Maybe it’s because I grew up in the number one cattle feeding county in the world or maybe it’s because the family farm that I hail from has always used cattle for rotational grazing which is still one of the most sustainable farming systems that there is, or, maybe it’s because I think Nature knows best and Nature put large herbivores on the continents back before this era of the Anthropocene when we’ve removed them because we think that “we” know best.
Because I’ve never bought into this cattle are our worst enemy idea, the “wrong” way to “feed 9 billion people by 2050.”
So, today, I was happy to discover this newly published analysis about cattle out of the Journal Nature.
The authors of this study, while they would like to see the current trend of less beef consumption continue, believe that most negative reports about cattle fail to take their benefits into account, which are many. The authors are mostly from Britain, and the title of the publication is “Agriculture: Steps to sustainable livestock – With improved breeding and cultivation, ruminant animals can yield food that is better for people and the planet, say Mark C. Eisler, Michael R. F. Lee and colleagues.” PDF LINK HERE
Topics covered include: most sustainable sources of food for ruminants, cattle genetics that make the most sense, keeping livestock healthy, and giving them smart plant based supplements. (Just as there is much discussion today about how human gut bacteria affect our health, the same is true of these ruminant animals. The right combinations of food/supplements can be used to decrease their methane releases.)
The study urges us to eat less meat, but higher quality meat, tailored to the culture and the region in which it is raised.
There is much wisdom in this writing, so I highly encourage you to read the study.