There is this understanding being passed around about livestock farming and the negative impacts it is having on our environment. This understanding is true when animals are taken away from their natural habitat and confined or forced into a limited space for mass production. There is a definition for this, and it is called factory farming or CAFO’s (confined animal farming operations.) These places are where 95% of Americans (including many of our favorite overly priced restaurants, schools, and even hospitals) get their meat from. The misunderstanding is the idea that ridding our land and bodies of meat consumption entirely is our only answer. This is 100% wrong, unhealthy for us and our lands, and is NOT sustainable with an ever growing population.
At Bone-In we condone these CAFO practices and are searching for the best farming practices in the area. They are popping up everywhere now as people are becoming more aware of the issues mass production, government regulation, and demand for cheap foods has created.
With a growth in population and demand for quality food, pasture grazing farming practices are the best answers to our sustainability and food security. Animals have evolved in this world to play their part in our ecosystems. From land and air maintenance, to the aeration and compaction of organic matter into our soil, to natural nitrogen fertilizer (manure) for our soil ecosystems, all the way to an end food product for carnivores & omnivores alike, they are a huge staple in the circle of life.
When an animal is grazing on pastures they are simply eating grass. Grass that is essential to their well being and health. When this grass being grazed grows back, the CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions in the air are absorbed by the grass and oxygen is then released. This is typical of any plant growth. In addition, for a soil ecosystem to thrive (a world of millions of microorganisms and our origin of evolution), it must also be fed. This is where manure, the aeration of soils, and the compaction of organic matter by the herding, stomping, or foraging of animals has its roles. It was the way nature intended before the human population became such a dominantly uncontrolled industrialized species.
A healthy soil permits the growth of vegetables and grasses for both human and animal consumption. Especially if we demand this without the use of pesticides or fertilizer treatments, then animal grazing is essential. A pasture grazing practice followed by a multi-layered crop growth can yield the same, if not more, as an “organic” farming method. It just takes time and patience. By instead letting science influence mass production and over step natural habits, we have now destroyed most of our air and lands in order to meet the demands of convenience by the populace. So now it is up to us to fix what we started and make better decisions to help restore these same lands. Just to emphasize the tediousness of this task, it takes AT LEAST 3 years to bring back a soil ecosystem that has been plagued by improper farming practices and land use. Yet, healthy lands are essential to our sustainability and food security…PERIOD.
In this blog I will not get into the health benefits of eating meat that is raised naturally, or even hunted, as that is a much longer topic of conversation. Just know that eliminating meat from your diet and instead relying heavily on hydroponic vegetable farms, mono-cultural vegetable farming practices (where almost all our corn, soy, rice, and wheat come from), stem cell derived meat based products (really?), and mass processed / boxed food is FAR FROM the answer to our sustainability. It is not only gross and even more hazardous to us and our environment as we try desperately and ignorantly to defy nature, but it is also a great way to further escalate bacterial plague, famine, and nutritional degeneration of our lands and population.