Surprise! Pastured Beef Not So Green

Pastures are supposed to be, according to all the Michael Pollan wannabes and Polyface jockers, the greener alternative to feedlots. According to an article at, it seems this is another bullshit claim – like the claim that pastured or “free-range” slave-animals harbor less E. coli – used to portray a bucolic and eco-friendly image of exploitation. The Sustainability Assessment Program at the UNSW Water Research Center in South Wales has found that factory farms are contributing to greenhouse gas emissions less per head than the small “family” farmers that purport to be so sustainable. If this study is accurate, and isn’t just industry misinformation, it further solidifies the argument that confining and torturing animals is the only way to produce enough animal-flesh and secretions to meet demand in an economically or ecologically viable way. Keeping slave-animals in captivity for the purpose of exploiting them for food is an inherently inefficient and wasteful process. Pasturing wastes vast spaces of arable land and tons of [hypothetical] food that could be grown in place of grazing, factory farms waste monstrous amounts of [real, but mostly GM] food, both waste copious amounts of water, both produce enormous amounts of waste contaminated with deadly pathogens, and both destroy the environment – air, water, and land. But most importantly both reduce living beings to mere things.  Either way, animals suffer enslavement. Either way, animals are killed unnecessarily. If we are to consider ourselves even remotely moral beings, mustn’t we avoid causing or contributing to suffering or death if and when we can?  There is no sacrifice in avoiding causing or contributing to suffering, even if it prevents us from attaining pleasure; or, there is as much sacrifice as a pedophile must make when avoiding molesting children. If factory farming -confining and torturing animals- is the only way we can get close to sustainable animal agriculture, doesn’t it make sense to quit the practice of exploitation altogether? Maybe the fact that no matter the method, treatment, or design, the inefficiency of animal agriculture is Nature’s way of saying, “Animals are not property!”

Go vegan. Because we don’t need to torture or kill animals or destroy the environment to accomplish any of our worthwhile goals. Because even the “greenest” animal slavery is far from green; it is destroying our HOME – faster than anything else we do.

Because you don’t shit where you live.

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