Farmer in the know: 5 easy ways you can help us help animals
July 23rd, 2012
06:30 PM ET
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Ryan Goodman is a generational rancher from Arkansas with a degree in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University in Animal Science, and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at the University of Tennessee, studying beef cattle management. He is one of many farmers using social media to bridge the gap between farmers and urban customers. Follow his story daily at or on Twitter and Facebook.

Proper animal care is a topic of big concern for anyone talking about our food supply. Recently, Eatocracy featured Humane Society food policy director Matthew Prescott's thoughts about what you, the customer, can do to improve the lives of farm animals. As a farmer, I asked myself what I wish my own customers could do to learn more about animal care standards.

I turned to a friend in Florida who is a cattle veterinarian and, like many of you, a consumer faced with the task of making food choices for her family. Kathy Swift, DVM, grew up on a 100-cow dairy farm in Northern Virginia. She takes great pride in giving the best attention possible for the cattle under her care. While providing quality, individual, veterinary care is essential for these farm animals, it is just as important to her to help her farmers do the best they can to provide the high quality and safe food that meets customers’ expectations.

As a veterinarian working closely with both animals and consumers, Swift thinks it is incredibly important that both parties understand every step of the process of how food, including food from animals, gets to our tables.

Five easy ways customers can help farmers help farm animals

1. Seek out a farm and ask for a tour

Farmers want to show you how they raise their animals, but unfortunately, have done a poor job of letting customers know this. Wondering how to connect with a farm? Try the phone book, a web search or even social media.

If you still cannot find a farm, contact your county or University Extension service or your local or state Farm Bureau. Any of these groups will be able to put you in touch with a farm in your area.

If you have concerns about how "factory farms" take care of their animals, make a point to see of one of them on your farm tours. I can speak from my fifteen years of experience when I say farm size is in no way related to animal welfare.

2. Call the company that produces the animal food products you consume and ask what kind of welfare standards and audits are in place to make sure these animals are receiving proper care

While farmers and food processors have always been concerned about the welfare of the animals, we realize that as more customers become removed from a farm setting, it is important that we have third-party audit systems in place to verify animal care standards. These auditors are generally highly trained professionals such as veterinarians and animal science PhDs who have years of experience with cattle health, nutrition, behavior and welfare. These people use their knowledge, along with scientifically based research to make factually based assessments on whether or not animals are receiving proper care.

3. Learn about the challenges farmers face that do not involve their animals

Farmers face many pressures daily that influence the sustainability of their operations. Many have faced the pressures of having to grow larger and become more efficient in order to stay in business. Some are able to accept these challenges, while others, due to many internal and external pressures, cannot. In order for a farm to remain profitable and sustainable, economic factors must be balanced with animal welfare.

4. If you shop in a grocery store, tell management that you want to meet the farmers who supply the animal food products they sell

These stores need to know that you are concerned about farm animal welfare and you want to get your information directly from the source. Nothing sends a message to a business louder than requests coming directly from the customer. If it is important to you, it is important to them. I have farmer friends who really enjoy participating in grocery store events to meet people buying their products.

5. Know that it is okay to eat meat seven nights a week - if you want to

If you have done your research, and have connected with a farm and food supplier that meets your criteria of humane animal standards, then go ahead and enjoy. If you decide to go meatless a night or two a week, that is okay too. The grain and produce farmers in this country work very hard and deserve just as much recognition for producing a safe food supply. Meat, fish and dairy products can be a part of healthy, balanced diet.

What other things would you like to become more familiar with about animal welfare? Leave a note in the comments below and we'll do our best to get you an expert answer.

Previously - Praying for rain in the Arkansas drought and What a farmer wants you to know about how beef gets to your plate and Start a conversation with a farmer

soundoff (262 Responses)
  1. IShallRemainAnonymous

    Why do chickens taste like my feet?

    November 26, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  2. chijae

    I have always wondered, do chicken wings come from slaughtering very young chickens? How old are chickens that are turned into chicken wings?

    Also, are calves being raised for veal really subjected to the treatment I have heard, such as confinement to a very small cage so they don't develop any muscle mass, and being fed only a liquid diet?

    July 26, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Ann Brush

      Chicken wings are from birds that are slaughtered at the same age that most meat type chickens are slaughtered – approximately 42 days of age – by that age commercial breed birds raised for meat have reached the desired consumer size for breasts, thighs, drumsticks and wings.

      The vast majority of animals raised for veal are not raised in confines you refer to – for one thing all farmers are accutely aware of the prices they receive for their products and do not want to jepordize their revenue from poor quality animals, a consequence of raising them in a poor quality environment.

      August 3, 2012 at 9:26 am |
  3. chijae

    Is it true that sick or injured animals are sometimes dragged into trucks to delivery them to the slaughterhouse when, because of their physical condition, they are not able to walk?

    July 26, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Been There

      No, this is not true. At slaughter plants, the animals must be able to walk off the truck under their own power and must be healthy. They will be condemned if they fall below strict standards and the farmer will not get paid for any condemned animals whether due to injury, sickness, etc. Condemned animals do not enter the food chain.

      July 26, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Former Farmer

      The USDA banned the use of downer cows mostly due to video footage taken of workers at a California slaughterhouse dragging a downed cow. Unfortunately, USDA inspectors can't be everywhere at once to guarantee a slaughterhouse's compliance.

      July 31, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
  4. hex2323

    Finally a sensible article about food production and animal farmers. Looks like meat's back on the menu, boys!

    July 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
  5. Bev

    That head of cabbage is alive too, before you "cut" it.

    July 26, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  6. Curious George

    To all the "don't kill because it is wrong and unecessary" folks, what exactly are we to do with the millions upon millions of livestock and poultry now living in this country (let alone the world)? Shall we set them free?? Not one anti-kill person has EVERsuggested a solution.

    July 26, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Burbank

      Actually that's not true. They say the solution is not to eat meat. Carnivorous pets still need meat, so it's not like we would need to set all the animals free as you suggested. I eat meat myself, but I thought I would rebut your comment because there is a solution so obvious it doesn't need to be stated.

      July 26, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
  7. Erica1112

    Its hysterical that the MEAT eaters are so defensive. What is required in the human diet is PROTEIN, not meat. If you enjoy a nice piece of meat, I hope you know a nice cardiologist, oncologist and gastroenterologist and live close to nice hospital. 80% of the antibiotics produced in this country are used to prevent disease in factory farmed animals. This is why we now have problens with bacterial resistance. Guess who is the ultimate consumer of those antibiotics – human meat eaters – Bon Appetite!

    July 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • Been There

      Oh wow. Here we go again with another person on the "antibiotics are constantly pumped into animals" bandwagon.

      Antibiotics are ONLY used in situations with animals as would be the case when you come down with some bacterial infection such as strep throat let's say. What do you do? It is a sickness that your body cannot fight off on its own or it will progress into something much worse. Same with livestock. If they get sick, they are given antibodies to help their system fight off the infection and restore health.

      Vaccines–just like when you were a kid and got your shots for measles, mumps, etc, you were injected with either a small amount of the live virus or a version of the killed virus in order to stimulate your body's system into developing immunity. Same for livestock while they are young as well.

      Feed additives or supplements: yes these are given every day, but consist of protein suppliment (if the overall ration of roughage and/or grain does not balance out with the daily protein requirements), vitamins, and minerals. So basically no different than you or your kids taking your Flintstones vitamins daily.

      That's it. That's what they get and when. Antibiotics being "pumped" into animals daily is a myth, and a LIE.

      But you will probably reply to me....someone who has been in the cattle industry for 35 years....with accusations that I am in fact lying and that the youtube videos and propaganda from groups like HSUS is gospel.

      Wake up!!

      July 26, 2012 at 12:07 am |
      • Interesting

        One brief search found this and much more information. Note the quote from the researcher at Johns Hopkins ... seems like he'd be an authority to trust.

        From Rodale Press: "For the first time ever, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compiled and released the amount of antibiotics used in animals raised for people to eat, and the amount is even higher than previous estimates from environmental advocacy groups. The FDA concludes that in 2009 alone, farmers used nearly 30 million pounds of antibiotics."

        "A cocktail of drugs, often the same types people rely on, are routinely used to make animals grow faster and to help keep them alive in filthy, crowded conditions that stress them and compromise their immune systems. The concentration of animals and the speedier growth make meat cheaper at the grocery store, but also produce a health threat. 'The use of antibiotics in this context is particularly concerning from a public-health perspective because it has been repeatedly demonstrated that use of these drugs in the animal-production setting speeds the selection for bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics,' explains Keeve Nachman, PhD, assistant scientist and director of the Farming for the Future program at Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, part of the university's Bloomberg School of Public Health. "Infections with these resistant bacteria often do not respond well to antibiotic therapy, which means that treatment can be very expensive and may take longer or, ultimately, be ineffective.'"

        July 26, 2012 at 8:45 am |
        • farmgirl

          And so find out where your food comes from and the conditions under which it was raised. What you said is not true for many farms. Our dairy cows get absolutely NO growth hormones. Some ppl are just too lazy and cheap to make an effort to find out where their food comes from.

          July 26, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
        • Been There

          I know of many cattle feeding operations, including that of my own family that do not administer antibiotics as the FDA study you quoted suggests. Only if and when the animal is sick with a disease that they cannot overcome on their own, just like in humans. Then the manufacturers specs are followed to a T to prevent that animal from entering the food chain for consumption until well after the withdrawal period specified.

          My problem is you can quote FDA and whomever else all you want, but no one here seems to want to believe someone like myself or farmgirl who are in the industry and have been for years, in some cases decades. Instead peoplel like you choose to believe bunk from people in the FDA and really, frankly the USDA, most of whom are not involved in day to day production and are influenced by those who appoint them to their post, which in this day and age seems to be driven by appointees who agree with whatever agenda those in power to appoint want to see happen.

          Do you not understand the difference between an antibiotic, vaccine, and supplement (vitamin)?

          You mentioned in another post that my posts sound angry. You are right, I'm angry. I willing to discuss certain things, but I'm angry when those of us in the industry–who work day and night to make a living– are dismissed as liars, cheats, or otherwise untrustworthy people. There are people out here that know what really goes on. Do I do everything right? No of course not. There are many practices at other farms that might be better than others but the point is, quoting all these things makes no sense. Why? Because for every article or USDA or FDA source you quote, I can quote you 10 more from various Universities that talk about how these very same things in fact do not carry over into the human food supply, based on actual tests and analysis of the meat products after slaughter. Give me some time. I'll come up with a list and post them right here!

          July 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
        • Ann Brush

          The absolute number means nothing, its a press sound bite: How much antibiotics would be used in the routiene treatment of sick animals – presumably this would be completely justified? Whats the amount of annual feed eaten by all livestock? How many pounds of antibiotics do humans consume in the US in a year? Whats the potency of the active ingredient in those millions of pounds, I could double the number by cutting the stated potency in half.

          August 3, 2012 at 9:35 am |
      • Enter Compassion

        Begging your pardon, but dairy cows develop mastitis on a fairly frequent basis and as such are treated with a constant stream of antibiotics to prevent infection. I attended an Agriculture Expo just last week, I spoke to a man who makes plastic parts for dairy cow feeders, just making conversation about the advancements in farming technology. His words: "If you saw what they do to them, you wouldn't touch the stuff."

        If ya'll are treating your animals so well, why are you working SO hard to keep activists with video cameras out of your facilities? If you have nothing to hide, save us the trouble. Give us live video feed on your websites 24/7 and stop asking us to 'trust you'. Why should we trust you, Horsemeat? Nothing Agribusiness has done to the food chain in the last 50 years has been to protect the health of human beings. You haven't put our health over profits, now you want me to believe you put animal welfare above profits and sick animals don't make it into the food supply. Don't piss on my boots and tell me its a rainstorm.

        Last I checked, none of these advancements have solved the hunger problem, at home or abroad. In fact, there is one fantastic solution that would end world hunger in one generation: stop feeding 40% of the worlds crops to livestock while poor children starve to death every single day. The logic is irrefutable. We defend our 'right' to meat three times a day, seven days a week simply because it is pleasurable, not because it is right. Might does not make right. Just because we can doesn't mean we should. The ends never justify the means because the ends and means cannot be separated.

