Great synopsis of the benefits of grass-fed animals

November 2, 2010
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            This article provides a detailed analysis of the essentials of grass-fed animals. Robinson, the author, states that the major benefit of raising animals on pasture is that their products are healthier compared to those fed with growth-promoting additives. Unlike grain-fed, industrial animals, grass-fed animals do not need antibiotics or other drugs to maintain their health.

Meat from grass-fed cows, bison, lamb or goats has less total fat, less saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. It also has more Vitamin E, beta-carotene, Vitamin C, and other health-promoting fats like omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid or CLA which is known to its multitude benefits in various animal studies including fat reduction, increase in lean muscle mass, reduced risk of diabetes, reversal of arteriosclerosis, and a marked reduction in tumor growth.

Many pasture-based ranchers refer to themselves as “grass farmers” rather than the typical ‘ranchers”. They believe that high-quality pasture is the key to high-quality animal products.

Comparing pasture methods to factory farming, factory farming creates a lot of problems such as animal stress and abuse, pollution, unnecessary use of drugs, low-paid and stressful farm work, and food with less nutritional value.

Animals raised in factory farms like cattle, dairy cows, goats, bison, and sheep are given diets designed to boost their productivity at lower costs. The same is true with chickens, turkeys, and pigs that are also being raised in confinement. They suffer an even worse fate than other livestock animals.

They are tightly packed into cages, sheds, or pens, thus, they cannot do their normal behaviours such as rooting, grazing, and roosting. Aside from that, these animals deposit large amounts of manure in a small amount of space which often leads to ground and water pollution.

However, when you choose to eat meat, eggs, and dairy products from animals raised on pasture, you are improving the welfare of the animals. Moreover, you can help to put an end to environmental degradation and help small-scale ranchers and farmers make a living from the land. You can also help sustain rural communities, and give your family the healthiest possible food to eat.

Source:  Robinson, J. (2010). Grass-Fed Basics. Retrieved on November 1, 2010, from http://www.eatwild.com/basics.html.

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