In this file:


·         Alt meat and other cons

Real meats are good for us, and they can be good for the land.


·         The “eat less meat” movement is growing. Does it distort science?

Why ranches, cattle, and meat-eating may play a role in fighting climate change.



Alt meat and other cons

Real meats are good for us, and they can be good for the land.


Walt Davis, Beef Producer

Sep 04, 2019


There have been a lot of falsehoods in the news lately about “alternative” meat. These are meat substitutes made from plant material and/or products cultured from animal cells and called meat.


There has been even more written about the “damage” done to human health, the environment, and the moral fiber of people so barbaric as to eat animals. Most of these stories are the factual equivalent of the juvenile, backbiting attacks politicians visit on each other. As the Nazis demonstrated, some percentage of the public will believe almost any lie. Tell the lie often enough, especially if you can do so with passion, and you can have a significant portion of the people ready to “burn the witch!”


Facts and logic mean nothing to people in this state unless they can be twisted to support their position. So how do we, as ethical people, deal with the attacks on our livelihood?


With the certainty of dating myself, we need to follow the advice of the old song and “Accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative.” We have a good story and we need to tell it to other producers, but more importantly we need to tell it to the public in general. At the same time, we need to do our best to eliminate the negative. One picture of animals being brutalized will undo the good done by a dozen pictures of fat, happy cattle on green pasture.


There are a lot of positives to be accentuated. Beef and other meats are extremely beneficial in the human diet. We are omnivores, physiologically adapted to eating both plants and meats. We need both plants and meats, not one or the other. In the United States and other developed countries that have adopted industrial agriculture, the mineral content in all foods from meats to grains to fruits and vegetables has dropped drastically in the last 50 years. This loss is a prime factor in the explosion of human disease – Alzheimer’s , heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and most other chronic maladies have nutritional components. We are overfed but undernourished. This condition would benefit greatly from having more nutrient-dense meat in the diet. Before you add me to the witches’ fire for stating that eating meat is good for your heart, please check out the abundance of good, peer-reviewed research available at


I recently was in the company of a young couple and their two young children. The parents are intelligent, well-educated people who love their kids. They are also committed vegans who eat and feed their children only plant material, even to the point of giving them soy juice instead of milk. I am not a physician, but I have a lifetime of experience in recognizing illness in my animals. Those two children are malnourished, their developing bodies need the high-quality protein, biologically available minerals and saturated animal fat not present in a plant diet. The misinformation put out by the anti-meat coalition is harmful to adults but applying it to children is, to my mind, child abuse. I got afield from my original thought on the demonization of meat production but the effects of agricultural practices that detract from human health are important. There is more information on my website if you want to pursue the thought.


Trying to assess the effects of meat production on the environment without describing the production methods is an exercise in futility. The effects will range from hideous to extraordinarily good depending on what is done and how it is done. There is no denying that agriculture has been and is still a major source of environmental damage. The odor and the wind and water erosion from a 20,000-head feedlot is staggering but trivial when compared to the damage done worldwide by cropping with what are considered conventional methods today. People who want to replace meat with soybeans and kale in order to “reduce greenhouse gases” badly need a course in basic ecology. Every time soil is tilled this cycle of events takes place:





The “eat less meat” movement is growing. Does it distort science?

Why ranches, cattle, and meat-eating may play a role in fighting climate change.


by Lynne Curry, New Food Economy           

September 5th, 2019


As if the beef industry didn’t already have a bad rap, Brazil’s farmers have reportedly set the Amazon on fire to create more grazing land for the country’s booming beef industry. They are part of a global stampede to meet demand in developing markets—even as ruminant livestock, with cattle at the top of the list, take the heat for agriculture’s nearly 25 percent share of annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide.


Emissions related to agriculture are a primary cause of the current climate crisis—and, as major consumers of beef, Americans carry a large share of the blame. Although the American diet has shifted away from beef toward chicken, we still eat four times as much beef per capita, on average, as the rest of the world.


The solution seems apparent: We should eat less meat. Order the beefless burger and you can save the planet, eliminate cruelty to animals and improve your health.


But a rising chorus of farming advocates says that notion gets it wrong, or at best only partly right.


“The simplified public health message is dangerous,” says Andrew Gunther, executive director of A Greener World, a sustainable livestock farming organization. “If we thought the soil, air and water could be fixed by a single solution, we’d advocate for that.”


Ariel Greenwood, who ranches in Montana and New Mexico, rejects the eat-less-meat message as short-sighted and misleading. “There are many, many ways to raise meat, and dismissing all meat as being destructive is asinine because it ignores the significant variation in production methods and ecosystems in which meat can be produced,” says Greenwood, who is also co-owner of Grass Nomads LLC, a company that helps clients sustainably manage their grasslands.


“My strongest objection to environmental and public health advocates using the slogan ‘eat less meat’ is that it is extremely alienating to farmers and ranchers,” wrote Nicolette Hahn Niman, the well-known vegetarian rancher from BN Ranch, in response to my inquiry. “We need far more intelligent conversations about climate change’s connection to food, agriculture and health.”


The Sustainable Diet Debate ...


The Future of Protein ...


Livestock’s Carbon Footprint ...


The Future of Farming ...  


Honorable Sacrifice ...


more, including links



Babies Can Be Raised Vegan With Proper Guidance, Experts Say

A judge in Australia said a couple had left their baby “severely malnourished” on a strict vegan diet. The case stirred debate about raising the very young solely on plant-based foods.


By Jacey Fortin, The New York Times (NYT)

Aug. 24, 2019


It happens every once in a while: A child being raised vegan develops serious health problems, setting off an emotional debate over whether such diets are suitable for the very young.


Experts say it is possible to raise healthy infants and children on a totally plant-based diet. Planning helps, as babies are particularly vulnerable to malnutrition and are unable to choose the foods they eat.


This week, the parents of a 3-year-old girl in Sydney, Australia, were sentenced to 300 hours of community service after they pleaded guilty to failing to provide for their daughter, according to the BBC, which did not name the couple.


They had put her on a vegan diet that a judge criticized as “completely inadequate” and left her “severely malnourished,” the news organization reported.

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According to literature from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the British Dietetic Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegan diets can meet the nutritional needs of infants and children, ideally with the participation of a pediatrician and a dietitian.


“The key is to make sure it’s well planned out and you’re meeting all of your child’s nutritional needs,” said Vandana Sheth, a registered dietitian nutritionist and a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.


Many vegans cite animal welfare and personal health as reasons to avoid animal byproducts, such as dairy, eggs and gelatin. Plant-based diets are associated with a lower risk of some chronic diseases as well as environmental benefits.


Reed Mangels, a registered dietitian in California and nutrition adviser for the Vegetarian Resource Group who raised her children on vegan diets, said that vegan babies, like all infants, should start with breast milk if possible...


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