        February 5, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Ann Brush

      Erica1112 beleives that antibiotics are free and that farmers have a mountain of them at their discressional disposal. Do your self a favor and check the prices for some of this stuff, then look at the producer price of meat and see how much anitbiotic you would "PUMP" into your live stck so you could make a living.

      August 3, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  8. Solo

    If you really think that farmers are asking the multiple questions in this article, you are a fool. They are quite happy with all of the subsidy monies and tax breaks they get – they may not be the "1%" crowd, but they are flourishing and off the radar, happily so. They pay little taxes and claim deductions that most of us would love to have, but are not qualifying farm owners. They also have income that keeps them able to qualify for other programs, loans and government bailouts not known to the public. We pay for their publicity ("Got Milk"?) and pay for everything else in their livelihood – it's a dirty little secret just how much they benefit. It's time to stop all of this. A farm is a business – run it well or run it into the ground, but do it without my money.

    July 25, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • farmgirl

      As a farmer I can honestly say I don't want gov subsidy money, it isn't enough to make my business successful, I just want a fair price. I buy retail and sell wholesale and take whatever price I get because that is what the govt and big corporate business decides for me. Many farmers, especially the little guys struggle to get by year after year just barely making it. If fact the small farm is disappearing rapidly because of that. But that's what wins out in Washington because little guys don't have time or money to lobby. That's why it is important to buy local, you support the little guy and in return you get a product whose history you can see for yourself.

      July 26, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • farmgirl

      Oh and I Pay for my own publicity and am required to do so. It comes out of my milk check (and every other dairy farmers) every month.

      July 26, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Been There

      That's right. Got Milk, Other White Meat, Beef..It's what's for dinner....all those campaigns are paid for by those that produce those products, period. Maybe you have heard of the beef or pork checkoff for example. It comes directly out of one's check, and in farmgirl's case in a dairy situation, comes out of her milk check every two weeks as a deduction.

      July 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
      • WHAT?

        Sorry – but you pay a very small stipend for the advertising; my father lobbied for one of the farming industries for three decades – most all of the funding comes directly from taxation. CRY ME A RIVER.

        July 26, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
        • What?

          A couple of questions, if you don't mind:

          1) Which 3 decades would this have been (or a rough time frame)?

          2) For what, exactly, was he lobbying – advertising money or something else?

          July 27, 2012 at 8:05 am |
    • Ann Brush

      Livestock producers do not get any subsidies, do your homework before you mouth off

      August 3, 2012 at 9:38 am |
  9. Interested

    I find it interesting that people say it is morally wrong to kill an animal for food. Animals kill each other every day for food, territory, a monopoly on the local gene pool, and in a a few species, for fun. I'm not condoning very many of these motivations in humans, but if a cat can torture a mouse to death because it's bored, I'm not going to feel guilty about eating a hambuger.

    July 25, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Interested

      Eating TOO MUCH meat may be unhealthy, but eating some meat is our place in the natural order. We have forward facing eyes, incisors, canines, and the most highly developed brains on earth. Simple zoology.

      July 25, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
      • Interesting

        Our incisors and canines are absolutely pathetic compared to the teeth of true carnivores. I'm always amused by people saying we're made to be predators. Say that while you're faced with a great white shark or a tiger - you'll find out who the true predator is. Also, many people thrive on vegan diets, so it's no good to say we're meant to eat meat. We can eat meat, but it's been proven that we don't have to.

        July 25, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
        • Interested

          I never said you CAN'T be healthy without eating meat, especially if you're living in a post-industrial society where we have a surplus of basically everything. (Also your comparisons to other predators can be easily refuted. We're tool-using pack hunters. tiger wins vs guy. tiger loses vs 7 guys with spears)

          July 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
        • Interested

          I never said you CAN'T be healthy without eating meat, especially if you're living in a post-industrial society where we have a surplus of basically everything. Also your comparisons to other predators can be easily refuted. We're tool-using pack hunters. tiger wins vs guy. tiger loses vs 7 guys with spears

          July 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
      • choice isn't need

        Interested: horses also have "canine" teeth that are even more pronounced than ours are they are obligate herbivores. Gorillas (mountain, Eastern and Western lowland) have massive "canine" teeth, have forward-facing eyes and bulging muscles all around. Aside from the very occasional termite or two, gorillas are obligate herbivores that kick butt. How about hippos? See those teeth? Herbivores. Humans eat meat primarily because men like the taste of it and they enjoy killing animals. We choose meat, we don't need it.

        July 25, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
        • Woman

          Choice isn't need: I really think it's funny the way you make it clear that MEN are he only ones eating meat. Maybe a vegan or vegetarian diet works well for you, but some of us don't want to raise our food bills each week. Please keep that in mind. I grew up raising livestock and eating some of what I produced. It taught me hard work and how nice it felt to have money in my pocket. I've been paying my own livestock feed bill since I was six and buying my own clothing and things since middle school. No, I didn't grow up in 1960. Actually, I start college next month.

          July 25, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
        • Interesting

          Wow, didn't realize horses had canines, but I did know about the gorillas. Thanks for the info.

          July 26, 2012 at 8:46 am |
        • Interesting

          Woman, I think "choice" meant "men" as in human. It's actually pretty cheap to eat veggies and vegetarian sources of protein. Most people don't raise their own meat, so it's not a great comparison. Good for you for heading to college!

          July 26, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Interesting

      I suppose for us, it's a choice. For them, it's not, especially the obligate carnivores. I know you're not doing this, but I have seen people defend cruelty because animals can be cruel to each other. That doesn't mean we have to mimic them; we are supposedly the higher species. Also, there is a biological reason behind the cat torturing a mouse: the cat is honing its skills or at times, teaching kittens how to kill. We on the other hand, choose to put animals in unnatural, overcrowded conditions and do all sorts of bad things to them, many times, sadly enough, using our intelligence to do so. An example is the factory farm, which displays the worse in human ingenuity.

      July 25, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
      • Interested

        OPPORTUNISTIC Carnivores. Animals who eat meat when it is available.

        Not always. Sometimes a cat is teaching a kitten; sometimes it has no babies and just bats a mouse around until it's dead and then leaves.

        And OK. You can be passionately against factory farms, but then you have to be ok with food prices rising significantly, which means more people can't afford food. The world isn't perfect, and I like my species more than others.

        July 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
        • Interesting

          You can like your species more than another, but that doesn't mean you would necessarily condone cruelty toward another species. People are concerned about animal welfare and will pay a bit more for cruelty-free products. There's a thriving industry already devoted to products such as cruelty-free makeup, etc. I thought you were comparing carnivore teeth to carnivore teeth, right? Our teeth are still pathetic compared to any kind of carnivores', LOL, sorry. I'm not saying that we can't digest meat - we can. I'm just saying we don't have to, that's all. A cat playing with a dead mouse is still honing its skills for future kills. In other words, it's not doing it to be cruel and even if it was, that should never justify our own cruelty toward other species.

          July 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
        • Interested

          Haha you should really actually WATCH the cat doing it before you say it's honing a skill. It's like saying a pro linebacker jumping in on a pickup football game with a bunch of 15 year olds is practicing.

          Anyway your tone seems defensive, so I guess I came across as way more agressive than intended. I'm not angry at you in any way for disagreeing with me. I just think there are way, way more important things to worry about than whether a cow, pig, or chicken has a better quality of life than a person in a third-world country.

          July 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
        • Interesting

          Interested, I don't think my tone was defensive. I'm not at all offended by what you're saying and I think you've been quite polite. It did occur to me that a cat is probably a bad example for natural animal behavior - they are domesticated animals, after all, and well fed ones at that. Without a doubt, they can afford kittenish behavior and play with their food either for practice or simply to be kittens. Re third world countries - I think it's okay to be concerned about both humans and animals. Being concerned about animals doesn't exclude being concerned about humans.

          July 26, 2012 at 8:40 am |
      • lreiden

        interesting get off of your vegan/vegetarian kick. if thats how you choose to live your life fine but theres plenty of us who get sick of listening to people like you blab on about how and why you eat the way you do. frankly, i dont care and i'm sure no one else here does either

        July 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • Doug

      Did you say something?

      July 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Christine

      The difference is, an animal is instinct-driven and thus has no "choice" but to go for pray. As humans, we have the ability to choose: we can choose to eat a piece of meat (=harm another living creature), or we can choose to eat an alternative plant-based food which is equally nourishing but does not harm a fellow sentient being.

      July 25, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • KCM

      Yeah! Why should we have to be any more morally advanced than a cat?

      July 30, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
  10. Interesting

    I think it's the responsibility of the farmer - not his or her customer - to ensure good living condition for the farm's animals. This is a touchy feel editorial with some strange advice ... somehow I truly doubt a factory farm is going to fling its doors open to visitors. Also, I dispute that the size of the operation can't possibly affect animal welfare. The very nature of a factory farm, which the author mentions, means that up to or over 700 to 1,000 animals live in crowded conditions, and in this situation, each one is considered a "production unit." Doesn't bode well for their welfare.

    July 25, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • JFH

      BUT out here in the west people can run a great many cattle on the open range. Your statement that a ranch with that many cattle must be unhealthy would be correct in the case of some farms without access to grazing lands. It sickens me to see video of corn refuse pumped out of cow stomachs and mud-pits full of piss and crap in central CA, but in the wide-open spaces there is plenty of room for frolicking cattle.

      How animals are treated IS the farmers' responsibility, but we can put pressure on them by choosing to buy not only meat, but dairy products as well, from farmers whose practices we are familiar with.

      January 18, 2013 at 1:15 am |
  11. Brad Davis

    Take 12 minutes and look behind the curtain; if you dare.

    July 25, 2012 at 9:11 am |
  12. Bob F.

    I think the author is incredibly naive in suggesting people shld visit their local farms. Small farmers might welcome someone but most animal products come from factory farms and NO ONE will be allowed to enter, much less get a friendly tour. In fact, the ag industry continues to push for legislation that makes it a felony to enter these locations with the intent to photograph or document what is going on. Why would do that if they have nothing to hide. Me thinks the author needs to take a break from his Master's degree and get in the real world.

    July 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Thinking things through

      That is why we go visit our LOCAL farms. No, the factory farms don't want us, and frankly, I'm not up for the smell. I've been to three of the real farms - I get to see how animals are and should be raised, and I get to vote with my dollars. I'll spend a bit more for real food, thank you.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Bobbi

      Even smaller farms and ranches like mine are against anybody just walking in off the street and wondering around the farm. Not because we have something to hide but there are dangers on the farm and someone not use to that environment can get injured, we take bio-security seriously and I don't know if that person is someone just interested in where their food comes from or a terrorist trying to spread disease and illness to my animals, and lastly we live and raise our children on our farms. I don't want people randomly walking onto my home (either my house or my barn) without me knowing it. If people want to see the farm they should follow the right channels find a farmer (big or small), set up a time for a tour make sure the proper paper work is done to ensure the animals remain healthy and safe as well as the visitors, and be respectful that the farm is also a families home and they may not invite you in to see the kitchen.

      July 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
      • remsteel6

        Excellent post

        July 25, 2012 at 8:41 am |
    • remsteel6

      1. Many "small" farmers have full time jobs off the farm and don't have time to serve as your tour guide
      2. define factory farm
      3. There are undesirable people in all industries not just agriculture. The exploitation of a few being popularized as the norm is what most in the Ag industry are upset about.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:40 am |
      • Interesting

        Can you further explain point three? And give some examples?

        July 25, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
        • Woman

          Have you never seen the HSUS and PETA ballot issues? The so called, "Puppy Mills Legislation" passed in Missouri last year didn't actually do anything to stop puppy mills, it was aimed at putting farmers out of business. Parts of the legislation said that there could be no more than X number of animals living withing X number of feet from a home. That meant that if you lived within that many feet of your neighbor's cattle operation, YOU could be arrested or fined for animal cruelty. This is just one example, but there are many more.

          July 25, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
      • Interesting

        Woman, I'm sorry, but your response doesn't answer my question. Also, I've researched the MO puppy mill ballot initiative - not sure where you're seeing that it impacts farms or is trying to put farms out of business.

