3

votes

Does anyone eat organic/ pasture raised meat for the primary purpose of animal treatment?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 12, 2011 at 8:23 AM

I always see on here the scientific reasons for eating better quality meat, no hormones/antibiotics, omega-3 balance, etc but no one ever talks about the animal being more than a food source. For me, the health reasons are secondary and more of a by-product of not participating in the conventional food system of torturing animals. I'm no PETA puppet, just wondering if anyone else chooses their meat for similar reasons (keep the tasteless jokes to yourself please).

6c42b0de336c7b074acf731f4b5dfa87

on June 19, 2011
at 07:26 PM

Absolutely - reasons of animal treatment came first for me, before the health benefits became well known This is a win/win/win - the third "win" being for the environment.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on April 13, 2011
at 09:33 AM

Great points Emily. There are a lot of buzzwords today that are becoming more popular (organic mac and cheese? organic meat from china?).

C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on April 12, 2011
at 09:57 PM

A small nit, on a macro-ecological note: if the lambs and the humans weren't there, something else wild would be eating the grass for sure. Otherwise, good answer with honest self-appraisal.

C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on April 12, 2011
at 09:50 PM

It seems no coincidence that all three are satisfied by a common method. We might make a distinction between them, and reorder within the group for philosophical discussion, but if they can't really be split apart from that reordering the distinction is not overly useful in practice. For example, Toxins cannot be Optimal, either for you or the animals.

7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1197)

on April 12, 2011
at 12:24 PM

Glad to see you comment Stephen...I still wouldn't favour grain-fed over grass-fed for fat unless I absolutely *had* to buy it (I don't know, if I hadn't eaten in a week and could only afford grain-fed haha). Getting away from the animal treatment side of things, I would not feel comfortable eating CAFO meat because I am unsure exactly of how their diet would influence the healthfulness of their fat. I say I am unsure because it's true - I don't know, but I imagine the details are not great. Do you have any links to anything discussing this? Thanks.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on April 12, 2011
at 11:32 AM

more fat is great, unhealthy fat is not. I disagree with the Jaminets strongly in this case. It is definitely not solely about omega 6.

7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1197)

on April 12, 2011
at 09:44 AM

Good answer. I know what you mean about being an 'idealistic teenager'. For me being vegan was not just about what I ate but also about the whole scene I was involved in. For that I am grateful.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on April 12, 2011
at 09:13 AM

Great to hear someone else has a similar perspective :-) thanks for sharing

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16 Answers

5
Medium avatar

(5136)

on April 12, 2011
at 12:44 PM

yes. Just because we eat them and they're delicious doesn't mean that they deserve to be abused, mistreated or made to lead miserable lives for their entire life. They are living, feeling beings.

5
C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on April 12, 2011
at 09:41 AM

Yeah. Prior to starting Paleo 3 weeks ago, I was pesco-vegetarian for over 25 years (and happily and healthily so).

My reasons for vegetarianism varied somewhat over the years; the idealistic teenager who started out down that road may no longer have been the loudest voice or the primary reason, but concern for animal welfare and cruelty clearly remained an important element. I see it as a small way to exert market pressure supporting desirable practices, by whatever criteria of desirability. The fact that what is healthiest for the animal is also healthiest for the meat-eater just makes it all the more desirable.

Indeed, in some way my diet has changed dramatically, giving up my beloved pasta and embracing meat - but in other ways it's not so different. I never ate that much sugary stuff (by general standards), very rarely ate junk food and always preferred "real food". In fact, particularly when eating out, "I'm a vegetarian" was the simplest and most widely understood way to express that I cared about what I ate or wanted to make specific requests, without necessarily being actually about the meat.

One day, Paleo eaters might be as widely recognised and undertood.

7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1197)

on April 12, 2011
at 09:44 AM

Good answer. I know what you mean about being an 'idealistic teenager'. For me being vegan was not just about what I ate but also about the whole scene I was involved in. For that I am grateful.

4
A6b2325aefabe3e40c89646e40223f6f

on April 12, 2011
at 06:13 PM

Short answer: yes.

Long answer: A few years back I was on a Scottish isle and saw these little lambs frolicking about. They were super cute.

I felt bad about eating those delicious little guys, but then I had a thought: these lambs wouldn't even be alive if they weren't raised by us for food. They never would have been born. So I realized that they are getting a life that they wouldn't have had out of the deal. As long as that life is good/enjoyable/humane, it seems like a fair tradeoff.

