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Factory Farm Meat: Why Vegetarians, Ranchers and Conscious Omnivores Need to Unite


#1

Factory Farm Meat: Why Vegetarians, Ranchers and Conscious Omnivores Need to Unite

Ronnie Cummins

For the first time since the advent of industrial agriculture, the federal government is considering advising Americans to eat “less red and processed meat.”

That advice is the outcome of studies conducted by an independent panel of “experts” which was asked by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for recommended changes to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines.


#2

Properly grazed land sequesters carbon, turning dry, desert like landscape into attractive greening areas. More than one study have shown pictures of before and after landscapes where animals have rotated into and out of fields and improved them. This surprised me.


#3

Wonder how many people are employed in some manner by this subsidized industry.


#4

Here is a great organization that works world wide to connect farmers and ranchers directly to families and individuals who what truly healthy fresh produce and meat.

http://www.slowfoodusa.org/about-us
http://www.slowfoodusa.org/slow-meat-2015

of course OCA is awesome as is Food Democracy Now!
http://action.fooddemocracynow.org

Thanks Ronnie for all you and your peers do!


#5

Simply because one takes pictures of grasslands doesn't show in the least that cattle improves soil. The math and science when utilized as a source of food has shown that cattle destroys soils, habitats and ecosystems. They cause deforestation and fires. Those trying to prove otherwise have all been debunked. There is no way vegans and ranchers will work together because they disagree about the sustainability of the animal agriculture industry. The free range grass fed crowd are elitists not realizing the impacts that have already been done and the future ones if everyone who eats animals switched their source. There are two solutions, go plant based or decide which 6 billion people need to be exterminated. Going plant based seems like a much better saner solution. Meat eaters will disagree as a typical drug addict does when confronted with the truth. Denial.


#6

Yes, getting red meat out of your diet is a very good idea for both dietary and environmental reasons.

But not eating meat while still eating sugar, other refined starches, and processed foods isn't going to help much

mcp


#8

You do realize that you would have to have 19 children that were vegan to create the footprint required for one meat eating child? So you think exterminating 6 billion humans cause it's not your fault is acceptable? All so you can torture animals and eat your meat? It might be wise to realize the poorest least educated are the people who breed like rats. All that poverty was created so people who affluent in first world countries may eat the way they do. They breed that way not because they eat plants but because they are uneducated and are trying to survive. They have low mortality rates so must have many children so a few make it. And you are sick enough to blame them?


#10

Rotation of herding does create an improve soil. There were gigantic herds of herbivores roaming our continents for millions of years without destroying the environment, in fact, certain grasses evolved to depend on this cycle. This is a great and accurate article which also addresses the aggressive elitism of the Vegan crowd. We evolved as omnivores and we can raise animals humanely in a way that helps the planet. Eating meat daily as a primary food is not sustainable but we can eat less of it and have healthier animal products and a healthier ecosystem.


#11

It isn't just vegetarians, ranchers and conscious omnivores that need to unite, it's all sensible people who are dissatisfied with the way the US is run.

A single progressive party of the people is necessary if any popular change is to be realized.

Say no to lesser-evilism, refuse to vote Democrat. The Greens await your support.


#12

I'd add that its possible to subscribe to the National Farmers Union - and perhaps even consider becoming a member to all of the above
http://www.nfu.org/


#13

The cruelty of factory farming is well known and I am glad the author does not leave it out of this article, as is often the case when addressing the environmental and climate impacts of factory farms. Sadly, despite every effort to raise animals humanely, the horrors that take place in the slaughterhouses need to be addressed as well. Work speed-up has contributed to the intense suffering of animals in these assembly lines of death, and this is an issue that merits equal attention.


#15

WOW, hell must be freezing over, with pigs set to fly over that cold expanse as we speak. I actually agree with armybrat and pechorin.

The "the world becomes become vegan or mass genocide is the only alternative" is alarmist crap. Like all fundamentalist extremists, hard-core vegans can see no middle ground. This fact alone makes their position untenable and unsupportable by the wider public.

As counter-intuitive as it may seem, raising the standard of living for the poor above subsistence levels and encouraging secular (non-religious) education/social constructs is the best statistical correlate to reducing birthrates.


#16

Our "Western" illnesses (diabetes, cancers, heart disease) are more closely tied to the chemicals/antibiotics/hormones found in foods. Just TRY to avoid glutamates (MSG is just one variant of this toxic compound) in prepared foods... disguised and hidden on labels as/in: yeast extract, hydrolyzed/autolyzed whatever, carageean, soy protein, celery extract and my favourite, "natural flavouring".

So if "health" is the concern start with the chemicals etc. IN THE FOOD.

If GHG's are the concern, look at industrial-scale food production, not small/medium farming. The production of fertilizers from natural gas alone contribute more than bovine gases and excreta.

Ans don't even think about saying the GMO/fertilizer/Round-Up/Agent Orange "revolution" will increase output AND nutritional value. It's a lie, a straight out lie.


