Here’s the quote of the week from a restoration pessimist:
“You can’t take hamburger and turn it back into a cow.”
In its full context from the Ecosystem Marketplace:
“You can’t take hamburger and turn it back into a cow, and similarly it’s very difficult to take destroyed wetland and bring it back to a fully functioning wetland,” Bennett said.
I cannot tell if the quote is a call for vegetarianism or if it has some relationship to wetland restoration. The difference is that it is impossible to turn your hamburger back into a cow; it is merely difficult to restore a wetland.
Wetland, or other ecosystem, restoration takes knowledge of how the ecosystem functions in a less disturbed state and the patience to get there. Thankfully, mitigation professionals exist who understand the complexity and are willing to put their livelihoods on the line to produce fully functioning, restored ecosystems…no bovine slaughtering necessary.