        July 26, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • Interesting

      Agreed, Bob F. I'm sure, if they had the time, local farmers might be okay with a tour, but they're very busy folks. But definitely, a CAFO or agribusiness operation is not going to encourage any kind of peek behind the curtain. Many people would be turned off, disgusted, and horrified - kind of bad for business in the meat industry, LOL.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Taysha R

      One of the most frustrating things is when people post things that are not true. I am a salewoman and stop at "factory farms" on a daily basis, without and appt, and many times walk throughout the facility in search of a herdsman or owner. I have never been kicked off a farm for such. If you go into a facility and respect the owner they are more than happy to show you around and give you a tour. To post that you are not allowed on a farm when I get the impression you have never even tried is frustrating. You must also understand that biosecurity is a big issue especially in the swine industry so most places don't really appreciate people just coming in and walking around but if you go and ask and find someone they will supply you with the proper attire to walk around the facility. I can attest that YOU ARE WELCOME on "factory farms". I visit them daily!

      July 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  13. Laura

    It is interesting that so many vegans are so adamant in their statements and beliefs...I guess when you are a cult convert, you feel you need to convert others. Well, I for one support the farmers. Farmers work hard, care for the land and the animals and without their work, we would all STARVE! I hope you vegans start doing a little more critical thinking and do some real research and stop following the animal rights cultists. Thankfully, there are more people who support and respect the work of the farmers and cattlemen than those who mindlessly oppose animal agriculture.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Cynthia W.

      Laura, there have been Many videos of unaltered, verified animal abuse on farms As for eating meat every day, most physicians recognize more and more that red meat is not good for humans Been a vegetarian 16 years, and not even a cold. Plenty of energy. The act of killing an animal for food consumption is something I won't partake in, and by the way, the note below says, 29,339 pounds of ground beef recalled on salmonella fears. I won't have to worry about that.

      How anyone can look at an animal and slaughter it, no matter how "humanely" is something I will never understand.

      July 25, 2012 at 6:02 am |
      • remsteel6


        See my post above. Also there have been plenty of examples of E. coli being spread via produce in recent years. I guess you choose to ignore this little tidbit of information. Diseases can be spread in many ways, not just through meat

        July 25, 2012 at 8:43 am |
        • Interesting

          remsteel6, e-coli comes from the gut of animals or humans. It's not produced by produce. So if produce is infected with e-coli, it's from the human handlers of the vegetables or from farm (animal) run-off.

          July 25, 2012 at 11:20 am |
        • SlowMoneyFarm

          Farm animal runoff...when there's not farm animals near the produce to runoff from. There *is* wildlife walking through the fields...which is why many deem elimination of wildlife from the farms. Blaming other parts of agriculture for contamination of produce just isn't accurate.

          July 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
        • Interesting

          SlowMoneyFarm, I researched cases of veg e-coli contamination. The majority of cases were from run off, sorry.

          July 26, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Interesting

      I think it's insulting that you call vegans "cultists." It's a lifestyle that works for plenty of people, who are perfectly happy - and healthy too. I wouldn't stoop to calling you "prejudiced" but I do think you should know that insulting others and stereotyping them does your case, whatever it is, no favors.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Interesting

      Laura, I think it's insulting that you call vegans "cultists." It's a lifestyle that works for plenty of people, who are perfectly happy – and healthy too. I wouldn't stoop to calling you "prejudiced" but I do think you should know that insulting others and stereotyping them does your case, whatever it is, no favors.

      July 25, 2012 at 11:36 am |
  14. Laura

    There are quite a few instances of videographers taking videos of farm animals, putting a spin on the photos with the voice overs, so that members of the public who know nothing about farming will believe the propaganda put into the video. Mercy for Animals is one of the more notorious organizations known for doing this...hiring people to work in farm situations, then even abuse the animals and have it filmed to prove that farmers are abusers. This is hypocrisy at its best. One of their recent videos was of a hog farm. An independent board (including veterinarians) reviewed the video and found NO ABUSE...but they did find that certain practices were filmed and then presented as abusive. So, a little more critical thinking on the part of the public would help in recognizing these animal rights propaganda videos.

    July 24, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Bob F.

      Are you seriously suggesting that factory farming is not abusive? Who paid you to post? Even when something is in front of your eyes you still want to deny it. Tell me how a voice over can distort a video of abuse. And the vets that sanction this behavior typically work for the Dept of Agriculture which is notorious for being an arm of the industry and definitely not a watch dog. I am amazed that someone could be so naive as to think that the abuse they see in front of them is not abuse. You don't need to be a vet to know when a farm animal is being tortured and/or left to die a slow and horrible death.

      July 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
      • remsteel6


        Factory farming, which I'm waiting for you to define is a result of Americans' demand for cheap food plain and simple. Secondly, I've never heard of a vet sanctioning animal abuse. They take an oath to protect animal health and well being. I'm not naive enough to say that there aren't a few but you're WAY off base here, as are most of your opinions I've read thus far

        July 25, 2012 at 8:46 am |
        • Interesting

          remsteel6, a factory farm is contains around 700 to 1,000 animals, depending on the type of animal. From Time Maagine: "According to the USDA, 2% of U.S. livestock facilities raise an estimated 40% of all farm animals... In his book, Animal Factory, journalist David Kirby explores the problems of factory farms, from untreated animal waste to polluted waterways. Kirby talks to TIME about large-scale industrial farming, the lack of government oversight ..." You can read a bit more here if you're interested:,8599,1983981,00.html

          Read more:,8599,1983981,00.html#ixzz21eGn9qY1

          July 25, 2012 at 11:28 am |
        • Been There

          @Interesting– I have grown up in and worked in the industry of farming all my life. 35 years to be exact. And your claim that a factory farm consists of 700 to 1,000 animals regardless of your source just goes to show that you do not know what you are talking about. Here's why: 1) in lots of areas, many small family operations consist of 1,000 cattle, hogs, sheep, you name it. 2) further, even those small operations must adhere to strict EPA and other environmental guidelines in most states. 3) and tied to both of the previous 2 points, that standard for cattle, for example, being fed in a dry lot situation, is at least 250 to 300 square feet per animal of pen space. That includes enough space at the bunk (feed trough) for them to have adequate room to line up and eat. Your definition of "Factory Farm" suggests that the majority of what would be considered small family operations fall into the category of "factory farms." I feel bad for your misinformed thoughts on this, because FLAT OUT–you are wrong!

          I'm sorry, but anyone who makes the claim the "factory farms" automatically abuse their animals is severely misinformed. Your citing of this article or that article rather than seeking answers from real life farmers–believing some reporter rather than those who work in the industry for a living–is just plain wrong.

          "Factory farms" is another one of those terms invented by organizations that seek to end animal agriculture and is propagated through their own channels as well as the media. Exactly the same as the stupid term "pink slime" which is nothing more than a method of LEAN meat recovery so as to leave nothing to waste from the animal carcass. It's all just terms used to shock people who don't know any better into jumping on a bandwagon as certain groups try to push an agenda. Forget that!!! Do what the article says and find out the real facts. I mean, think about it.....why would any farmer abuse animals that are meant to be part of their business as they try to produce efficient sources of food and make a living? Do new car makers sell a dull looking piece of junk with dents in hopes to make a profit? Does your local Foot Locker that you buy your Air Jordans from keep their product in a warehouse with a leaky roof (water damages leather)? Very simplified examples, but basically saying that anyone who feeds over 700 or so cattle, for example just wakes up one morining and decides to go beat on his animals with a stick is the most insane idea I've heard yet. Quit relying on YouTube and go out and shake someone's hand, have an open mind, ask lots of questions, and get the real facts!


          July 25, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
        • Been There

          Let me add something else, @Interesting, "lack of government oversight"? Are you serious? Here again, go inform yourself rather than reading some misguided article. In virtually every state in the union, any animal feeding operation must not only adhere to strict state guidelines when it comes to runoff, waste management, and the like, but most of those operations must also pass strict criteria for the same with EPA, which is a body within our national government. Same goes for meat packers. They not only have strict laws to abide by in terms of the quality and sanitary conditions of the meat, but also the waste they produce. A farmer who feeds cattle or hogs must hire an engineer to design facilities to comply with environmental laws. Then as those facilities are built they must be inspected. The process of obtaining the necessary permits costs thousands of dollars, and in the larger operations, millions of dollars to accomplish all of this. All for the purpose of managing the animal feces. See, if you would get answers from a real producer rather than a journalist looking for the "shock" factor in order to win over their editor for that big promotion, you might not be so quick to spout off inaccuracies and half-truths.

          July 25, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
        • Interesting

          Um, Been There, that's not my claim, it's information direct from the USDA. So you might want to try jousting with them, not me. I'm not saying that CAFOs are full of folks who are deliberately cruel to animals; I can, however, say that the very system of a large farm/CAFO engenders cruelty by the nature of its size. So, wow, right back at you and your accusations, hostility, and narrow viewpoint.

          July 26, 2012 at 10:39 am |
        • Interesting

          Been There, you seem angry. Do you read the news and other sources? Or do you get every single piece of information straight from the source? During this election year, are you talking directly to Mitt or Obama? Of course not. Obviously, people can't run across the country visiting factory farms, where they wouldn't be welcome anyway. And your claim that I'm saying a farmer gets up in the morning and decides to beat his animals with a stick is just plain silly. Where did you get that? That's not at all what I said, so please don't distort my words. You also complained because I quoted information from the USDA - that would be the US Dept. of Agriculture - and dismissed that agency as a source. Whom do you recommend as a source of information? If not the very agency involved in the farming industry, what would you suggest? The Pope, LOL?

          July 26, 2012 at 11:01 am |
        • Interesting

          @Been There, I've reread my posts to you and I'm sounding rather jerky, so I do apologize. It's a touchy subject, but I shouldn't get touchy or direct ire at another person. We should all be willing to learn from each other and hear each other out. You said you're a farmer and you have a unique perspective as such. (I grew up on a farm.) It's because I grew up on a farm that I became interested in animal welfare, and, unfortunately, an interest in animal welfare can be a tough row to hoe - it touches off a lot of upset, because it can seem to threaten another's livelihood. But one doesn't have to be a non-farmer to be interested in animal welfare and I need to remember that.

          July 26, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Full of it

      Laura, you are so full of it. Just my take.

      July 25, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Interesting

      You might want to employ some critical thinking too, Laura. For one, why are you calling vegans "cultists"? Can you be more insulting to a group of people who chooses not to eat meat? And at best, your claim that animal cruelty videos are doctored with is laughable. You people who support cruel farming conditions are so afraid ... so afraid that you feel constrained to lie and insult to try to make your case. It's sad, really. What will it do to you personally, or how will it hurt you, if we strive to make living conditions for the animals we eat more compassionate? Note that I'm not talking about conditions on family farms, but, rather, on CAFOs ... surely you can't support them, can you? Or, are you a CAFO "cultist" as you would put it?

      July 25, 2012 at 11:41 am |
      • Woman

        Just curious, did you know that "According to the 1997 Census of Agriculture, the vast majority of farms in this country (90%) are owned and operated by individuals or families. The next largest category of ownership is partnerships (6%). The “Corporate” farms account for only 3% of U.S. farms and 90% of those are family owned. However, the term “family farm” does not necessarily equate with “small farm”; nor does a “corporate farm” necessarily mean a large-scale operation owned and operated by a multi-national corporation. Many of the country’s largest agricultural enterprises are family owned. Likewise, many farm families have formed modest-sized corporations to take advantage of legal and accounting benefits of that type of business enterprise. " Please stop saying how horrible "factory farms" are. Many of the living conditions used on those farms are in place to protect the animals. Farrowing crates were created to keep sows from killing their piglets. That is just one example, but I can find a few more if you like.

        July 25, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
        • Interesting

          But the weird thing is, most of us buy our meat from the smaller percentage of the non-family owned farms. Even if that's a small percentage of all the farms in the U.S., you're still talking about thousands of animals. I grew up on a farm. Sows don't always normally kill their piglets, but in extreme conditions of confinement, they tend to act, well, a little more hostile. Pigs' tails are also docked due to their neighbors' gnawing on the tail ... also not normal behavior due to cramped conditions.

