How Do Consumers View Cattle Production?

Yesterday Amanda Radke shared an interesting email from a reader of her Beef Daily column. It’s a grossly disturbing viewpoint of cattle production, pulling scenes from many documentaries and films. I’ll share the viewers message below. What would your response be to such statements?

“Amanda, all animals processed conventionally are super-stressed out, terrified, and their cortisol and panic levels are out of sorts, and then we eat that crap. Your portrait of the lives of animals simply isn’t accurate except in fairy tales or, in rare exceptions, at family farms. I wish you were right, though! Just like with humans, emotions are very much recorded on a cellular level. This has been scientifically documented. So, it may sound ridiculous, but we very much are eating not just the hormones pumped into them to keep them pregnant all the time, but we are eating their panic, fear, stress, pain and anxiety, which affects us, unfortunately. Hell, that describes most Americans. You are what you eat; it can’t be said enough! Cows are usually super-diseased, ill, miserable and abused, unless you are getting local grass-fed, pastured cows that are killed most-humanely.

“When was the last time you read up on this or watched a documentary on current conventional farming methods? I highly recommend the documentary ‘Earthlings;’ it’s available for free on Google video or YouTube. Just watch the Kosher cow footage, which is supposedly the most humane, but truly the most violent, savage and painful things I’ve ever seen. I would also encourage you to read the book, ‘Slaughterhouse’ by Gail Eisnitz, featuring interviews with slaughterhouse employees, not animal rights activists. It’s as detailed as it gets. The book ‘Skinny Bitch’ pretty much devotes a chapter to stories from that book, as well.

“I see you are from the Dakotas. It’s very likely you have access to some old school, non-hormone ridden, grass-fed, much-happier cows that aren’t killed so callously and in such gruesome ways (i.e., hung upside down still alive after they were stuck poorly with no anesthetic, then skinned alive, bleeding and kicking so hard that they are a threat to the skinner, who either then paralyzes them, still conscious and sentient, by sticking them in the spine, and/or cuts their legs off while still alive, and continuing to dismember and skin fully conscious and terrified animals. This is the mainstream way — the norm).”

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This is a real example of how consumers perceive work of farmers and ranchers across the country. Follow this link to read Amanda’s response and the many following comments from readers. This situation only emphasizes the need for farmers and ranchers to reach out to consumers with the real message of food origins.

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