#17

The Innu lived perfectly healthy lives on a primarily red-meat/blubber diet for millennia before the Europeans "discovered" the Arctic. So "red meat and fat" are not the health bogeymen we have been propagandized to believe. Millennia of farmers fed themselves and local populations without the severe environmental damage industrial farming produces, so another propaganda bogeyman bites the dust. The US gov'ts own figures show fertilizer production creates more GHG's than bovine flatulence, and when the industrial animal feedstock production is considered, pasture-fed beef looks a lot better than industrial beef.

But consider the chemicals, antibiotics and hormones used in industrial meat and feedstock production, then a witches' brew of carcinogens and other toxins is easily discovered. Then add in the food "additives" in processing so many prepared "foods"... it's a wonder we aren't all dead at 30. The chemical load all "western" humans carry is staggering, considering that before the mid-1800's, industrial-scale chemical production as we now know it was nearly non-existent.

The food (both meat and grain/fruit/vegetable) pushed at us by Big Ag, Big Pharma and Big Chemical is merely the delivery system for what sickens and kills us.


#18

Alcohol was consumed for millennia why do native Americans have such problems with Alcohol and why did they have such problems with viruses that Europeans were able to survive? "Guns Germs and Steel"


#20

Total non-sequitur. You are misreading Diamond in comparing "native" alcohol and viruses/bacteria exposure to the massive chemical load all humans in "developed" nations carry. Are you trying to say that people who APPARENTLY can tolerate such chemical loads are "superior", like you posit Europeans were compared to "natives"?

So explain the skyrocketing rates of diabetes, cancers, obesity and respiratory/circulatory diseases in "developed" populations vs those with more traditional local diets and farming practices.

All humans would be healthier with out the chemical load we carry, mostly of chemicals not even invented before the mid-1800's. Certainly there were other factors which made life for the masses "shorter, brutish", but ubiquitous disease due to food-borne ingestion of hormones, antibiotics, herbicides and insecticides, as well as 'additives" like MSG are a largely ignored modern phenomenon. Layering unproven GMO "foods" on top of this is a massive experiment using the entire human race and the ecosystem we exist in at risk of unintended consequences.

Before this crap was EVER released on the public, the CEO's, scientists and politicians who think this is an unmitigated good should be the guinea pigs. And their families, for at least 4 generations to see if this is truly safe. My guess is, most of the elite drivers of this crap-tech eat organic.


#21

I never mentioned superior only pointed out adjustments and evolution. A fat diet of blubber would take time to adjust to. Eating a diversified diet with less fat and red meat makes sense not only physically but in terms of the environment. Water use per # of meat is not sustainable nor is the rate of deforestation to supply an increasing world demand for meat products. Already 47% of soy and corn in America goes to feed animals. Antibiotic use in meat production is skyrocketing faster than the demand for meat and as China continues its economic growth this will only get worse.


#22

Then you should have presented that in a way I could not misinterpret what you "meant" as you didn't overtly "say" it. The most probable "adaptation" would be to intestinal flora which symbiotically aids digestion. I doubt there is a significant genetic difference between the Innu who once ate primarily meat, the Masai of cow-milk/blood fame or the seafood-heavy diet of Polynesians (all their modernized descendents eat a mixed diet) .

Unless the numbers you rely on separate water-use into feed-lot/industrial feed production vs rotated-crop mixed small-medium production numbers, that point is unsupportable.

I only buy local-raised/butchered meat, no hormones/antibiotics and no-gmo/herbicides/insecticides-fed. We eat less of it, not due to cost, but because it is is so much more satisfying and nutritious. It is my experience that those traces chemicals/etc. suppress the satiety triggers, contributing to the overeating so prevalent.

So getting the chemicals out, in and of itself will decrease consumption. AND we'd all be healthier.


#23

"It takes a lot of grassland to raise a grassfed steer. Western rangelands are vast, but not nearly vast enough to sustain America’s 100 million head of cattle. There is no way that grassfed beef can begin to feed the current meat appetites of people in the United States, much less play a role in addressing world hunger." The vast majority of beef comes from feedlots and it is growing at about 20 % a year. It takes more protein to raise a pound of beef protein then is found in a pound of beef. It is not a sustainable food source without the huge subsidies to feed production water use etc.


#24

Oddly, the same midwest grasslands supported at least 75 million buffalo before the Europeans showed up. And buffalo were not the only herbivores on the plains, so the carrying capacity was even higher. Having all but destroyed that ecosystem, the smartest guys in the room are making excuses for their inability to see the results of their collective handiwork.

The US will never be the food basket to the world, and if factory/mono-agriculture colonization was stopped wortld-wide, local populations could again feed themselves. Assuming the US/NATO stopped destroying great swaths of societies with bombs and other economic interferences.

How about the US reduces its own population to fit the carrying capacity of the land/resources within its borders?

The water required for feedlot operations and feed stocks are only a small part of the problem.

Again, GET THE CHEMICALS OUT OF THE FOOD (which by definition CANNOT be done in factory-farming systems) and health/environment benefits begin. But that would cut Big Ag, Big Chemical and Big Pharma profits.