          July 26, 2012 at 3:00 pm |
        • Woman

          Actually, that is the normal nature of a pig. I've raised hogs and can tell you that mine had plenty of room to move around and still would kill their piglets, not necessarily on purpose, but by laying on them. My brothers raised show hogs and kept all the pigs in one large pen. Even under good conditions pigs will do things like that. I'll also point out that hogs become wild animals after they've been released for a few days. Even tame hogs are fairly wild, but the tusks are removed to keep the animals and farmers safe.

          July 31, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  15. farmgirl

    Is anyone on here a vegetarian with a physically demanding job like farmer, construction worker, army, navy, etc? I really want to know the answer to that.

    July 24, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Keith

      I am a vegetarian who had my own business installing flooring. Believe me, it is hard work. Taking a break from that to take care of our baby. Was doing that for years, been a vegetarian for years as well. People are sometimes hostile when they find out my diet. Funny that in all my years, big strong men could not keep up with me.

      July 25, 2012 at 4:09 am |
      • farmgirl

        Thank you for you input. You are one of the few who answered to me. I know it is possible but does take knowledge and a lot of concentration to do well on that type of diet. And putting more time and effort into a balanced diet is something we all need to spend a little more time on. Kudos to you for being able to do that. I guess the reason I ask is because I am trying to imagine the entire US military fighting strictly on a vegan diet, or a construction crew. The human stomach can only hold so much and so is it possible for a labor worker to have this diet – of course, I'm aware of that- but challenging as well. A variety of plant foods is necessary and not everyone has access or financial means to those. I have nothing against a vegan diet- I promise I won't try to get you to eat meat, that's your choice and I respect it. HOWEVER, I and probably every other meat eater out there expect to same respect in return. Probably the reason you have had an experience of ppl reacting to you with hostility is because of ppl like Provoked out there who think they are the only right ones and are preaching at those of us who include meat in our diets like we are monsters and those who have no respect for OUR choices. I'm sorry that those who treated you poorly judged you too quickly but please try to understand that it was probably based on a bad experience they too had with someone criticizing their food decisions.
        What it boils down to for me is this- we all have a right to food choices and we all need to respect the decisions of others and if we choose meat we should be responsible in finding out where it came from and the conditions in which it was raised. This helps to ensure animal health and safety as well as providing us with a healthier product and that I believe is exactly what the author was trying to point out.
        Being a vegan takes work and knowledge, if we eat meat we should put the same effort into finding out where it came from.

        July 26, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
  16. farmgirl

    Hey Provoked!
    What do you do for a living?

    July 24, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • farmgirl

      If you have a physically demanding job, I wonder how you manage to keep enough food in your home and in your body. If you have a cushy job I understand then why you have the luxury to say killing for meat is unnecessary.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
      • Lucy

        For an example of people who don't eat meat and who do about the most physically demanding job there is: professional athletes? Venus and Serena Williams stopped eating meat a while ago and just won at Wimbledon.

        Or vegan bodybuilders?

        Or vegetarian construction workers?

        Seriously, you can be completely healthy and strong on a plant based diet. Meat isn't necessary for health. In fact, animal products altogether aren't necessary for health or strength.
        "It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes. "

        Also see

        July 24, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
        • SlowMoneyFarm

          Athletes as vegetarians is a great example! Awesome- let's look at all sides. There are athletes that succeed as vegetarians, yes. The China team, though, is blaming their performance on the vegetarian diet not having enough nutrition/energy to keep the team in physical condition needed to win. That indicates, like the rest of the world, many do just fine with it but many do not. We're *not* all the same and don't all have the same choices or issues.

          July 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Ally

      Farmgirl, the idea that a vegetarian can't eat enough to stay fueled for a job that takes hard physical labor is a fairly old idea. And, frankly, wrong. It simply takes more effort to make sure you're eating the right balance of vitamins and nutrients and protiens.

      July 25, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
      • farmgirl

        Of course it is possible, I understand that but my purpose was to point is that it is not common and for very real reasons and I believe that my point was well proven by the lack of yes answers. I believe I got ONE from a fellow named Keith who ran his own flooring business = please see his answer and my reply to him for more information.

        July 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
  17. Goatlady

    Supporting small scale producers is another possibility. There are folks letting their chickens free range and milking goats and cows that are beloved family members. Laws are made to support large scale farming. They make it very difficult to get food from small family farms to consumers. They make it very difficult for small farms to turn a profit. It is a shameful situation when you think that a hundred years ago people could eek out a living on a small farm. Today we have to have a town job to keep up the farm. I try to limit the amount of chicken I eat because I don't want to eat chicken raised in chicken houses. I'm not even going to get into arguing over whether or not it is humane. The ideal to me is chickens roaming my backyard. That's what I live, and that's what I want to eat. I set the bar higher for myself. I'm shooting for ideal not ok. I understand not everyone can do as I do, but many can. Every drop in the bucket helps.

    July 24, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • BS

      It's hard for small-scale "local" farms to turn a profit because they are so inefficient compared to the big ones.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
      • SlowMoneyFarm

        Food choices aren't just about efficient. Ever bite into a great tasting meal and say "ooo that tastes.....EFFICIENT"? Food choices allow for CHOICE be it large or small farms, heritage, heirloom, organic, conventional, lowest cost, most convenient – all CHOICES. Not necessary to knock other types of farming because of choices.

        July 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  18. SlowMoneyFarm

    Interesting comments, as usual! There are many negative ones, but people care enough to show up and comment. The articles on vegetables and meat recalls have less than 50 comments, but this one is approaching 120. That's awesome that people care enough to read and comment, and says a lot. For those who don't like eating meat, there are certainly many other food choices.

    July 24, 2012 at 11:32 am |
  19. Provoked

    One can argue all day about what's the healthiest diet – Or the one that's most sustainable, eco-friendly, etc. BUT there's NEVER a question on what's the most compassionate way to eat.

    We can live fine without UNNECESSARY harm to other beings - Everything else that supports animal killing and flesh eating is just a pathetic rationalization for habit, greed and gluttony.

    July 24, 2012 at 9:54 am |
    • SlowMoneyFarm

      Shall we then do away with organic vegetables? They kill, by elimination is not uncommon, wildlife that may contaminate the fields. Not to eat – just to keep them out of the fields. If that's directly or from exclusion contamination is a serious thing.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Nameless

      Humans are omnivores. We have teeth for chewing vegetables and tearing meat. Are you saying G0d is wrong in his design? Every vegetarian I have ever known was weak and sickly and could not keep up with me at work or play. Your reasoning is FLAWED.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Laura

      Human beings were designed to eat meat. If someone does not choose to do so. Fine. But, I think it is arrogant to be telling other people what to eat. I have read many statements by vegans that by not raising farm animals the planet would benefit. What they do not understand is that there is not enough tillable land to produce sufficient vegetable fare for the population on the planet. There is a lack of scientific fact in many vegan claims, including the "healthful" benefits of a vegan diet. We must have sustainable agriculture in order to be able to continue to have productive land. Part of that productivity is being able to use grasslands and wood lots as grazing for cattle.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
      • Interesting

        What kind of cow grazes in a wood lot? I'm sorry, I don't understand that statement.

        July 25, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  20. Jdizzle McHammerpants

    This reminds me to make room in the deep freezer for the quarter of beef we ordered last week. Whoo-hoo! Everyone's invited to the BBQ. BYOB

    July 24, 2012 at 9:37 am |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      From a local farmer. =)

      July 24, 2012 at 10:07 am |
    • Woman

      Sounds like a great barbeque! Enjoy :)

      July 25, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  21. what?

    I doubt my local Costco even knows the names of their farmers. What year do you think this is? Who deals directly with both farmers and consumers?

    July 24, 2012 at 12:49 am |
    • Marcus

      I'm sure that if enough people inquire, Cosco will find out where their products come from. Alternatively, if knowing where one's food comes from is a make-or-break for one's buying habits – there are markets that do know where their products come from.

      July 24, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • SlowMoneyFarm

      There are those of us out here offering food choices that do just that! Deal directly with the consumer! For those who want food choices it *is* possible...but we're not in Costco.

      July 24, 2012 at 10:35 am |
  22. Paul

    The Lord sayeth unto Moses, "Thou shalt not kill."

    July 24, 2012 at 12:44 am |
    • michael

      And then had him sacrifice an animal to him instead of his son....Get the context right will ya

      July 24, 2012 at 12:51 am |
      • What?

        Ahem – that would have been Abram/Abraham, not Moses.

        July 24, 2012 at 11:49 am |
        • Say Nay

          Doesn't matter. It's all fiction anyway.

          July 24, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • paganguy

      It is easy for your Lord. He kills with lightning strikes.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:54 am |
    • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

      actually it's "murder", killing and murder are different. Reference a dictionary

      July 24, 2012 at 10:08 am |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

           [mur-der] Show IPA
        Law . the killing of another human being under conditions specifically covered in law. In the U.S., special statutory definitions include murder committed with malice aforethought, characterized by deliberation or premeditation or occurring during the commission of another serious crime, as robbery or arson (first-degree murder), and murder by intent but without deliberation or premeditation (second-degree murder).
        Slang . something extremely difficult or perilous: That final exam was murder!
        a group or flock of crows.

        1    [kil] Show IPA
        verb (used with object)
        to deprive of life in any manner; cause the death of; slay.
        to destroy; do away with; extinguish: His response killed our hopes.
        to destroy or neutralize the active qualities of: to kill an odor.
        to spoil the effect of: His extra brushwork killed the painting.
        to cause (time) to be consumed with seeming rapidity or with a minimum of boredom, especially by engaging in some easy activity or amusement of passing interest: I had to kill three hours before plane time.

        July 24, 2012 at 10:12 am |
    • Nameless

      This only applies to human beings killing for selfish ends like greed or jealousy. It does NOT apply to self-defense, capital punishment, or putting food on the table. You are an idiot.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
  23. Keith

    Don't expect mercy, unless you first show mercy. As far as we know, all animals, including ourselves, only live once. To take any life, to take away the only thing they have and will ever have, is heartless and cruel. People were taught by their parents, and them by their parents, that killing animals for sport and factory farming them for no reason is okay and assumed. I would never eat another animal, I would never pretend that my only life is somehow more important than theirs.

    July 24, 2012 at 12:30 am |
    • Grace

      Ranching runs in my family. I've been raised around quiet, hardworking ranchers who took the very best care of their cattle and their land. A few years ago I came to Christ. God gave us permission to eat meat in the Bible, so I have no problem with it and the proper stewardship of all things God has entrusted to us. The mercy you're talking about is Biblical and has to do with us showing mercy to the poor, the needy, etc.

      July 24, 2012 at 3:59 am |
      • Keith

        Grace, the mercy I am talking about has nothing to do with the bible. It is what's inside my heart. To me, there are no others more poor and needy than the defenseless animals we use like they are objects born to die just so we can eat them. The bible says a lot of stuff that is flat out wrong. The God that I know is on my side, and your way of making money doesn't even mattter to me at all.

        July 25, 2012 at 4:32 am |
  24. rose

    I just don't eat meat. I believe it is wrong to kill them. There are so many more resources on this earth to use for healthy eating instead of killing innocent and beautiful creatures.

    July 24, 2012 at 12:30 am |
  25. Luckyboy

    I'm a vegetarian. I grow my own foods. Yet when I tell others this, for some reason, I get get hostile remarks. It's almost as if they feel I'm trying to take the drumstick out of their mouths. I could care less if you choose to eat animals. Just don't insult those of use who choose not to.

    July 24, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • SlowMoneyFarm

      Unfortunately there are many who do not share your view, and many are posting on forums like this. Whatever one *chooses* to eat is their decision. Choosing for others is something else. Food choices are awesome!

      July 24, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Woman

      Your post makes me very happy. You do exactly what this article is trying to push people to do: Know their farmers. By producing your own food, you don't have to ask yourself where the food on your table came from. Props to you for that!

      July 25, 2012 at 8:03 pm |
  26. Fiona

    Number one, don't eat animals.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
  27. sallymarks

    CNN-This is an article that is so over simplistic it's insulting. Animal welfare and meat consumption is a complicated issue and can;t be distilled down in "5 easy anything." Many of these suggestions are just ridiculous. Please raise the bar a bit.

