Cattle grazing is critical for a healthy ecosystem

Check out the latest headlines on the benefits of cattle grazing for a healthy planet.


Amanda Radke, BEEF Magazine

May 07, 2019


The war against beef is greater now than itís ever been. As discussions about climate change heat up, the focus seems to largely be on the cow, and the solution proposed by so many is for society to move toward a plant-based diet.


This recommendation is wrong on so many levels, and I think Iíve defended meat eating and beef production more ways than I can count. However, itís critical for cattlemen and women to continue to have these conversations to redirect the narrative that cow farts (or rather, cow burps) are destroying the environment with excessive greenhouse gas emissions.


No matter which way you look at it, ruminant animals like cattle are critical components of a healthy ecosystem.


From a nutritional standpoint, beef packs the greatest punch per calorie. Loaded with zinc, iron, protein, B vitamins and healthy fats, beef satiates while fueling our bodies and brains.


From a resource standpoint, cattle are beneficial through the many by-products we gain from beef production. Leather goods, makeup, deodorant, insulin for diabetics and so much more ó I challenge any industry to tell me the eco-footprint of creating these items synthetically is greener than utilizing the entire cow from nose to tail.


From an environmental standpoint, cattle play an irreplaceable role in maintaining top soil, promoting biodiversity, protecting wildlife habitat, reducing the spread of wildfires, providing natural fertilizer and so much more.


Plus, cattle utilize land that would otherwise remain unproductive for humans. By grazing this steep, hilly, rocky and rough land, cattle convert non-edible cellulosic material into nutritional beef. If sat unused, these grasslands would quickly turn to empty desert wastelands.


I promise you, broccoli and almonds arenít going to grow on the rangelands of the South Dakota prairie. Much of the Plains canít be used for anything else besides livestock grazing. And the result is a great-tasting, nutritional product (and by-products) that nourish the world.


On the note of sustainability, Iíve rounded up some recent headlines worth checking out. Here is whatís being said about cattle and land use in recent news stories:


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