Opperman (1952) described the interaction between animals, plants and the environment as follows:
These limiting factors (temperature, humidity & light) make definite and inexorable demands which in South Africa, with its relatively changeable, difficult, and exacting conditions such as an irregular and mostly low rainfall, create a definite pattern or fundamental standard. An organism which adapts itself to this pattern with difficulty or weakly, will suffer distress. In proportion to the degree the vegetation and animal life deviates from the requisite pattern they will endure discomfort and degenerate and in the long run become extinct.
It is quite clear why there are such divergent and unique well adapted game animals as well as indigenous sheep, cattle and goat breeds to be found in Southern Africa. Without these hardy indigenous breeds farming in South Africa by black as well as white farmers will be virtually impossible.
Dr Laurie Hammond (1985) director of the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization, stated that 40% of the world’s 4000 domestic livestock breeds, are in danger of becoming extinct. The worldwide trend for super breeds could be wiping out thousands of indigenous breeds with their unique abilities to perform in harsh environments. Hammond (op.cit.) continued: Breeds of cattle, pigs, and poultry, once the backbone of farming economics in many countries, were replaced by a few super breeds which only performed in ideal conditions. Irreplaceable genetic resources are being lost. Many of these native breeds have maintained humans for more than 10 000 years.
"Their loss is not just a matter of heritage. It’s very much about our future."
Over centuries the Veld Goat survived a long and dangerous migration journey through Africa, and its genes have developed naturally towards functional efficiency.
Some of these natural indigenous eco-types almost disappeared with the purifying of the Boer Goat.
The basis for every breeder's selection should be for natural, functional efficient animals, with the emphasis on fertility.