    July 23, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • ninafrazee

      Wow. Finally some common sense. Thanks sallymarks.

      July 23, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • michael

      Actually I am a sheep farmer and we show people our place all the time..They buy direct and slaughter themselves. Whats unrealistic about it? We cannot raise enough to sell so many are interested.

      July 24, 2012 at 12:32 am |
      • Keith

        Michael, slaughtering animals is not ok. Who gave you that power? Yourself?

        July 24, 2012 at 1:20 am |
        • Moonbrun

          Thats your do you think your ancestors lived? by slaughtering animals to eat and barter for goods with....just because you dont think its wrong doesnt make it wrong....

          July 24, 2012 at 2:08 am |
        • Grace

          Actually, God gave us the power to kill and eat meat. It's in the Bible. He gave us stewardship over all creatures. He told us to eat meat.

          July 24, 2012 at 4:02 am |
  28. Jeb Stuart

    To all of the Clueless, As a farmer animals are our investments and inventory in an industry with a paper thin margin. If we lose one cow that could mean 2-3 weeks of our income. We take care of our livestock because its are living. Seeing one sick or dying cow on the news represents the family farm aboust as much as seeing one sick or dying PERSON at an elderly care facility and juding the human race. Amd surprise, surpise, you could eat meat 7 times a week if you choose grassfed meat products, if you choose industrial raised meat that has been radiated, or cleansed with Amonia then I would say 1 portion a week is to much. But whatever you choose having it with a carbonated beverage the soda is likely doing you more harm then the meat. Did you ever say gee by body exhaust CO2, I think I will inject more in it. Finally for the Leave all the animals alone crowd. Living is Living, Dead is Dead, does not matter if its a plant or an animal. If you don't want to east something that was living and was harvested to supply you with nutrition then get used to a high salt diet. No matter what your position you should target you anger at the policies that want to eliminate your small local farmer and farmers markets.

    July 23, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • hasan

      well said

      July 23, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • farmgirl

      As the small farms disappear and are replaced by mega-dairies it is becoming easier for me to picture a USA with only a few gigantic dairies owned by processing companies like Dean or Kraft. What an ugly picture that is. So sad to think that people don't realize this could potentially happen. Maybe they would support easily ability for farmers to sell directly to consumers then. I believe if I sold my milk directly to consumers I could charge less money than retailers but make more profit than I do now.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
      • Woman

        I like your views on this, but would like to know defines a small farm?

        July 25, 2012 at 8:09 pm |
        • farmgirl

          Ooooh, thank you for a tough question. I am stuggling with the answer to that myself. Off the top of my head I guess I would say that if the owners(farmers) themselves do 75% or more of the physical labor it could be considered a small farm. When most of the labor is done by non family it is just like any other business in my mind – I know not everyone will agree with that but please respect my opinion.

          July 26, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
        • Woman

          Oh no, I do respect your opinion, I was just wondering what your definition was. Defining a small farm is just about as easy as explaining the government's concept of a "rural" community: there's always another factor to include, and not everyone will agree with it.

          July 31, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
  29. Todd

    If you're going to eat meat seven nights a week, I'd recommend baked fish or skinless chicken filets! Red meat that often only if you want to put a wing on some cardiologist's house.

    That said, this article is good, practical advice for people. Checking things out for yourself and knowing exactly where your meat comes from (not just humane conditions but also SANITATION conditions) is a good idea.

    July 23, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • michael

      Grandpa and grandma ate meat and or fish almost every meal and so does my parents and us. Gramp just died in his mid 90's and Grandma is still around. so are the rest of us....?? If you are right shouldn't we all be dead?

      July 24, 2012 at 12:36 am |
      • Todd

        Obviously, there's no 1:1 correlation for anything. Some people smoke a pack a day since they were 14 and live to be 95, but that doesn't mean smoking isn't unhealthy.

        July 24, 2012 at 2:13 am |
    • Barb

      Todd, red versus white meat is not the problem. We raise goat, which is a red meat. It has less cholesterol and fewer calories per serving than chicken, but more iron than beef. How the animal is raised and what it is fed also greatly impacts the ratio of Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acids in the meat. Any meat, whether red or white, is much heathier if the animal was given proper exercise and was raised on a forage-based diet rather than corn.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:10 am |
  30. Brad davis

    WHAT!!! Help the animals by checking on their "welfare" before you slaughter and "consume" them???? How about helping them by not eating them? And, if you haven't checked, eating meat everyday is killing US via heart desease, cancer, and diabetes. Put down your butcher knife and pick up a copy of The China Study. You & the earth, and the animals will be happier.

    July 23, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • dintz

      Oh please dont give me the "if u want to be nice dont eat an animal" everything is alive so whenever you eat anything your killing it. Of course unless you stick to nuts and fruit cuz they are biologically not alive. And nonsense that eating meat causes any disease, that has never been directly proven, do some research cuz if you want to reference that ridiculous, flawed, bloated, unscientific rubbish call the china study u have not done your research.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
      • vegan

        Plants do not have a central nervous system. An important distinction when selecting your food. Grains and vegtables and fruits do not suffer when you "kill" them.

        July 23, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
        • Redder

          These are the cries of the carrots....tomorrow is harvest day, but for them, it is......the apocalypse!

          July 23, 2012 at 11:28 pm |
        • dintz

          prove it! ur killing everything that is not a nut or a fruit because they in themselves do not reproduce, take in energy nor expel it...hence not living. But plants, the grass that ur wheat and everything else comes from does do all those life affirming things. Oh by the way take a look at ur house, clothes and u have leather, the wood used to make ur house the thousands and thousands of animals, plants and everything else that was once alive that makes up ur luxuries and living courters all come from something ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!

          July 24, 2012 at 12:43 am |
        • michael

          Our animals don't suffer when we kill them.They aren't even afraid. We have a small sheep farm and I take one with the rifle from distance through the head when we want one. They don't even see it coming. You cant suffer if your brain is liquefied and removed from your head before you feel it, or hear it (mach 3 bullet ) or see where it comes from. Your blanket statement is false. We name our animals. I pet them, we protect them from predators, they come when we call...and then we eat them....That is the nature of things...Do you think nature is nicer...You ever seen an animal being eaten alive by a bear ..or wolf..or coyote..Its not pretty.

          July 24, 2012 at 12:46 am |
        • Laura

          For all you vegans...plants suffer pain. Their little shrieks of pain have been recorded by scientists studying plants. I have been waiting for the vegans to arise and start promoting Don't Eat Plants Because They Suffer Pain Too!!! I suspect it will happen sometime in the next decade or so. This veganism is like a cult. If we eat animals, plants, or anything that WAS alive, then of course, at a moment in time, that plant or animal did suffer as it lost its life. That is reality. So, Vegans...what are you going to suggest next...chemical mixtures in a factory? Made from what?

          July 24, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • 123

      ^^ idiot comment from brad davis ^^

      July 23, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Barb

      Brad, Mother nature is very cruel to animals in their old age. Most will either die of starvation in the winter or are eaten by a predator. It is actually much more humane to slaughter an animal that has been allowed to behave in its natural state, that has been well cared for and handled properly from birth through slaughter. You can buy meat that has been certified by animal welfare organizations to have been treated to the highest of humane standards, even at the slaughter house.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • Grace

      Brad, try picking up a Bible. God gave us permission to eat meat in the Bible. He told us to eat meat. He told us He was giving us stewardship over all creatures. He said eating meat was fine.

      Michael, thanks for telling about your sheep farm. The ranchers in my family have taken great care of their cattle and the land. They have worked 24/7. I get tired of city folk who know zero showing disdain for farmers and ranchers.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:09 am |
  31. MIKE

    I'm sorry, but #5 is an absolute lie. In know way is it okay to eat meat 7 nights a week. It is destroying the environment and is highly unethical.

    July 23, 2012 at 9:41 pm |
    • CT232

      I suppose one could, to be fair, challenge the ethics of eating plants. Imagine the trauma caused by ripping helpless carrots and turnips from their protective bed of organic soil! Even if the plants don't actually "feel" it as we might, still there is the harm done to the poor, exploited human who has her conscience seared with each brutal act ... Then there are all of the baby seeds ... babies, I tell you ... their lives extinguished when the fruits lovingly enfolding them are plundered mercilessly from their parent trees! Even the grains are not safe ... but more than the actual trauma of harvest, can you imagine the *shame* endured by grains as their shriveled, dehydrated bodies are processed into high-carb foods meant only to enlarge human waistlines and evil company balance sheets!

      There's more than one way to play this game, you know. All depends upon your assumptions.

      July 23, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
      • farmgirl

        Not the grains too!

        July 23, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
      • Provoked

        It's not an "assumption" that we animals all feel pain and that we animals all desire our lives to continue. It is an outrageous assumption however to think that plants lacking a central nervous system "care" in the least that they are plucked from the ground. There's not a credible scientist that will back the notion that plants are aware.

        Furthermore... Even IF such a preposterous notion were true - It would be NECESSARY pain and suffering because we cannot live without eating plants. The same canNOT be said about eating animals. When there is a choice to be kind – Surely a compassionate person chooses this option.

        Stop trying to find lame excuses for UNNECESSARY killing!

        July 24, 2012 at 9:02 am |
        • Laura

          You know, you might do a little research into human physiology before you say we can life without eating meat.
          Meat provides certain vitamins that are not easily obtained otherwise. That is why studies on babies that are born that are not quite right, seems the mothers were vegans and did not have the proper nutrients in their bodies to make normal babies. So, seems to me that is a rather serious might do a little indepth research on this matter before you believe that one can be healthy without consuming meat. AND...plants do feel pain! Maybe you want Soylent Green??

          July 24, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
        • Lucy

          Hey @Laura, you might want to do a little in depth research yourself.
          "It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes."

          July 24, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
    • Steve

      I totally agree with you Mike. CNN is very irresponsible posting this controversial statement without presenting other arguments.

      July 23, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
      • Steve

        Not to mention, unhealthy.

        July 23, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
        • Ally

          Having meat once a day isn't inherently unhealty. A serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards. If you exercise daily and have one serving of meat (red, white, poultry or even fish) there's no reason you wouldn't be in great shape. I eat a lot of wild game, which has very little fat.

          You're thinking of the slob who downs 16 ounce steaks five nights a week after having a hamburger for lunch each day. That's more portion size than the meat's fault.

          July 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
      • farmgirl

        Wow but it was ok for the other guy to express his opinion?

        July 23, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
        • SlowMoneyFarm

          Would seem like that's "other arguments" – so it *was* presented before this article was done. Two sides to an issue – imagine! ;-)

          July 24, 2012 at 11:34 am |
      • Redder

        You're all just freaking out about the scandalous carnivore diet mentioned as a possibility in # 5. If you actually read the article, it was all about educating ourselves regarding the source of our food...not all that controversial, really.

        July 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
      • fromheelstoboots

        False, CNN posted this article just a couple of weeks ago:
        Just because this article does not discuss an ideology that you agree with, don't say that the conversation is one-sided. CNN has done an excellent job of giving everyone equal speaking opportunities.

        July 25, 2012 at 3:15 pm |
      • Woman

        All this article does is suggest that you take the time to learn where your food comes from and who produces it. It doesn't tell you that farmers are horrible people, eating meat is the only way of survival, not eating meat is the only way of survival, but it does give you a few options if you'd really like to follow up and find out where your food comes from.

        July 25, 2012 at 8:21 pm |
    • Brad davis

      mike is right. Very irrresponsible of CNN to pubish this nonsense.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • Meat Girl

      No human being alive can get around having to kill to live. You kill plants. They're alive too. But it's not a horrid thing. It's part of the natural cycle. Plus, why does no vegetarian/vegan ever consider the ecosystems which are destroyed for farming vegetables and grains? Clearing a large plot of land for wheat, corn, (and other cellulose riddled foods humans aren't designed to digest ) clears out the plants which house countless insects, birds, small mammals, and the large mammals that feed on them. So before anyone gets all high and mighty over not eating meat think this situation all the way through until the end.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
      • ninafrazee

        I can't even read the comments on this post without my blood boiling. It's okay to eat meat 7 days a week? Right, because it has absolutely no environmental impact, it does not hurt starving people around the world and it in no way negatively impacts ones health.
        No hope for America. I have to read about numbnuts down the street from me murdering people in a movie theater, then read ignorant, short-sided comments from gun nuts. I came to this post for a break from the idiocy. No such luck.

