSE OUR DAYS IN THY PEACE, AND COMMAND US TO BE DELIVERED FROM ETERNAL DAMNATION, AND TO BE NUMBERED IN THE FLOCK OF THINE ELECT.
 
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Offline Sempronius

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Re: Goatherds Wanted in Portugal
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2019, 09:55:47 AM »
Sounds great. A big difference from the job I just recently applied for: washing carpets, sorting them and letting machines put them in a washing machine and then roll them in and make them ready for transportation.
 

Offline Sempronius

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Re: Goatherds Wanted in Portugal
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2019, 09:58:49 AM »
Happy the man, whose wish and care
   A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
                            In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
   Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
                            In winter fire.

Blest, who can unconcernedly find
   Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
                            Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease,
   Together mixed; sweet recreation;
And innocence, which most does please,
                            With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
   Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
                            Tell where I lie.
 
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Offline Maximilian

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Re: Goatherds Wanted in Portugal
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2019, 10:52:20 AM »
Happy the man, whose wish and care
   A few paternal acres bound,
Content to breathe his native air,
                            In his own ground.

Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
   Whose flocks supply him with attire,
Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
                            In winter fire.

Blest, who can unconcernedly find
   Hours, days, and years slide soft away,
In health of body, peace of mind,
                            Quiet by day,

Sound sleep by night; study and ease,
   Together mixed; sweet recreation;
And innocence, which most does please,
                            With meditation.

Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
   Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
                            Tell where I lie.

Thanks. I'm posting the link for those who want to know:

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46561/ode-on-solitude

Ode on Solitude
BY ALEXANDER POPE

Quote
Thus let me live, unseen, unknown;
   Thus unlamented let me die;
Steal from the world, and not a stone
                            Tell where I lie.

I was with him until this last stanza.
I'm not certain that is the most Catholic way to die.
 

Offline Sempronius

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Re: Goatherds Wanted in Portugal
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2019, 11:04:06 AM »
Alexander Pope was a Catholic but not a ”good” one. He didnt show any love to the Catholic way of life. So yeah, Its not much of a pious death, but a nice and calm philosophical life.
 

Offline Maximilian

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Re: Goatherds Wanted in Portugal
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2019, 02:19:28 PM »

Alexander Pope was a Catholic

Yes.


 but not a ”good” one.

I don't think it's fair to make that judgment.


He didnt show any love to the Catholic way of life.

His most famous lines of poetry are in praise of the vocation of chastity.
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44892/eloisa-to-abelard

Eloisa to Abelard
BY ALEXANDER POPE

How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;
Labour and rest, that equal periods keep;
"Obedient slumbers that can wake and weep;"
Desires compos'd, affections ever ev'n,
Tears that delight, and sighs that waft to Heav'n.
Grace shines around her with serenest beams,
And whisp'ring angels prompt her golden dreams.
For her th' unfading rose of Eden blooms,
And wings of seraphs shed divine perfumes,
For her the Spouse prepares the bridal ring,
For her white virgins hymeneals sing,
To sounds of heav'nly harps she dies away,
And melts in visions of eternal day.
 
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Offline Sempronius

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Re: Goatherds Wanted in Portugal
« Reply #7 on: August 20, 2019, 03:09:11 PM »
I put good in quotation marks because I dont think he went to mass regularly and most of his friends were either anglicans or philophers..