Real Meat

Have you ever been to a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO)? Even know what it is?

It’s a factory farm — an industrial facility — used for finishing livestock, including cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys, prior to slaughter. Their primary goal? To make the most amount of meat in the shortest amount of time. It’s about efficiency.

Don’t go. Even if you’re daring. Even if you’re brave. You won’t be able to stomach it.

The awful stench is the ammonia and hydrogen sulfide gasses — toxic air pollutants which are directly responsible for the death of farm workers who enter poorly ventilated manure containment systems. According to the Pew Commission on Industrial Farm and Animal Production, CAFO “facilities can be harmful to workers, neighbors, and even those living far from the facilities through air and water pollution, and via the spread of disease. Workers in and neighbors of [these] facilities experience high levels of respiratory problems, including asthma.”

Liquid manure from CAFOs is a major pollutant of soils and waterways

Liquid manure from CAFOs is a major pollutant of soils and waterways

No wonder. The waste from one cow is more than 20 times the waste of a human, multiply that by 10,000 cows all confined to a small space and you have the waste of a small city of 200,000 people on your hands.

But it’s more than the smell, more than the pollution to our air, soil, and water. I don’t eat factory-farmed meat because it’s downright unhealthy. It comes from some of the most sickly and disease-infested animals on our planet, animals with compromised immune systems, animals so sensitive to illness that they’re fed a steady diet of antibiotics humans who need to go near them must don space suits.

I’m not making this up.

On top of all this, the grain-based diet these animals eat is unnatural, and it produces unnatural meats. Cows, for example, are ruminants. That means they eat grass. Not grains. Grass. Their bodies were created to metabolize grass and turn it into meat. In a CAFO, the typical cow is fed a diet of grains, chicken manure, dead animal parts, waste products from food, beverage, and candy factories, and  silage. No grass to be found. Anywhere. This industrial diet makes the cows sick because it aggravates and imbalances their digestive acids and enzymes.  And not surprisingly, it makes their meat bad for us.

You know all those studies that show that a diet high in red meat can cause cancer and heart disease, obesity and depression, insulin resistance and allergies? Well, they’re right. But the red meat they’re feeding study volunteers isn’t my red meat.  It isn’t grass-fed and finished meat from cows that got plenty of sunshine, exercise, and no antibiotics.

Grass-fed and finished meats are lower in fat, contain a healthier balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fatty acids, plus they’re higher in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), beta carotene, and vitamins A and E.

In other words, animals fed their natural, God-given diets of lush grasses (and the occasional annoying insect) have more of the good fats, vitamins, and minerals your body needs.

So, enjoy your meat! But make sure it’s wholesome meat, raised without the use of antibiotics, and fed on Nature’s banqueting table.

Make sure it’s real meat!

Want to keep reading more about The Basics? Try out these articles:

Real Milk

Real Eggs

Fermented & Raw

Real Food