I thought this was a great story I heard on NPR this morning about the Navajo Churro sheep breed.I couldn't help but be reminded of the IDI (Azawakh to us) and how they are an integrated part of the culture they come from where a livelihood linked to their livestock is also key.
The Churro is more than just a sheep.And the Azawakh - IDI is more than just a dog.
Preserving the breeds of animals is directly linked with preserving these endangered cultures and traditional ways of life. The constant encroachment of globalization and modernization make it increasingly difficult to "earn a living" within a traditional lifestyle.More and more of the young people leave those traditions behind along with the knowledge of those cultures and the keeping of those practices, including the uniquely specialized animals.
In the story of the Churro, I especially like how the professor managed to work with the herders and elders in the community to establish a breeding program.He was able to reintroduce the keeping of these sheep through-out their native area.
I hope there is still a chance to learn more deeply from the native people of the Sahel.