So if animals get to lead a good life I am cool with eating them. Otherwise I feel sort of guilty. So getting grass fed/pastured etc is for me at least as much about humane treatment of animals (or put more cynically, about mitigating my guilt) as it is about health.

C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on April 12, 2011
at 09:57 PM

A small nit, on a macro-ecological note: if the lambs and the humans weren't there, something else wild would be eating the grass for sure. Otherwise, good answer with honest self-appraisal.

4
03fa485bfd54734522755f47a5e6597e

(3944)

on April 12, 2011
at 04:00 PM

Like others, it's one of my reasons. I grew up helping to butcher chickens and raising hogs for market. I've seen how humanely it can be done, but I've also been in a sow farrowing building where the sows stand in crates where they can't turn around (because they might step or lie on their pigs), and seen hogs dying in the aisles at a stockyard because their super-leanness genes couldn't take the stress of being loaded on a truck and hauled. None of that ever made me even consider vegetarianism, but it gave me a perspective about what's possible, compared to what the industry claims is necessary.

Interestingly, I've become "softer" about killing animals as I've gotten older. As a kid, I chopped those chickens' heads off with an ax without the slightest twinge. When I kill them now, I feel a sort of bond with them (after all, it'll be my head on the chopping block someday, figuratively), and say a little thanks to them and to God for what they're giving me.

4
3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on April 12, 2011
at 12:35 PM

Animal welfare is as important to me as healthy nutrition. After all the things I've seen, I feel bad whenever I see a piece of meat from CAFOs etc. I could not eat it without feeling bad. And feeling bad is what I try to prevent by eating the way I do.

So, for me, this is just another symbiotic relationship. The best food comes from healthy ("happy") animals. And only healthy/happy animals turn into the best food. So this is not really a difficult decision: for me it's all the same.

4
7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1197)

on April 12, 2011
at 08:37 AM

Yes, I try to choose organic / pastured meat over CAFO meat for this reason. I noticed in a recent post by the Jaminets (http://perfecthealthdiet.com/) that they used grain-fed meat for one of their recipes (http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?p=2775) - 'These are regular grain-fed, not grass-fed, steaks; grain-fed is cheaper and fattier, both of which we like, and the omega-6 content is reasonably low even in grain-fed beef.' Nutritionally speaking then perhaps grain-fed is not such a massive problem but I would rather eat meat from an animal that I know has been treated well. I used to be vegan and a member of Peta, and whilst I disagree with their forceful stance on such things, I do feel better knowing the meat I am eating comes from a good source.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on April 12, 2011
at 11:32 AM

more fat is great, unhealthy fat is not. I disagree with the Jaminets strongly in this case. It is definitely not solely about omega 6.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on April 12, 2011
at 09:13 AM

Great to hear someone else has a similar perspective :-) thanks for sharing

7e1064164e012a1ead098098245b1cd4

(1197)

on April 12, 2011
at 12:24 PM

Glad to see you comment Stephen...I still wouldn't favour grain-fed over grass-fed for fat unless I absolutely *had* to buy it (I don't know, if I hadn't eaten in a week and could only afford grain-fed haha). Getting away from the animal treatment side of things, I would not feel comfortable eating CAFO meat because I am unsure exactly of how their diet would influence the healthfulness of their fat. I say I am unsure because it's true - I don't know, but I imagine the details are not great. Do you have any links to anything discussing this? Thanks.

2
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on April 13, 2011
at 10:21 PM

It is very important to me. I still eat regular meat mixed with grass-fed, and I do feel guilty about it, I hope to switch completely soon. I do also buy only fair trade coffee and chocolate. I don't want to live my privileged life on the backs of abused humans and animals. I try to do my best, with the limited funds that I have.

2
98bf2ca7f8778c79cd3f6c962011cfdc

on April 12, 2011
at 03:47 PM

I'm so happy to see this discussion. I thought I was the only one. I actually came to paleo because of a decision to stop eating animal flesh from abused and mistreated animals. At the time (several years ago) not many in my low carb community were making this choice or even having the discussion about animal welfare so searching out like-minds and finding paleo having a strong preference for grass-fed, pastured animals I came to a better understanding of paleo principles and they resonated with me (knew about paleo for years but didn't fully understand it.) I have felt a bit odd man out as the paleo grass fed preference seems to generally come from a viewpoint of "better for me" instead of "better for them" but to my mind it doesn't really matter why a person makes this choice but only that he/she does. I love animals and the more who make the choice for pastured the better off the animals are. I would go so far as to say that this issue is my one and only line-in-the-sand. I would eat seitan and tofu (heaven forbid!) before I would participate in animal abuse by consuming factory farmed animals because I'm pretty sure that when God said we should have dominion over the animals of the earth she didn't mean we should torture and abuse them. (Go ahead. Down-vote away, lol!)

