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Hoofprints on the Land

Hoofprints on the Land

This book argues that traditional nomadic herding practices offer lessons for regenerating a healthy planet and producing food sustainably.

Publisher’s summary

Perfect for fans of English Pastoral and Wilding, Hoofprints on the Land shows that herding cultures are not a thing of the past but a regenerative model for our future.

Hoofprints on the Land is a fascinating and lyrical book exploring the deep and ancient working partnerships between people and animals. UN advocate and camel conservationist Ilse Köhler-Rollefson writes a passionate rallying cry for those invisible and forgotten herding cultures that exist all over the world, and how by embracing these traditional nomadic practices, we can help restore and regenerate the Earth. Ilse has spent the last 30 years living with and studying the Raika camel herders in Rajasthan, India, and she shows how pastoralists can address many of the problems humanity faces.

Whether it be sheep, cattle, reindeer, camels, alpacas, goats, or yaks—this ancient and natural means of keeping livestock challenges the myth that animal-free agriculture is the only way forward for a healthy planet.

From the need to produce food more sustainably and equitably to the consequences of climate change, land degradation and loss of biodiversity, we can learn from pastoralists to help repair the human relationship with livestock to return to a model of intelligent cooperation rather than dominance.

As Ilse writes: “Herding is therapy, not just for the planet, but also for our souls.”



Köhler-Rollefson, I. (2023). Hoofprints on the Land: How Traditional Herding and Grazing Can Restore the Soil and Bring Animal Agriculture Back in Balance with the Earth. Chelsea Green Publishing, Vermont. 

Read more here. See also the TABLE explainer Focus: the difficult livestock issue.

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