        July 23, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
      • Ezo

        I find the fact that you can't tell the difference between killing a plant and an animal strikingly creepy.

        July 23, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
      • Provoked

        No practical idea would include man's deliberate suicide-starvation plan! It is NECESSARY to consume in order to live. We cannot live without eating plants. The same CANNOT be said about eating animals. When there is a choice to be kind – Surely a compassionate person chooses this option.

        Stop trying to find lame excuses for UNNECESSARY killing!

        July 24, 2012 at 9:06 am |
        • Smartazz

          You believe what you want. I believe you"re an idiot who wants to force your poorly researched opinion on everyone else. All the vegetarians I ever knew were pussies who couldn't do a full day's hard work.

          July 24, 2012 at 1:20 pm |
        • farmgirl

          The same CAN be said about eating animals. It just depends on your caloric and nutritional needs. You might only need 2000 calories to survive but others may burn 6000 calories just working. Depends on your situation

          July 24, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
      • Sentient Being

        I agree, Meat Girl...think it through to the end. Who is eating all of those monocrops? Well, mostly it's the animals being raised for meat, dairy and eggs!

        July 24, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Woman

      How is eating meat seven nights a week destroying the environment?

      July 31, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  32. Young MacDonald

    If you feel so bad about it, then don't frigging eat them. Everytime you eat meat, you eat an animal (like you are) that was killed and had the blood drained out of it. Outside of that, you might as well just shut up. It's crazy to look for warm and fuzzy ways to kill; that's just insane and foolish.

    July 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
  33. onestarman

    How about not eating living beings that scream when you kill them.

    July 23, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
    • farmgirl

      Which would be what again? Rabbits?

      July 23, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
      • SlowMoneyFarm

        If done properly rabbits should *not* scream. If they're vocalizing they are not killed quickly.

        July 24, 2012 at 10:43 am |
        • What?

          They do when a black snake gets hold of them – been there, done that.

          But then again, that's 'only' nature . . . and, apparently, what happens in 'nature' is more "humane" than what happens in modern agricultural practice.

          July 24, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
        • Woman

          If you don't like modern agriculture, I'd just like to remind you that without it you'd be naked, hungry, and homeless. Don't hate on all of agriculture if you don't support one aspect of it.

          July 31, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
        • SlowMoneyFarm

          @ Woman – not hating on agriculture. Simply saying as a *rabbit breeder* am every bit as concerned with how *our* animals are represented and that is a concern. It feeds into activists fire to say rabbits scream when slaughtered. Any animal not killed quickly vocalizes – but if properly done rabbits should not scream. Nature does not represent what we do in providing food any more than wolves tearing apart a conscious moose calf is "humane." That's natural but doesn't represent the slaughter of pigs/cows. And, I dare say, if that was represented to be modern agriculture would speak up. As have I. ~ Jan

          July 31, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
  34. farmgirl

    I'm glad for this article because it is soooo important that consumers get to know the farmers who are growing or raising their food. People don't realize and as farmers we fail to show them how most of us are not farming for the paycheck – if I wanted to really make money I certainly would not be in the dairy business. The other day we had a little angus heifer calf born on our farm and I was remarking to my husband about how beautiful she was with her long black eyelashes and shiny black hair. I mentioned that this must be why we and other farmers still keep farming – all the times we see little miracles like this. Everyday is a long usually challenged filled day on any farm. People, we work hard. And not 8 hour days. More like 16plus. Not complaining but the prices we receive for our labor make it barely worth it. SO, when I hear these so called humane people talking about how poorly animals are treated it really makes me mad. Mad at the FEW farmers who treat their animals cruelly and mad at the "humane" ppl who don't let you consumers see the many farmers who farm because they love their animals, and upset at the gullible in this world who are too cheap and lazy to get to know the farmer who raises or grows what they eat. Contrary to what the article says, I am inclined to believe there is a greater risk for cruel treatment of animals on large "factory" farms. Simply because the actual farmer is not in touch with the animals anymore (tho there are exceptions) and instead hire employees who are just working hard for a check. If you really want to help animals do like the article says -Get to know a farmer, visit the farm, and buy local. It will be healthier for you as well. Oh, and if you want to label yourself as HUMANE you neeqd to treat your fellow HUMANS with respect as well. I bet no knows that one farmer had to protect his family with armed guards with Uzi's because of all the crazies threatening him and his family because of his employee's cruel treatment of his animals that he wasn't even aware of. Doesn't sound like he was treated very humanely. The humane fellow who reported on his farm chose to let the animals be abused and even encouraged it to get more extreme video footage which he then altered to make it look like the farm owner was involved when he didn't even know anything about it.
    You can't believe everything you see on the news so call a farmer and take a tour of their farm. Ask them what obstacles they face and why they keep farming. Support them. If you don't, the small farmers we have around today may very well be forced out of business only to be replaced by processor owned factory farms.

    July 23, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • CT232

      Well said, FG. Great perspective!

      July 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
      • farmgirl

        Thank you. It is high time those of us who are still hanging on to traditional small farming get the real truth of our lives out there. So many people are so far removed from farming these days that they don't have even the faintest clue what we even do and because of this they can easily become misinformed.

        July 23, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Provoked

      That pretty little angus heifer calf has a life that does not belong to you. You may have physical control over her body – And the "legal" mechanism to "own" her – But still... Her life belongs to her. See that's the thing... We each get only one life and we don't forfeit it voluntarily – In her case, it will be taken by force and violence – For profit at that...

      You can try to pretty up the facts all you want – It's still UNNECESSARY killing. It's still STEALING an innocent life that didn't "belong" to you. There are just too many compassionate choices to settle for these antiquated, blood-letting practices. Violence is violence whether the victim has 2 legs or 4 – – –

      July 24, 2012 at 9:14 am |
      • farmgirl

        Since time began humans have killed animals in order to survive. If fact it has only been in recent history with advances in technology that have allowed people like yourself the luxury of even the choice not to eat meat. Consider how it was years ago when ppl worked physically hard for a living, there was no such thing as internet or even refrigerators. If you lived in a cooler climate, lucky you – your food could be stored underground by a cool rushing river to preserve its shelf life. But fruits and veggies will only go so far. Meat could be salted and dried to preserve it for long periods of time and help through those long cold winter months when its nutrients, fat and protein would be essential for preserving human life. Many people still work physically hard today and need these aspects of meat, My guess is that technology has treated you well and you do not have a physically demanding job thus allowing you the luxury to choose to not eat meat.

        July 24, 2012 at 11:57 am |
        • Provoked

          Hi farmgirl – Actually you misjudge me completely – For a 57 year old I do extreme hard physical labor nearly everyday... I've done so since I was a teen. If you're under the impression that plant based foods cannot sustain rigorous activity – Please do a search on "vegan athletes" – And you'll get an entirely different perspective.

          As far as what we've done "since the beginning of time" – Even that is in question. This just in from Scientific America "Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians":
          And because things ARE different now – do we really want to use

          the behavior of the Neanderthals as the yardstick by which to measure our current moral choices?

          I certainly am not recommending the Inuits or the bushmen opt for a plant based diet... Their situation is truly a matter of survival. But that can't be said of us (behind a computer) with the plethora of available healthy and satisfying options. It's a matter of choosing not to kill when there are alternatives... Is that really such a radical idea?

          July 24, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
      • farmgirl

        Also, because I do believe in God, I realize with respect the precious life in my hands and with treat it with respect through it's life and yes death- I get no pleasure in killing – instead I respect a life taken to preserve the life of another. Look at nature this is the reality of life.

        July 24, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
        • Provoked

          For the record which "god" is it you believe in? Thor? Cronus? Zeus? Shiva? Brahma? Ogdad? Tyr? Inti? Tane? Tengri? Arya? Dushara? Inyan? Odin? Horus? etc...

          I believe though you aren't using that word "respect" in what the definition means it to represent: 1. To feel or show deferential regard for; esteem. 2. To avoid violation of or interference with

          Lastly – Please own the word "kill" – It's not a matter of these animals and their "death" - Their lives are taken, stolen, usurped, seized by force. Death is a matter of nature (or god) – Killing is man's brutal domain.

          July 24, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
      • Laura

        Provoked, your statements indicate you have been brainwashed by the vegan cults...I hope you are not reproducing! Such extreme views do not fit the reality. EVERY acre that is put under the plow to create all these vegan foods means that HUNDREDS of small animals, birds, lizards and other living things have been killed in the rabbits cut in two, baby birds legs cut off, and on and on. Wake up. There is NO MEANS of producing food that does not mean that SOME animals are dying...whether or not they are dying to be food on the table, or dying in the field as the field is prepared for planting. GROW UP. You apparently are so far removed from the real world, you live in fantasy land.

        July 24, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
        • Provoked

          Hi Laura – Actually my husband comes from a farming family – I've asked all the old timers and even those still plowing the field – Hundred and hundreds of acres of them... I've asked what of the critters that live in them? Here's what I was told: They aren't dumb – They hear the machines coming and scatter everywhere before they're in danger. Collectively I was told 3 stories – One about a dead snake, a rabbit nest with dead babies and another story about a handful of moles that were trapped while tilling.

          So the idea that the same amount of killing in harvesting plants is proportionate to what's done in the slaughtering of BILLIONS of cows, pigs and chickens is absurd!

          Secondly – All the creatures that are harmed by harvesting plants just add to the casualty numbers because so much of that food is used to fatten animals. IF there are animals killed in cropping – At least let that feed US and be done with the rest of the UNNECESSARY taking of life. Please don't try to compare the "accidental" deaths that occur in acquiring human food meant for survival to the deliberate, calculated killings meant to satisfy wants and not needs.

          July 24, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  35. Blair Turnbull

    Why do you not just refrain from eating them? That will probably help them...alot...

    July 23, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  36. Jez

    Here's a unique idea – stop eating them! Meat – its what's rotting in your colin...

    July 23, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • 123

      You my friend are what is wrong with America. If we don't eat meat animals will overpopulate and suffer worse.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
      • Provoked

        Gosh! "Overpopulate"??? You do realize that the great majority of "farmed" animals are artificially inseminated – Right? Cows, pigs and chickens don't multiply like bunnies you know... Search "bull semen" or "porcine semen" - Ranchers do everything they can to not have an "open" cow or pig. When a female isn't pregnant she's not "productive".

        July 24, 2012 at 9:19 am |
        • What?

          Your argument doesn't hold much water. To quote Jeff Goldblum's character in 'Jurassic Park' – "nature finds a way".

          Just for your information – since you apparently aren't aware of this – one bull is perfectly capable of fully "servicing" a herd of 20 cows, all by himself, year in and year out, without any external help of any kind. There are others posting here who can supply the numbers for a boar and a rooster, I'm sure. All of this is to point out that, left alone and to their own devices, all of these animals will breed unchecked and produce as many offspring as possible, as often as possible, without the 'need' for artificial insemination. Would any given random female 'miss' being bred when the opportunity occurred? It's possible, but highly doubtful, given the number of capable and more-than-willing males that would also be in the population. And given that these "domesticated" animals come into estrus EVERY MONTH, unlike a lot of 'wild' large animals, given the highly unlikely event that one was 'missed' one month, it is almost impossible that she would be missed two months in a row. Predation, disease, starvation, and competition would be the only factors limiting the population – just like any other animal population in nature.

          There are only two reasons that cattle, hogs and chickens don't multiply as fast as rabbits: 1) [applies to all] The 'generation time' is longer for all of these animals than it is for a rabbit, and 2) [applies to cattle only] The number produced at birth is lower. If you think hogs can't turn out some impressive reproduction numbers all by themselves, you really know absolutely nothing about animal husbandry. They might actually breed faster than rabbits, even with fewer litters per year, because the litter size is substantially larger.

