STEWARDS OF THE LAND.....

STEWARDS OF THE LAND.....
.....A view from "down the lane" ....

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

What IS the beef?

I've just gotta ask the question! What IS the beef?????

As a cattle rancher's wife of 36+ years, I've heard everything that can possibly be said about beef.....and all its evils! Yikes......it's amazing. And it's pretty bizarre, especially when one examines what the beef industry is really like.

Ranchers are NOT the boogey men some people want to paint. Take our ranch for instance: we are a fourth, moving into the fifth, generation on this same place. We take pride in our environment and the contributions we make to the world's food plate. We have provided an incredible wildlife reserve (for well over 25 years) along the slough, which runs through the majority of our ranch. We have continually taken care of the streams and river running through the property. Ironically, however, we are not the ODD rancher. All the agriculturalists around us feel and monitor their land in the same way.

I just wish consumers and the general public would stop buying into the myths that seem to live larger than life! Most do not know, for instance:

75% of ALL waterfowl and birds are protected - NOT BY THE GOVERNMENT or public lands - but by PRIVATE ranches and landholders.

Cattle are VEGETARIANS and in the United States, any bone meal products are outlawed and never fed to beef cattle.

In fact, they are great RECYCLERS. I wish those worried about the environment would see that cattle can actually transform dry matter/brush, etc., into a great and valuable food item. Indeed, if cattle and sheep were used to graze some of the ignored and overgrown hillsides and ranges, they would protect those areas from wildfire. Even the tribes who lived in these regions before white contact, perpetuated fire to protect the land from overgrowth. Now, with fire restrictions that have put us in the danger zone for extreme wildfire, it would be a positive step to use animals to curtail that heavy growth. Deer and other wildlife will not eat such heavy brush; they leave it and eat only the new growth. Cattle, on the other hand, consume all matter of 'debris' and dry material.

Where cattle roam, in these higher elevations and in regions not tillable, grains that are thought to be superior to animals for food production, cannot grow. What cattle do, then, is transform land that cannot be used in other ways, into a vital food product.

Cattle do not ADD any more to the environmental problem of global warming than the herds of buffalo (also BOVINE) that roamed in the millions for hundreds of thousands of years. What a ridiculous claim! Human activity may very well tilt the balance, but methane from cows is NOT the issue in global warming......

No comments: