So, often we hear people ask the question "how can you eat the same animal you raised?" and "why is it our right to consume red meat?" These are great questions and today I hope to answer them to the best of my farming, cow-loving, steak-eating knowledge.
First off, I'll throw out a few verses from the bible that my family and I believe are great guiders of our passion:
"Everything that lives and moves will be food for you. Just as I gave you green plants, I now give you everything." -Genesis 9:3
"The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 'say to the Israelites: of all the animals that live on land, these are the ones you may eat. You may eat any animal that has a split hoof completely divided and that chews the cud.'" -Leviticus 11:1-3
"So, whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." -1 Corinthians 10:31
Now, these verses of course do not include the context, but it does exhibit God's confidence in our ability to rule over animals and consume them. I included the last verse because it is so true, we should be thankful to the Lord for creating an animal(s) capable of providing for our dietary needs.
Here's a couple more verses mentioning Jesus' consumption of meat:
"And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, He [Jesus] asked them "Do you have anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence." -Luke 24: 41-43
"Then came the day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, 'Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover." -Luke 22:7-8
Notice in the last verse Jesus said "for us to eat", thus including himself in the Passover lamb.
Now, like I said, these are taken out of context, and of course there are verses in the bible that mention not eating meat at certain times, or because the animal could have been tainted. It is all in the perspective. I've said before, if a person chooses not to consume meat, that is their personal opinion which I will respect. All I ask is that my opinion is equally respected.
Now that I've talked religion, let's talk facts.
-By the year 2050, the world population will increase to 9 billion people, causing a 70% food increase demand.
-Half of the grazing land in America can't be used for growing crops, it can only be used for grazing livestock. That land would be of no use as a food resource if it were not for grazing livestock. The U.S. has more than enough cropland to grow both feed grains and food crops: 334,996,000 acres according to the United States Department of Agriculture.
-One stalk of celery weighs 4.1 ounces, whereas the average beef animal will produce 750 pounds of meat. Thus, one animal produces roughly 3,000 times as much product as one vegetable.
-A piece of steak isn't just the only food item raised by farmers: all food from bread to broccoli to orange juice comes from a farm.
-Both the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the American Heart Association say that a 'diet containing meat, milk and eggs is appropriate to both groups’ dietary guidelines.
(other source: Real Farmers Real Food)
My family and I believe it is our duty to feed the world. We believe meat products help fulfill our daily dietary needs of protein, iron, zinc, and other important vitamins and minerals. We do not take pleasure in harvesting an animal that we have cared for. We take pleasure in the fact we are feeding the world.