So I thought I might help clarify some issues concerned.
Firstly, as a strict vegan for 7 years, I have come back to eating meat, but I ensure that the animal that has given up its life for me and my family has lived the most natural life possible, and then is humanely killed. I do this by speaking to the relevant farmers, going out to the farm- if possible and if the farmer is open to answering my questions show me a lot about his farming practice too.
Unfortunately, the meat industry runs on mathematics and that means that the slower an animal grows the more it costs, so feedlots enable the farmer to grow an animal quicker and bulk them up on grain just before sale. Not only do we have to be concerned with what exactly goes into the pellets of this grain feed, but the synthetic hormones that are used in both grass-fed and grain-fed farming. So this leaves certified organic farming the best choice to use when farming animals for our consumption. This however is the reason organic meat is more expensive, as with organic vegetables too, fast growing methods cannot be used.
The grain used to feed cattle contains barley, wheat and sorghum but much of the protein comes from cotton, soya and canola meal which again may well be GM. If that isn’t enough insult to injury the use of poultry excrement, feathers and feed and bedding is mashed in too! How have we come to treat our animals so badly?
By fast feeding livestock creates an unnatural fast growth rate which often leads to disease. Grain feeding also leads to high acidity levels which can turn into rumenitis (ulceration of the rumen and later liver abscesses. Animals often become bloated and cannot release stomach gases, which causes asphyxiation and B1 Vitamin -deficiency – feedlot polio.
In Australia, both feedlot and grass-fed sectors use growth promotants to boost weight gain, but these have been removed years back in the EU. Animals are densley crowded together in small areas that don’t allow for natural behaviour. As the feedlots become overcrowded, so to does the amount of excrement build up, which has been found to contain synthetic hormones, parasiticides and pyrethroid insecticides – this then is used for agricultural fertiliser.
Again, I can’t stress enough the importance not only for ourselves but for these amazing animals we share our planet with, please choose organic, Bio-dynamic, kosher meat/poultry/fish-wild caught, deep sea.