Originally Posted by SField
I haven't seen Food Inc. but isn't the typical complain against the industrial beef complex the raising of cattle? It doesn't matter if the slaughterhouse is efficient and kills efficiently if the beef is raised with large amounts of chemicals and is corn fed (if you care about that.)
You were invited by an organized association that has a significant branch that is set up specifically to mitigate the backlash against industrial beef. I'm extremely surprised that you were surprised by any of what you saw in there.
I'm from Nebraska and my families were, for decades, largely dependent on Ag for their livelihood. Yes, they take their processing seriously, they have to now in the world of e Coli... and like any passionate business people they take pride in what they do. Family farms have really disappeared in the last 20 years, unfortunately.
But, being from that background, I have been to plenty of farms and ranches where chicken are still fed animal by-products, cattle are fed chicken by-products and cattle spend the day standing ankle-deep in feces. Those aren't contented cows.
Coincidentally I was at the national co-op conference last week. Visited a few small family owned ranches. I was struck looking at free range chickens, pigs and cows and how "strange" it seemed to see pigs roaming through tall grass etc... no pen of feces in sight.
Grayland- I am glad you had a good experience. We've no small amount of pride about agriculture back home and for good reason. But there are many ways in which we could lead to make healthy animals and processes the "majority" rather than "minority".