Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Grassfed or Grain

Today I stumbled on this: zero carb daily oct. 8th 2006 Now I have to say that is the biggest load of &*%$ I ever read. --O.k. I will apologize for word use and maybe its not the biggest load I ever read but still let me say some things that bug me immensely about this particular posting. I am going to disregard the part about it being healthier or not since I am not a scientist. But here goes on the other things:

1. Are they happier---well my animals would tell you yes, being in a pasture makes them happy. Just try keeping them in for a month or more (has happened for various reasons) and you won't have seen such joy as when you let them out. Jumping, kicking, twisting and running around. They aren't that stupid.
2. Feeding of hay : What do they think that cattle in confinement eat? Sugar cubes? Cows HAVE to have a certain amount of grass or hay everyday---it's the fiber in their diet. Their system won't work if they don't have some. Besides--growing corn (which makes them grow faster) to feed confinement cows creates more problems than growing a mono culture of grass--over use of chemicals, petro based fertilizers, WATER, gas consumption in its own right, soil erosion. Also, mono culture has never been advocated by the grass fed industry---they like to have a variety of grasses. Yes, I will agree that FARMERS have a tendency to grow only a few different types of grass. Human nature there. How many tomato varieties make it to the grocery store though???
3. The form of E coli that recently caused deaths by eating the spinach ----that form of e coli is ONLY found in confinement cattle. IT is a form that was discovered in the 70's I think (could be early 80's) and "developed/grew/mutated" into that deadly form because of the un natural environment created in the cattle's stomach from feeding it grain. Its called acidosis---a cows stomach is suppose to have a neutral ph--and grain basically give them acid reflux. To this day---that is the only place that form of e coli comes from.
4. Grass fed cattle pollute streams and foul springs. ---HAH! not nearly as badly as the build up of manure and the HUGE cess pits of foul fecal matter at confinement facilities that seep and run off into the water (of course they aren't SUPPOSE to seep and run off). Also let's not forget that so much chemical fertilizer/nitrogen is applied to the corn grown for cattle (which by the way doesn't allow for native grasses to be grown where it is) causes build ups of nitrates in well water. Check out this post: November 19th 2006.
5. Grass fed are vulnerable to predators---Well, if you ever saw or read anything about those cattle in confinement and their life: You to would rather be eaten by a cougar. On the other hand there are such things as great Pyrenees (like we use) that EFFECTIVELY help with livestock predation.
6. Grass fed interrupt natural processes including wildfire: hahahahahhahahahaha AS IF man hasn't already done that well enough himself and in such a manner that has absolutely nothing what so ever to do with cattle/sheep/hogs or any other animal run on pasture.
7. With knowledge of how to run an effect grass fed/rotational grazing operations---stocking density can be controlled so that wildlife is not unduly effected. As a matter of fact some places leave some areas underutilized during times when birds are sitting their nests to help allow for egg hatching and chick growth.

As with anything man does---all things can be done incorrectly, including grass feeding animals. BUT---if I where to choose one thing done right over another done the way it was meant to be: I would choose grass fed done right any day of the week. Done right---confinement is still a nasty nasty way to live and definitely the wrong way to go. Why do you think antibiotic use is so high----if you lived cheek to rear end with someone day in and out you would need constant antibiotics too.
If you are curious about the "other" side of the coin here is a place to start: Stockman Grass farmer. Good monthly paper that advocates natural/organic/grass fed. Another is Acres USA


Phelan said...

oh my! I just went and read that link and I must say someone is kidding someone' I live in free range country, cattle roam, forage, that's what they do. Thisoldhouse was right on many points, it's BS propaganda like this that really gets my goat, erm cow.

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

I too agree with Thisoldhouse Phelan: someone in the grain industry/grain fed cattle industry is definitely pulling someone elses leg! And unfortunately it seems to have worked.
Good day to you :-)

BurdockBoy said...

That article was another example of someone choosing to overlook fact for what they want to hear-that everything is fine and they can buy their cheap meat. I tried arguing my side on a blog like that one time and all it did was frustrate me.

farmer, vet and feeder of all animals said...

I can completely understand your frustration burdockboy: But we have to keep plugging along (that's how I look at it---plugging) it is imperative. This must be how Rodale institute and other organic people felt in the late 70's early 80's.

Jenny said...

Wow ... that article really has me shaking my head. You can paint as bad a picture of anything as you like, but without contrasting that picture to the alternatives (in this case feed lot cattle), it means nothing. Good points in your post though!