We have the best and most plentiful food in the world.
Find something else to worry about.
1. Grass-fed animals don’t need the large quantities of antibiotics that feedlot cattle do.
Industrialized farming requires disgustingly dirty living conditions for the animals being prepared for slaughter and eventually human consumption. Because the animals are not living in healthy environments, they have to be pumped full of antibiotics in order to keep them from becoming diseased. The practice is now so common that according to the FDA 80 percent of antibiotics used in the United States, are used not in humans but in animals, and most of those – an estimated 83 percent -are given to healthy animals, not to treat the sick ones. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognize, the “overuse and misuse of antibiotics in food animals” is a major source of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that are affecting humans, a major public health crisis. Increasingly, bacteria are resistant to multiple antibiotics, leading to infections that are difficult to treat and sometimes impossible to cure, require longer and more expensive hospital stays, and are more likely to be fatal. At the same time, the development of new antibiotics has slowed to a trickle. In some cases, there are now few or no antibiotics that work to treat drug resistant bacterial infections. Pastured cattle don’t require the drugs their CAFO’d cousins do. But again, a wise shopper should know that antibiotics are allowed for certain grass-fed certification programs, USDA Process Verified for one, while not for others, such as the American Grassfed Association.
2. I want the health benefits
What a cow eats can have a major effect on the nutrient composition of the beef. This is particularly evident when it comes to the fatty acid composition. Grass-fed usually contains less total fat than grain-fed beef, which means that gram for gram, grass-fed beef contains fewer calories. Grass-fed beef has slightly less saturated and monounsaturated fats. Grass-fed beef contains up to 5 times more Omega 3s. Grass-fed beef contains about twice as much CLA as grain-fed beef. This fatty acid is associated with reduced body fat and some other beneficial effects. Grass-fed beef contains carotenoid precursors to Vitamin A, such as beta-carotene. It also contains more Vitamin E: This is an antioxidant that sits in your cell membranes and protects them from oxidation. Grass-fed beef contains greater amounts of Micronutrients such as Potassium, Iron, Zinc, Phosphorus and Sodium.
3. Its the right thing to do for the animals
Whether you think the green movement is a complete scam or not, I think we can all agree that treating animals poorly is wrong. I am not a full out vegetarian, I believe in eating meat. That being said I’d rather eat meat that lived a happy life and wasn’t murdered inhumanely. Grain and corn fed cows are often living in conditions that are disgusting. Living in piles of their own feces, too small of living quarters, and abused. If we are going to eat them at the end of the day the least thing we can do is not abuse them for the time they are alive.
4. Its the right thing to do for the Earth
There are so many reasons grass fed meat is the way to go regarding out Earth. Perennial grasses are better for soil. Healthy topsoil is a biological matrix, a housing complex for an incredibly diverse community of organisms. In every handful are billions of beneficial microbes, nitrogen-fixing fungi, nutrients and earthworms whose digestive tracts transform fine grains of sterile rock and plant detritus into the fertile excrement that gave rise to the word dirt itself.
5. For Our Safety
Perennial pasture reduces flooding and pollution-laden runoff. You can claim that this is a silly leftist environmentalist argument, but its common sense and could mean the difference in protecting your neighborhood. Corn and soybean production depletes the soil of its natural health. This greatly diminishes its environmental value, flood control in particular. A stretch of pure prairie will absorb five to seven inches of rain an hour. But when that same land is tilled for corn and soybean production, the normal absorption rate drops to 0.5-1.5 inches an hour. This meant that when the storms of 2008 brought 12 feet of rain to parts of the Midwest in just 24 hours, catastrophic flooding devastated cities and towns throughout the region. Had upriver land been pasture rather than cornfield, the heavy rains might have produced no runoff and that catastrophic flood could have been prevented. If we are feeding our beef for consumption corn, there is a higher demand for these fields and therefore more risk of flooding.
Yes grass-fed meat is more expensive, but honestly at the price we are paying for our health it is worth it. And do you really want to continue contributing to something that is abusive? Its a small price to pay for your health and doing what is right for animals that are already being slaughtered for your consumption.
Do you eat grass-fed meat? Will you after reading this discussion post? I am open to hearing your answers both for and against.
By Peter T. Burke
@grand-vizier grass fed meat is better for you and it tastes better.
@jlriggs57aol-com as I mentioned I will eat things with a face, although I do feel some guilt about it. But its natural, we are meant to eat meat but I think we should respect the animals. After all doesn’t the bible say we are supposed to take care of animals? Im sure it doesn’t say it in those terms but you probably know better than I do what the bible says regarding being stewards of the Earth and its creatures not abusing them.
With all due respect, have you ever actually toured a feeder lot?
“Industrialized farming requires disgustingly dirty living conditions for the animals being prepared for slaughter and eventually human consumption”
Really? Where is it required? And by whom?
“Because the animals are not living in healthy environments, they have to be pumped full of antibiotics in order to keep them from becoming diseased”
This is a straw man argument. The straw man is the first sentence and the knockdown is the second sentence.
Again, have you ever toured a large, medium, or small feeder lot?
If I put $100,000 into a feeder lot investment and then go by and see that the cows are being maintained as you say, what do you think I am going to do? Celebrate?
Debilitated or sick cows equal lower prices at the slaughter house. That is my money we are talking about. That does not work for me.
Bruised cows means dark cutters at the slaughter house and again lower income to me. Dark cutters are charged back to me and that doesn’t work for me.
A 1,200 lb cow (premium stock) goes through the sale ring at about $2.20 because it dresses out to around 575 lbs. 50 lbs of dark cut is charged back to me based on dressed weight not what I was paid so it is going to be charged back at around $4.96 a pound. That does not work for me.
Do you have any idea of what antibiotics cost? Noromycin (oxytetracycline) in a pack of 12 – 500 cc bottle is enough to treat 24 cows for 3 to 4 days – and costs $893 for one pack.
Do you have any idea of what I will do to some clown that lets 600 cows go down?
I would appreciate it if you could tell me where this stuff comes from.
I agree with you that grass-fed beef is a better product (better taste, quality, etc) but it is in diminishing supply due to the land requirements to run a grass-fed herd.
A second topic: Most of Not-Texas gets very cold in the winter and the graze is covered with snow. Cattle require feed regardless of the weather. How would you propose to house a small herd of say 5,000 cows in the areas where it does snow and the temperatures get down to cold enough to kill cows and calves? How would you get feed to them every day when the roads are frozen over and blocked by snow as we saw in this past winter?
Cows (general Bos Taurus) drink around 20 to 30 gallons of water per day per cow. How would you water the herd when the temperatures are at or below freezing for months?
Feeder lots are very intense operations but a feeder lot that is poorly run will have problems with cows with the scours – and that can mean a loss of 25% of body weight in just a few days – and that results in “No Sale” due to substandard condition of the stock.
I ran Texas Longhorns (250 to 350). I am in South Texas which is pretty dry most of the time. Longhorns drink around 10 gallons of water a day per cow. They are good grazers on very poor graze since they can be run at around 1 head per 5 acres around here. English cattle (Angus, etc) generally need around 20 gallons of water and 1 head to around 25 acres because they can’t or won’t eat a lot of what grows here.
My neighbor ran a herd of 10,000 to 15,000 head on 65,000 acres and struggled to make money. I ran 250 to 350 head on 750 acres + 4200 leased graze and made money – but my grass-fed Genuine Texas Longhorns dress out like deer so the meat would run around $10 a lb. How does $20 a pound for hamburger in the grocery store sound to you?
Here is a link to an all grass fed no chemicals meat supplier. let me know what you think about the prices.
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