Is Free-range Free?

Free-Range Chickens

Animal feeding operations look so benign when you drive by. Most, especially cattle, are very well hidden. As Paul McCartney said, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls we would all be vegetarians.”

Inside, the picture is a grim cesspool. I often hear from meat eaters that they only eat cage free chicken and grass fed cattle. Well scroll down to see what cage free chicken looks like. And grass fed beef is such a euphemism.

The story I posted today from @plant_proof reviews one of the big rallying cries around grass fed beef: carbon sequestration. Just about every study done on environmental health and climate change stresses the need to drastically drop meat production/consumption.

Of course, since there is just no way at all to justify large animal agriculture, people say “well grass fed meat is good for the environment.” In fact, this idea of carbon sequestration has been proven wrong over and over.

The amount of cattle you would need to have grass fed meat to meet the demand is even more than we have now. And the need to create new grazing land would greatly offset any benefit while further increasing waste in our waters and demand for water.

Can you imagine 80 million grazing cows??? Meanwhile, the meat industry continues to practice economy of scale so that there are less feedlots. But they are now far more dense making a future pandemic almost inevitable.

From a health standpoint grass fed meat still has heme-iron, AGEs, heterocyclic amines, still raises IGF-1, endotoxins, dietary oxidized cholesterol, etc.. Small farms that do rotational crops and use animal grazing can certainly be good for the environment but could never come close to meeting demand.

The bottom line is we need to think outside of the box to save our planet. We need to greatly decrease our demand for meat. We also need to re-purpose land currently used to feed animals. We need to invest in vertical farms, no till farms, and hydroponics. We need to localize food production. More small farms and less economies of scale where a few huge companies control the way we treat our planet.

Changing the way we eat is the most important thing we can do to save our planet.

Plant Proof


IOP Science Article: Nationwide shift to grass-fed beef requires larger cattle population

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