One of the most beautiful aspects of life in the 21stcentury is the sheer availability of information on literally any subject you can imagine. This has led to an amazing awareness of the world around us unlike any seen in any previous generation. Sometimes referred to as the Age of Information, the era began in the 1970s as personal computers and cable television became readily available to households around the world. This led to a period of time we are now living in called “The Age of Awareness” and why it is so important to teach our children about the world in which we all live.
Yes, kids can boot up a computer long before they enter kindergarten, but it is vital that we, as parents, teach them the value of the information they are being exposed to. We are legally (and morally!) responsible to guide them in understanding the information they are being exposed to. So it is with animals and the cattle we rely on as a food source. If you are a concerned parent seeking to help your children understand the benefits of raising cattle humanely, here are a few interesting tidbits you might like to know.
Farms Can Be Certified as “Humane”
Before getting into some of the benefits of raising cattle humanely, did you know that in the United States a farm can be certified as being humane? It’s true, and if you’d like information on what this involves, check out the nonprofit group and their certifiedhumane.org website. This particular organization inspects farms and how animals are raised from birth through slaughter before being issued a certification. The reason this certification is important will become a bit clearer as you learn the benefits of raising cattle humanely. These are the benefits you want your children to learn as well!
A Reduced Risk of Bacterial Infection in Meat
How many times have you read the news that there is a major recall of beef due to such things as Hoof and Mouth disease?There is much evidence indicating that those animals allowed to be free range are less likely to contract this highly communicable disease. The theory is that they are not all sharing and eating out of the same bins and therefore less likely to pass on the disease if they should get it. Humanely raised cattle are never fed animal byproducts so are less likely to contract this deadly disease as well. You should understand that Hoof and Mouth can be fatal for humans and why the concern when it has been found in meats from any particular farm or slaughterhouse.
Better Quality Meat
While children love to visit farms and pet the animals, one thing you may want to start teaching them from a young age is the benefits of reducing dietary fats to prevent illnesses like cardiovascular diseases. It has been proven that free-range, grass fed cattle like Criollo produce meat which is tenderer than most and much less fatty. If you’d like to learn more about hardy cattle like Criollo, you should take the time to read more here. It’s interesting to learn the history of cattle like these and how they actually fare better when being allowed to roam freely, grazing as they need rather than on man’s schedule for ‘feeding time.’
Better for the Environment?
At this point you may be asking yourself how humanely raised, free range cattle can be better for the environment. Actually, there have been studies that indicate that cattle allowed to roam freely to feed use far fewer fossil fuels. Think about this for just a moment. Those animals that are fed grains consume fossil fuels in a number of ways. Primarily it would be the gas or diesel used to bring grain to their feeding stations but also it would be the electricity used in barns where those grains are stored. Most barns are hooked up to electrical wiring so that is an issue as well. Also, it may be a fire hazard in regions prone to fires such as Western states like California that see much more than their fair share of wildfires annually.
Anticarcinogenic Properties of Grass Fed Cattle!
While little children may not appreciate the fact that grass fed cattle have anticarcinogenic properties in their meat, it is something you may want to talk to teens about. Grass fed cattle have higher amounts of vitamins E and A which are potent antioxidants and now known to be cancer fighting agents. Interestingly, free range cattle contain hither amounts of CLA, conjugated linoleic acid, that helps the body burn fat and boosts the immune system at the same time. One of the best sources of CLA occurring naturally would be grass-fed beef. Now, that’s interesting! On the one hand you are told to avoid red meat because of the risk of coronary heart disease, but when it comes to grass-fed cows, it’s another story altogether.
Humanely Raised Cattle a Win-Win Proposition
No one likes to think about the cruel ways in which many farms raise and slaughter their cattle, but it’s a sad reality in much of the country. In the West where Criollo (mentioned above) cattle are predominant, it’s nice to know that there are farmers who take the time and initiative to raise cattle humanely for their benefit as well as ours. It is never too early to begin teaching our children that there are ethical and humane ways to do just about everything in life. We are, after all, living in the Age of Awareness which means that society has developed a social conscience somewhat lacking from the Me Generation onwards. Not only is the meat healthier, but cattle are less likely to be stressed and can live a peaceful, more natural existence than those herded and fed grains at prescribed times daily. These are just some of the benefits of humanely raised cattle but enough to show you just how important it is to teach kids from a young age the benefits of living naturally – that includes animals as well as people. A lesson they deserve to learn.