Why Locally Grown Meat?

People are gradually becoming aware of the health problems that develop from the consumption of meat from animals fed "growth-stimulating hormones" in their diet; as well as other "un-natural food additives" used to raise the protein levels in their feed. There is growing scientific evidence that hormone residues in meat products disrupt the "natural endocrine gland equilibrium" of the hormones in our bodies. This can result in several biological conditions that harmfully affect our health. The risks include neurobiological endocrine glandular problems, immunotoxicity, reproductive disorders, developmental problems, genotoxicity, and carcinogenicity. Some people are just becoming aware of the fact that "pink slime" made of ground-up body parts (normally discarded during processing) that are soaked in chlorine to soften it is added back to ground meat to maximize profit.

"Mad Cow Disease" is spread when cattle eat feed containing protein from body parts of infected cattle mixed in with the grain in their diet. The factory feedlots that raise most of the commercial meat we buy in supermarkets are always trying to find a cheaper source of protein to feed their animals, in addition to grass, corn, and other grains normally used to fatten and prepare them for slaughter. Pumping protein into the diet of cattle is critical for building muscles and a healthy nervous system and it also helps them produce more milk. This speeds up the development and the growth of these cattle and provides a convenient way to dispose of the waste from their remains after slaughter. The never-ending drive to increase "productivity" has encouraged cattlemen to find "cost-effective" means of feeding their cattle protein, which is normally very expensive. The use of meat byproducts and bone-meal as part of cattle feed increased substantially in the 1970s, and, as technology advanced, they sped up the rendering process and improved the ability to extract fats from renderings—making animal byproducts common in feed for the last 30 years. You see it in horse, goat, lamb, and cattle feed (all of which are vegetarian grazers and are not designed to eat meat or animal byproducts) as well as pig, dog, and cat food, which are carnivorous and can better digest these meat byproducts.

Now livestock producers have begun using distiller's grains, which are a byproduct of the "ethanol distilling process" used to make fuel additives we see at the gas pumps. Research at Kansas State University has found that cattle fed this grain have an increase prevalence of E. coli 0157 bacteria in their hind gut, which presents a health risk to humans, who can acquire it through under-cooked meat, raw, unpasteurized dairy products, and vegetable produce contaminated with composted manure fertilizer which comes from these cattle.

We believe that every animal needs to enjoy a quality of life similar to what God intended for them. They should be allowed to roam freely in the sun, eating plants and forage in a natural setting free from nasty confinement, stress, disease, and predators. The animals will be healthier and happier and, consequently, their meat will be healthier for us to eat. We may not be able to grow as many animals as fast as the factory farms do, resulting in a higher cost than what you'll pay at the supermarket, but you can rest assured that our animals will be free from every kind of typical un-natural food additives found in commercial feed. Our animals only eat the natural forage from our pastures, which is healthier for them and ultimately us.

I noticed long ago that the horses we put just on pasture during spring, summer, and fall were fatter, shinier and more content than the ones we kept in stalls or corrals and fed hay, oats, and pellet feed. We have over 100 acres of pasture and hay fields to use to raise our sheep, cattle, horses, and fowl. With your help, we are considering leasing more land so we can have more animals and continue to grow our own hay to keep them through the winter, when there is no pasture for them.