From Russia, With Beef
Dec 12, 2013
We're proud of America's beef industry, and after reading this story, it is hard to argue that the best beef genetics are found here. The Aberdeen News sat down with cattleman Craig Howard, who went to Russia for 14 days with 13 other people to breed 33,000 heifers. Russia has been trying to beef up their rural economy with cattle, and the majority of those animals are being sourced straight from the good ol' U.S. of A and then bred back with American genetics. Now that there is no longer a Cold War, it could be said we may be entering a Hot Beef War with Russia.
Another Animal Abuse Exposé
There's a lot to criticize about the latest exposé on America's meat industry, published this week by The Rolling Stone. Anyone with a shred of empathy--farmers and ranchers especially--will be sickened by the animal cruelty described in this report about what undercover workers at slaughter facilities saw and documented. But portions of the story are just plain false, like the claim that hog feed contains "an assortment of trash, including ground glass from light bulbs, used syringes and the crushed testicles of their young." We have zero tolerance for animal abuse, but The Rolling Stone story merely feeds some Americans' desire for sensationalized gore. This story, like many others before it, simply overstates the problem--in a most disgusting and vile manner. It may be a tired argument, but one that's oh so true--livestock producers and food companies have an economic incentive to promote animal care and well-being. Simply put, animal abuse costs money for everyone. Abuse such as that described by The Rolling Stone is rare, but it will continue to tarnish our industries until it is eliminated completely.
It is Thursday, so we thought we'd do a "throwback" to a little bit of history related to the beef industry. Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, a grizzly bear known as Old Crack Foot wandered through the Pine Valley area of Utah, and during his 30 years, he killed between 200 and 300 cattle. Needless to say, ranchers in the area rejoiced when the grizzly was finally taken down in 1909 by a hunting party of 16 men. People came from miles around to see that the 1,040-pound bear had met his maker by celebrating with a town-wide dance and supper.
Beef Sustainability Facts to Wow Your Friends
Want to impress your friends and neighbors with facts about beef sustainability? University of Arkansas professor Paul Beck provides information you can use to counter the propaganda that conventionally raised beef is unhealthy and unsustainable. For instance, Beck says, "Current technology enables the beef industry to produce 131 percent more beef than in 1977 with 70% fewer animals, utilizing less water and feed while producing less methane and carbon dioxide." Wow. Now that's something for activists to chew on.