2
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on April 12, 2011
at 11:33 AM

I am all about the ethical treatment of animals, but it is not priority one.

Whole Nutrition and Optimal Health for me and mine is Priority One.

Reduction of Toxins is priority 2.

Treatment of the animals is a close third.

C074eec3b3c0325ef3018a128111823a

(1012)

on April 12, 2011
at 09:50 PM

It seems no coincidence that all three are satisfied by a common method. We might make a distinction between them, and reorder within the group for philosophical discussion, but if they can't really be split apart from that reordering the distinction is not overly useful in practice. For example, Toxins cannot be Optimal, either for you or the animals.

1
B52d2de700b7a6492f348b47c843b401

on April 12, 2011
at 02:04 PM

I went beefless (and mostly pork-free) a few years ago after researching the general treatment of cows in larger feedlots/processing plants. I just couldn't justify the indulgence, nor did I want to consume the meat of sick, diseased animals. When I went Paleo it was about a month into it and sheer flavor boredom from too much chicken had me reconsidering as long as the beef was grass-fed (and therefore hopefully treated better as it would be coming from smaller farms with more personally invested farmers). Unfortunately, there was a recent case of horrific bovine abuse at a New England farm, and this establishment was labeled organic. We have to remain diligent as grass-fed and organic become more popular advertising terms...quality may start to slip in an effort to mass market to the public. Also, we need to CARE about WHERE our grass-fed beef is coming from. Countries (like Brazil) bulldoze rain forest to create grassland for beef production. This isn't doing our environment any favors. Trader Joe's grass-fed beef is shipped in from Australia and Brazil (not very green). I've recently started seeking out different sources.

65430e39d7e9e9322718d016fe668051

(2944)

on April 13, 2011
at 09:33 AM

Great points Emily. There are a lot of buzzwords today that are becoming more popular (organic mac and cheese? organic meat from china?).

1
9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5

on April 12, 2011
at 10:49 AM

We just went and bought some beef and pork from a local farmer (about 20 minutes away) - they raise the cows themselves and give them a good long happy life (unlike factory cows who only live about a year). They have pigs too, who seem very happy as well (and they're delicious). So far so good - supporting local business, and more ethical treatment of animals. Win win for me.

0
Acfd35c9e350bb4c0c17810af4decd95

on April 12, 2011
at 06:09 PM

The ethical treatment is a factor but I eat grass-fed primarily for me.

0
04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

on April 12, 2011
at 05:32 PM

Buying a 1/4 (or half) directly from a farmer who practices sustainability and humane treatment of animals who also is 100% grassfed/finished beef is good for you, good for the farmer, your family, and it helps build nutrients to the soil. It doesn't take away from the soil. Also, because of the seasonality of the "natural" business, raising on a smaller scale, it's not always available in the market.

One of the best reason's is the hamburger you are getting is coming from ONE healthy cow. My family loves grass-fed beef hamburger-.

Not all farmers apply for certification(s) of ORGANIC like Joel Salatin. But he is the "Star" of all farmers.

(Yes, I am biased)

0
535633b57c4a4940d1e913e7a12ee791

(1013)

on April 12, 2011
at 01:30 PM

We have an awesome organic-type food co-op where local farmers who raise their animals in a humane way can sell pastured meat and eggs. Really a great idea.

-3
5bf2296b9cdde972566a80f89825b1a3

(64)

on April 14, 2011
at 08:12 AM

I strongly admire the do-gooder intentions, but I think y'all are insulated from reality.

Mistreatment of livestock lowers profits, therefore the industry tries to avoid it.

Bovines are not people. They do NOT think or feel like people do.

There is a reason why the PETA fruitcakes are all city people..... city people are disconnected from reality.

-3
8396527a5a60adf1910efb9468dc95bc

on April 13, 2011
at 05:26 AM

Here's a good video on meat: http://meat.org

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