          July 24, 2012 at 12:42 pm |

      Colon ;-)

      July 23, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
      • buster's teacher

        Powell? ;)

        July 24, 2012 at 6:58 am |
  37. Michael

    This has to be the dumbest article I've read in a long time.
    Seriously? Ask the grocery store manager if I can meet the farmer? LOL
    Go on a tour of a farm? Actually did that in 5th grade, but fail to see how that helps farmers.
    Eat meat 7 days a week? Well maybe if I'm on Atkins diet or want to give myself a heart attack.

    July 23, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Kristy M

      I guess that's why your wife does the grocery shopping?

      July 23, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  38. Carol McComb

    This large animal veterinarian is absolutely correct. The 2 million Americans engaged in producing meat animals and crops to feed 300 million Americans should be registered as a "national treasure". As the worldwide populations grows the number of people engaged in agriculture production decreases. In order for an animal agriculture enterprise to be successful the producer must use the latest management techniques which include treating their animals with the utmost care. If an animal is not happy they will not produce and if they don't produce then the farmer goes broke. I grew up on a dairy farm and married a dairy farmer and our cows and their care came first. Happy, contented cows make milk. All of our 100+ cows had names and we thought of many of them as members of the family. In fact I liked my cows a whole lot better than I liked a lot of people. Three of our most beloved are buried in our yard.
    It's not the meat that you consume but the volume of the meat that you consume. Agriculture is more than meat production. It is also the production of fruits, vegetables, milk and grains.
    One of the things that makes America unique is the amount of protein, complete protein, that we have available in our diets. Complete proteins are essential to the development of the body, the organs, and the brain. This is what separates the diet of Americans from third world countries.
    America wake up and appreciate the American farmer. Without them we will be importing our food and do you want to eat food from countries that do not have the safeguards in place for wholesomeness, quality, and the requirements for humane treatment of their animals? Right on Dr. Swift!

    July 23, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • farmgirl

      Thank you.

      July 23, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
    • farmgirl

      We name all our girls as well. If I took someone on a walk through our heifers I could tell for most of them who their mothers and even grandmothers were. It's too bad this picture of small family farms isn't out there anymore and it is scary to see it getting becoming extinct to quickly. It is also unfortunate that so many farmers struggle financially so badly that improvements they would like to make for the health and comfort of their animals sometimes they simply cannot afford.

      July 23, 2012 at 9:22 pm |

        Farmgirl , I wish the weather would cool down ! Thank you for your story .

        July 23, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • CT232

      Absolutely, Ms. McComb! Your points are well-said.

      I find it amazing that just two or three decades ago, most Americans would have had sufficient contact with farmers, ranchers, or agribusiness that they would not be voicing the assertions made by some of the commenters here. Many would have gotten started working on a farm or ranch, even if they later left for non-farm business or professional careers.

      Another thing I find amazing is the number of home-gardening practices published in "healthy-living" magazines that are really nothing new, and have been practiced by generations of farming families long before being "rediscovered" by modern media. Would be nice to see previous generations get some credit for this.

      Thanks again, Ms. McComb. You go, girl!

      July 23, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
    • Todd

      One thing I would argue with you on – the high level of proteins Americans intake are not always a positive. Our life expectancy is considerably lower then first-world countries like Japan, France, Spain, and Switzerland that eat considerably less meat. Our obesity rates are much higher, too!

      Moderation in all things is key, though. Americans eat too much fatty beef and too much fried meat. Baked or grilled lean poultry and fish is your friend if you're someone who likes to eat a lot of meat on a daily basis.

      July 23, 2012 at 10:30 pm |
      • What?

        The biggest problem – pardon the pun – isn't necessarily diet . . . it's the FACT that too many of us spend too much time sitting on our behinds instead of getting the levels of exercise that most people got 3 or 4 decades ago.

        July 24, 2012 at 11:40 am |
      • SlowMoneyFarm

        I don't think Ryan said eat a lot of meat daily – perhaps it's splitting hairs. But if someone eats 6 ounces of meat daily – (all 3 meals included) that's 2 1/4 pounds per week. That isn't per sitting. :-) Moderation is good. Those who are working hard can, obviously, consume more than those who don't.

        July 24, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  39. Jennifer

    I wish more food retailers would follow Whole Foods and put animal welfare ratings on their meat products so consumers could make educated decisions on what they buy or where they buy it. I am a vegetarian but if I did eat meat I would not buy it knowing it came from a farm that uses gestation crates, as an example. Why isn't there a push to get more information out there for consumers? It would make a big difference for the welfare of our farm animals.

    July 23, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • Jez

      Why do you still eat them if you are so concerned? Meat = Murder, not to mention horrific "living" conditions while being primed for your fork.

      July 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • farmgirl

      I like and respect what you have to say. However I want to point out one thing – I want to know if you are aware of why pig farmers use gestation crates. I am a dairy farmer but my understanding is that they use them to keep the sow(mother) from rolling on and subsequently squashing the life out of her baby piglets which is quite common. As farmers we often have to weigh the decisions we make EG: is it more humane to let 4 baby piglets be suffocated by their mama or would it be a better choice to restrict the mamas movements for a period of time? Just a thought to consider.

      July 23, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
      • Provoked

        That seems logical farmgirl... But even more so – Wouldn't it REALLY be more "humane" if the sow wasn't forcibly impregnated to begin with? With gestation and farrowing crates - All cages for pigs - It can be compared to placing a puppy in a burning building and then standing outside, wringing your hands over how to "save" the dog. Get real – Stop breeding them as machines. Stop filtering perfectly edible human food inside their bodies for the want of little sausages. Problem solved.

        July 24, 2012 at 9:26 am |
        • farmgirl

          And so you shouldn't buy pork because of your convictions not to eat it. I respect that decision – however you too should respect the decisions of others to eat meat that is raised and killed humanely. Apparently, based on your other statements you do not believe in the God of Heaven and I won't ridicule you for that belief – even so, maybe you need to look more closely at nature then and history-ppl have utilized animals for survival for a long time and our bodies are indeed designed to eat both meat and plant. As others have stated nature itself can be far more cruel than humans in the way it kills – does it need to have a reason? It is all about survival and balance. I don't approve of pleasure killing or gluttony but if everyone in the world chose to be vegan many of you would starve to death especially in a drought year like this. The land on which vegetables and fruit and other crops is grown is disappearing. Also, please inform us on what you do for a living – are you a vegetable farmer, a construction worker, a fireman/woman, do you do hard physical labor or do you sit behind a desk. This will play a roll in what people need to eat as well. Ppl who work physically hard need more protein fat and carbs than those whose labor is not as demanding. Again, if everyone chose to be vegan, those with hard labor jobs would need to an astronomical amount of fruits, nuts and vegetables simply to survive. A shotage would soon appear.

          July 24, 2012 at 11:35 am |
        • farmgirl

          oh and while we are at it. i really hope you don;t own pet. because by nature they aren't meant to be kept by humans either and chances are they may have been encouraged to breed as well.

          July 24, 2012 at 11:40 am |
        • SlowMoneyFarm

          What do we do with the perfectly edible human food that humans don't eat? Throw it away or use it to allow food choices? When was the last time you sat down to a nice big bowl of silage or grass? That is 'food' we cannot eat but animals turn it into food we can eat. Not all areas can support crops, but grass feeds animals that can become human food.

          July 24, 2012 at 11:51 am |
        • Provoked

          Hi farmgirl – Hate to bust your bubble but there is no such thing as humane slaughter. Humane means to be concerned with the alleviation of suffering. These animals aren't in aging pain, diseased or wounded. They are delivered healthy and "fit for life" – So there is no "suffering" to alleviate. Only fear, terror and pain to cause. Needlessly I might add...

          You also might be a little "off" on your accounts of what man actually ate "for a long time": This just in from Scientific America "Human Ancestors Were Nearly All Vegetarians":

          Besides, we don't look to what they did hudreds/thousands of years ago to guide us in what we should/can do today. And we certainly shouldn't look to ancient necessities to justify avoidable cruelty today.

          Shortage of land, resources and water? All the more reason to use what we have wisely – Grow human food and stop fattening animals with what we can and should consume.

          As I mentioned in a previous post I do rigorous physical activity – 6 days a week. I've done so for decades – I've actually found my level of endurance and strength has increased since eating plant strong... 5 years now. Please research what complete nutrition really is – What makes cows as strong as an ox? It sure ain't meat! Also search and to see top performers in American Football, Bodybuilders, Cyclists, Fighters and Runners. I am not an "athlete" by any means – But I'd put my vegan physical strengths up against most omnivore counterparts I know. Protein does not have to come from animals...

          Finally – You cite the physical needs of a fireman – Ever hear of Rip Esselstyn and the Engine 2 Diet?

          July 24, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • SlowMoneyFarm

      Jennifer things like this *IS* a push to try to connect. Don't you see? The small farms cannot afford advertising campaigns of large ones, but we're still out here and still trying to connect. We can't drive to the big city, many in the city won't drive to us. So how do we bridge that gap? How do we engage in that conversation? Isn't that what we're doing here? ;-) I'm glad that Eatocracy is looking at some of these issues and allows for the engagement of farms of all types and sizes. That's what provides you with food choices, something that we feel strongly about offering. It's what we do. Thanks for your comments! :-)

      July 24, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Ryan Goodman

      Thanks for the comment Jennifer. Like my friend Jan (SlowMoneyFarm) said, this is an effort to reach out and connect with you, and answer your questions. View my previous articles for links to other farmers doing the same, and feel free to contact me through any of the links listed at the top of this article.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  40. for

    for all of you who are afraid to eat meat, if we only ate vegetables animals would overpopulate the earth, they would eat all of the veggies, and everybody would suffer. God put animals here for us to eat. I don't believe in torturing the animals like some people do(and they should be punished) however animals raised properly for meat production have to be eaten.

    July 23, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Provoked

      Gosh! "Overpopulate"??? You do realize that the great majority of "farmed" animals are artificially inseminated – Right? Cows, pigs and chickens don't multiply like bunnies you know... Search "bull semen" or "porcine semen" – Ranchers do everything they can to not have an "open" cow or pig. When a female isn't pregnant she's not "productive".

      And "god"? For the record which "god" are you "quoting"? Thor? Cronus? Zeus? Shiva? Brahma? Ogdad? Tyr? Inti? Tane? Tengri? Arya? Dushara? Inyan? Odin? Horus? Well... You see there are many beliefs – And it shouldn't surprise you that many people of varing theologies eschew animal flesh for a variety of reasons. So the idea that your beliefs (based on your male-god) should be the measure and example for everyone is a bit presumptious – Don't you think?

      I assure you that no matter what your beliefs are... NO ONE will betray their faith if they choose to be kind. ;)

      July 24, 2012 at 9:47 am |
  41. Joe

    Holy cow Stephanie you have never heard of a cattle vet? You are showing just how ignorant you are. Maybe you people really should visit a farm before you open your mouths. The info you choose to read is not reality on most farms. There are always a few bad apples in any industry but the good people don't make interesting news.

    July 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
  42. new vegan

    Better the movie Earthlings then u will see HOW much industrial farms care about the animals they slaughter. They care about money...PERIOD

    July 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  43. new vegan

    Would u eat id dog or cat?

    July 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • David

      Yes; without hesitation. In fact, I have eaten dog, on a trip through Southeast Asia.

      July 23, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • nom nom nom nom

      If I was desperately hungry, then yes. I would even eat YOU.

      July 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
      • michael


        July 24, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  44. new vegan enough said! Read the book or watch the movie...maybe u all might learn something.

    July 23, 2012 at 7:58 pm |
    • princess

      YES!!!! Everyone shoudl watch FORKS OVER KNIVES animals in these hige slaughterhouses are not treated humanely they are treated terribly, thank GOD I do ot eat meat any more!! I have been vegan now for about 5 years. I cannot eat another heartbeat.

      July 23, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

        I couldn't watch that for more than 10 minutes it was so overly false and slanted. And I love getting both sides of the story. Heard good things, was extremely disappointed. To say the LEAST

        July 23, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
      • Ally

        Wow. I'm the type of person who likes to get the facts from both sides of an issue. But I couldn't get past the first couple of minutes of that video. It's very obvious that it's heavily biased. And that's not good for anyone to view.

