Heart Based Meat Purchasing

Do you avoid buying and eating meat because you feel bad for the animal and you don’t want to contribute any more to global warming? Maybe you have heard that meat is bad for you.

But your pets are carnivores and you want them to be healthy. They need to eat meat. For a large dog, this means a lot of meat. So how do you choose between the humane care of livestock and health or your pet; or the detrimental effects on the Earth vs the beneficial effects for your pet?

The truth you haven’t been told is that you do not have to choose. The truth is that animals raised humanely, as nature intended, with lots of space outside actually helps the Earth to heal! Animals are routinely used in regenerative agriculture practices to help grow and condition the soil faster than any other method. 

Here’s an example I heard about early on in my learning. A farmer spoke about how he had some land that was degraded, desertified. The soil had been damaged so much by over-farming that most of the topsoil was gone and not much would grow other than a few scraggly grasses. The soil no longer held water, so it was subject to drought and flooding. It was on its way to becoming a desert. 

He decided to seed the area with those hardy grasses that could grow in those conditions. Once the grass was growing well, he put some cattle on the land. The cattle ate the grass, left some fertilizer and probiotics behind, and dug small divots in the ground where grass seeds would land and stay to germinate in the newly fertilized area. 

Once the cattle had eaten enough of the grass they were moved to the next field to start the process again. The farmer did not have much invested in this, other than some seed and water. Even the cattle required no inputs. 

A few days later once the maggots in the manure were starting to grow, he let the chickens out into the field where the cattle had been. They enjoyed  scratching the soil, eating all the bugs and maggots they could eat and generally acting like chickens. In return they aerated the soil with their scratching , added their own fertilizer with slightly different nutrients than the cows and managed the insects in that field. 

He continued the cycle for an entire year. In that time he was able to harvest eggs and chickens and perhaps some beef. Remember there were hardly any inputs in this process. 

By the next year the soil had improved so much that the land grew twice as much grass and could now handle twice as many head of cattle. The soil had gained back a significant amount of soil organic matter which is vital to living soils, plant health and animal health. 

Soil organic matter is made up of the manure left by the animals, broken down grass and roots and all the microorganisms, worms and insect larvae, nematodes and insects that grow in healthy soils. This organic matter always starts with the sun and carbon dioxide from the air with plants turning it into the building blocks of all life. 

Growing soil organic matter is the sequestration of carbon dioxide from the air and is one of the most effective ways of doing this. 

By raising these animals in the most humane and natural conditions, not only does he produce more nutrient dense and healthier soil, capable of supporting more animals but he is also helping to improve the climate by drawing down carbon. This is what regenerative agriculture is all about. Nature has its  own intelligence if we will just listen. Your pets are here to eat meat and the animals raised for meat are meant to be eaten. 

On the other hand when animals are grown in overcrowded conditions without access to the outside, not only are they less healthy, but their manure that could be healthy and beneficial to the soil becomes putrefied and toxic to the environment. Since these animals cannot eat and forage on their own they are forced to eat diets that are often not truly species appropriate, raised on monoculture crops using lots of fertilizers, weed killers, insecticides and heavy equipment that damages the soil and further pollutes the air with its carbon producing fumes. Industrial agriculture is one of the largest producers of greenhouse gasses, uses more water and more toxic chemicals than nearly any other industry. 

By choosing humanely raised meats, you are providing a more nutritious product for your pet and family while helping to heal the Earth. pasture raised meat has higher levels of omega 3 fatty acids and other nutrition compared to grain fed CAFO (confined/concentrated animal feeding operations)raised animals

The labels at the top of this post let you know that the animals are raised humanely and you can feel good about purchasing them and supporting those farmers who are helping to heal our Earth one animal at a time. 

For more information on these and other certifications visit this article