        July 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm |
    • Grace

      God gave us permission in the Bible to eat meat. He told us to. He gave us stewardship over all creatures.

      July 24, 2012 at 4:13 am |
      • Layman

        I give me permission, too. Yum!

        July 24, 2012 at 7:00 am |
      • Provoked

        For the record which "god" are you "quoting"? Thor? Cronus? Zeus? Shiva? Brahma? Ogdad? Tyr? Inti? Tane? Tengri? Arya? Dushara? Inyan? Odin? Horus? Well... You see there are many beliefs – And it shouldn't surprise you that many people of varing theologies eschew animal flesh for a variety of reasons. So the idea that your beliefs (based on your male-god) should be the measure and example for everyone is a bit presumptious – Don't you think?

        I assure you that no matter what your beliefs are... NO ONE will betray their faith if they choose to be kind. ;)

        July 24, 2012 at 9:49 am |
    • Ryan Goodman

      That is one side of the story to be shared, but there are so many more people involved in raising our food. I hope you'll be open to some of the suggestions above and hear the stories that many farmers have to share.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Andrew

      It is easy to sit there and judge when you can go down the street and buy food that is nicely prepared and wrapped up for you. If you have ever tried to raise and grow your own food, than you could sit there and speak from experience. Raising and growing your own food is the hardest, but most important and rewarding venture you will ever do. Try it and you will gain an appreciation for the land and the animals that you have yet to understand.

      July 24, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
  45. stephanie

    meant to say my thougths exactly to the post that the author must be on the take from Big Ag..and anyone who thinks eating meat and dairy even a few days a week WILL end up on high cholesterol and high blood pressure meds like the rest of this meat consuming country!!

    July 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • CT232

      Stephanie, do you believe that anyone who disagrees with you must be on the take? Can you cogently defend this logic? More to the point, do you have the experience to defend your assertions without making obvious errors?

      This comment and your previous one suggest that you have very little experience with traditional farming and ranching in America. The author's experience is not unusual; these days many farm families own multigenerational land, diversify their produce, have one or more children of the family with degrees in agriculture, agribusiness, mechanics or veterinary medicine, and are very interested in keeping their crops and flocks healthy. Farming or ranching is a business and has to be run efficiently to make a fair income, but multigenerational farms are also a way of life, and enormously beneficial to rural communities, to the U.S. economy, and to overseas exports.

      As far as your assertion that eating meat and dairy several days a week will doom one to hypertension and hyperlipidemia, I respectfully disagree. As you know or should know, about half of serum cholesterol is from diet, and about half is generated in one's own body and is relatively resistant to dietary change. Endogenous cholesterol synthesis and to some extent the absorptive and transport process from the gut is under genetic infiuence, which means that some persons can thrive on diets that others would not tolerate. Modest amounts of chicken, fish, lean beef, low-fat milk, etc. are tolerated by most. However, the keys are moderation (don't overeat – this applies to veggies and grains as well as meat & dairy), variety and balance. Exercise, physical fitness, and keeping the weight down also help with blood pressure and lipid issues, and working on a farm certainly gives an opportunity for some of those needs to be met!

      July 23, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Carol McComb

      there are many countries of the world that eat a great amount of meat..Eskimos consume in their diet large amounts of meat from animals with lots of saturated fats but their cholesterol levels are very low..Many of us have high cholesterol levels because of pure genetics..we could drink water for weeks and never reduce our cholesterol the answer; keep active; get off your posterior and exercise...instead too many sit all day long with little exercise; come home and sit some more; got to bed and no exercise...

      If you want to be a vegan that is fine; vegetables are raised by farmers too! Eat is good for you but don't expect the supply to last forever because 40% of our corn is used to make ethanol which we burn in our cars that contributes to greenhouse gas emissions...

      Come on people .. wake up.. let's give American agriculture the credit it deserves for feeding 300 million people!

      July 23, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
      • Todd

        Carol – traditional Inuit do eat a lot of meat and a ton of calories, but the difference between Americans and Inuit is activity level. Even if an American goes to the gym for an hour every single day, they're not going to match the activity level of a traditional Inuit and the dietary needs are not the same.

        Encouraging people to eat meat seven days a week is somewhat irresponsible if you don't put some caveats on it. Meat every day is fine if it's fish or lean poultry prepared in a healthy manner. If it's beef every day or fried meat every day – then that's horrible for your health. It's all in what type of meat and how you prepare it. Ideally beef and fried meats should be treated as occasional treats.

        July 23, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • SlowMoneyFarm

      I suppose that's why my doctor asked what I was eating and commented everyone should have numbers like mine because they're excellent.
      And no I'm not a vegetarian.

      July 24, 2012 at 10:49 am |
  46. Patrish

    Humans will never give up meat, but we know it's not that good for us. I am very concerned about how are farm animals are treated. Factor farming has been horrible for them. I check out the list of farmers and try and support them. While I eat some meat (mostly in dishes, not as regular meal), I've learn to enjoy many of the meatless products. Any farm that allows their farm animals to be abused and I learn about it, they go right off my list. (Butterball Turkey, etc.) This is my personal choice, I'm sure most people won't do the same.

    July 23, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Ryan Goodman

      Patrish, thanks for the comment! And thank you for taking a vested interest in learning more about where your food comes from. Getting to know several farmers in your area, and those from across the country sharing their story online, then letting them know your concerns is the best way to initiate a dialogue and change when needed.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
  47. don

    eat them

    July 23, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  48. compassionatechristian

    I don't think I've read such a blatantly inane article in a long time. If this represents your ability as a critical thinker, then you better forget that Master's degree. " and food processors have always been concerned about the welfare of the animals." NO they have not, and NO they are not. If this statement were true, there would not be the public outcry following release of undercover investigative videos taken at, to name a few: Conklin Dairy, Christensen Farms, Hallmark/Westfield Meat Processors, and the list goes on and on and on. The horrific abuse and torture at many farms and "processing" facilities is well-documented. You're either NOT in the know, or you're simply lying.

    July 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • What?

      There's always a bad apple in every basket – sooner or later. Same with people – it's just human nature.

      You obviously haven't learned to "think critically" yourself, or you wouldn't judge a multi-billion dollar industry by the actions of a very, very few.

      July 24, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Ryan Goodman

      Thanks for the comment compassionatechristian.

      I'd appreciate if you'll take the time to participate in some of the suggestions listed above. I think you'll gain a lot of information by following your food, visiting with farmers, and learning what they do. As your username suggests, I hope you'll be compassionate and not judge by a few examples that you have seen on video, and be open to hearing another person's perspective. I'm not saying you have to agree, just hear us out.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Laura

      Looks like compassionatechristian has swallowed the propaganda put forward in the videos from Mercy for Animals. This group keeps sending people out to FIND abuse...and if they don't find it, they PAY for it to happen so they can film in the Conklin case. Hire a mentally deficient guy to work on a farm and provide the abuse you want to show...sticking cows with pitch forks, hitting calves with shovels, and smiling into the camera....with statements indicating he is playing to the camera. Ever hear of any abuser allowing himself to be abused and smiling? Only a stupid one. People who farm for a living generally LIKE farm work: the animals, the land, the daily routine, it is a healthy life. As far as abusing animals, only a stupid farmer would abuse the animals because abused animals do not produce, do not bring as much money at market time, etc. That is simply common sense...except to the animal rights cult followers!

      July 24, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  49. compassionatechristian

    As for eating meat seven nights a week being "OK" according to you, are you or a member of your family a cardiologist? Because it sounds like you're trying to drum up some business. After people have their first bypass surgery, they learn how not ok eating meat is for them. And by the way, did you happen to notice the other meat-related article on this page–29,339 pounds of ground beef recalled due to salmonella?

    You are definitely NOT in the know, or you are definitely ON THE TAKE by Big Ag. How shameful.

    July 23, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • MarileeBob

      Don't you get tired, perched up on that soapbox all day, every day?

      July 23, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
      • compassionatechristian

        Actually no, if that's what you want to call it. Do some research, get the facts, and that may enable you to understand the issue better, as well as the inane falsehoods contained in this article.

        July 23, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
        • tesla1908

          Someone who calls themselves compassionatechristian mentioning inane falsehoods is downright funny.

          July 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
    • faisal

      I eat 150g of boneless chicken breast 5 days a week (lunch) and wild salmon the other two days (again lunch). so far no negative effect on cholesterol levels or cardio health. Meat is not evil , most of those who end up having heart trouble are McDonald eaters.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • stephanie

      my thoughts EXACTLY!!! and never actually heard of a cattle vet..always seems like these animals suffer and just get thrown on the dead pile by using a fork lift..

      July 23, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
      • David

        If you have never heard of a cattle vet then you no NOTHING of the industry you are so eager to complain about. I'm not even in the ag business and I know two livestock vets. Please stop commenting about things when you are so fundamentally ignorant.

        July 23, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
      • CT232

        Most veterinarians divide into large-animal and small-animal practices. The latter are more financially lucrative, as most pet owners will pay large amounts for the care of their loved pets. However, large-animal vets are the mainstay of agricultural practice; they administer shots, treat injuries or illness, assist in difficult births, monitor animal health, and a thousand other services. Also, large-animal vets can volunteer their experience overseas to help those less fortunate, especially rural families for whom a live goat or other milk- or meat-producing animal can make a great difference in child health.

        July 23, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
      • farmgirl

        You are right to say it SEEMS like. That is sadly because that is the portrayal of farmers these days. We farmers shake our heads and feel just as angry maybe more than you when we see these things because it is so against what we do. And since we are working long days taking care of our animals for our living, and not getting big bucks preying on the sympathies of animal lovers by using the rare instances of cruelty captured on video, we often don't have the time or financial means to get our stories out there. That is why the author of this article suggests people go to farms and get to know farmers – you would be a perfect example of someone who would benefit from this. You could see what is really true out there.

        July 23, 2012 at 9:40 pm |
      • SlowMoneyFarm

        Awesome so you learned something today! Yes there are livestock veterinarians, some that specialize in cattle or poultry. You can't always believe what "seems" to be in video because it doesn't tell the whole story.

        July 24, 2012 at 10:52 am |
      • Ally

        Stepanie, one of my college roommates was getting her Masters for "large animal veternary science". That would be your cattle vet. I hope someone doesn't read your comment and assume there are no vets for livestock just because you weren't aware.

        See how mis-information gets spread?

        July 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • BS

      I hear falling off of a soapbox is also hazardous to one's health. There are no legitimate recommendations in existence that suggest it is not possible to eat healthy and eat meat every day. The dietary world is not that black and white.

      July 23, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
      • Todd

        It's perfectly possible to eat meat every day and still have a healthy diet as long as you're mindful of what kind of meat you're eating and how you're preparing it. If you eat a very meat heavy diet – try to keep it to baked or grilled lean poultry and fish as much as possible. Anything beef or anything fried as an occasional treat. And you'll be fine.

        July 23, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
        • Ryan Goodman

          Todd, did you know beef is actually just as healthy, if not healthier than other animal proteins. There are 29 cuts of beef considered lean by dietary standards, and actually contain higher percentages of healthy fats and cholesterol than what many give it credit for.

          July 24, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • guessncheck

      Did you hear about the lysteria outbreak in all of those vegetables? Food poisening happens in fruits and vegis too. Eating a balanced diet of meat and vegis is not bad for you. Moderation is key. Look at the human mouth. There is a reason we have some pointy teeth and some flat teeth, and if you recall second grade science that means we are designed to eat both meat and vegis. Just sayin.

      July 23, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
    • g2-554d155ee0aaa518e03a7e70d9cd6b0b

      Boneless, skinless chicken is also meat- and recommended by my cardiologist, in proper portions, every day.

      July 23, 2012 at 8:05 pm |
    • dnfromge

      @compassionatechristian... My grandmother just turned 100 on July 15 – she ate a very meat and potatoes every day type diet her entire life – still does. Her only health problems are diminished hearing and some short term memory issues – she has good days and bad days. No heart disease, no high cholesterol, no high blood pressure, no hypertension no real health issues to speak of – meat everyday worked for her. What she did NOT do was smoke or drink – only a small glass of wine on a holiday or special occasion.

      July 24, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
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