If we eat meat, we should know what this looks like.

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This is what responsible, healthy, direct beef consumption looks like.

Factory farming is far worse. Avoid factory farmed meats for your own health, for our environment, and for the animals’ sake.

Not so much this:

This: “We slaughtered a steer to supply us with our next 6 months of beef. Here’s an album of pics.”

“This particular steer was bought at auction when it was a calf, after buying the steer, paying for the guy to slaugter and deliver it to the butcher, then paying the butcher, the end cost was about $2/pound. The cheapest hamburger goes for about $3.50/lb where I live. He grazed for about 9 months before he was killed.

We now have a few cows and there’s a bull that visits when they want a gentleman caller. Last year we kept a calf from one of the cows and just had him slaughtered in June. Cost on that one was just over $1/lb. I’ve been told that the quality of the meat is on par with the organic free-range grass fed beef you’d find in high end grocery stores for upwards of $15-$20/lb. I’ve never bought that kind of meat so that’s just hearsay…

Grass is cheap, you don’t get as much meat and they grow slower, but the meat is lean and delicious. Also the cattle don’t seem to get sick when you’re not loading them up with grain and regular animal feed, so vet costs are few and far between.

We split the meat with another family since one steer produces a lot. I share some with my family and put the rest into a chest freezer at -10 degrees, it lasts 9 months easy, the ground beef will go a year pretty easy. If it gets too close to being too old we have a big BBQ to use up anything that’s at the limit. I also have a lot of it sliced for jerky, probably 20lbs or so out of each steer ends up as jerky…

Once you go grass fed the meat from the store will taste really funny. It’s got a much meatier flavor, for lack of a better word. Also leaner, and the fat that it does have has a much better flavor. This steer was split between 2 families, a total of 4 adults and 7 kids. It yielded around 320 pounds of meat which lasted about 6 months.”


The above is via Reddit, and imgur. For (much) more by way of comments, click here.

More on grass-fed. More on mindful meat consumption.

The Elephant Ecosystem

Every time you read, share, comment or heart you help an article improve its Rating—which helps Readers see important issues & writers win $$$ from Elephant. Learn more.

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anonymous Sep 16, 2012 3:15am

[…] knows, which is why so many people say they don’t want to know when asked if they’re aware of how the loin of pork on their plate got […]

anonymous Aug 30, 2012 1:41pm

Meat is murder and there is no good reason to eat meat. Meat is destroying our health, the environment and ending the lives of billions of beautiful sentient beings that deserve the same respect and right to live out their lives as humans. “Today One Billion people are Hungry, 20 Million People will Die from Malnutrition. Cutting meat by only 10% could feed 100 million people and Eliminating Meat will End Starvation Forever.” Philip Wollen: Animals Should Be Off The Menu. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQCe4qEexjc&fe….

anonymous Aug 29, 2012 10:33pm

Does anyone have any idea how one would go about buying a whole cow, a la the story above?

    anonymous Aug 30, 2012 7:44am

    I've done this before with lambs (I'm of Greek origin). It's pretty simple, actually. Basically what you have to do is find a farmer, send him an email or give him a call, and head over to his farm. Most farmers are more than happy to sell livestock to individuals. If you're wondering where to find a farmer, Google is a good place to start. You can also get into contact with your local Greek or Portuguese or insert-ethnic-group-here community. Their butchers usually have their own farms.

    anonymous Mar 14, 2014 3:06pm

    You can also check with your local high schools and see if any of them have a FFA (Future Farmers of America) for resources.
    We have a county fair where all of the local high scholls show animals raised by students are auctioned off.
    Both are excellent places to buy a whole animal. We have combined with a second family to buy a steer for beef before.

anonymous Aug 29, 2012 9:18pm

I was always so appalled when driving past the feed lots in California when I lived in the USA. In Australia ( & New Zealand), grass fed is the norm. It makes for healthier. less fatty and more hygenic meat- and happier cows, and cows grazing in green pasture is much easier on the eyes and nose than those horrible, inhumane feed lots. IF you are going to eat meat, grass fed is the ONLY way.
Good to see this article for those who choose to eat meat, even if only occasionally.

anonymous Aug 29, 2012 5:54pm

I like reading articles like this. Vegetarianism is not necessarily for everyone – and it is not always practical for everyone! Having better education as to the best ways to consume meat sustainably, rather than just saying "don't do it" means that we can make better choices!

anonymous Aug 28, 2012 9:16pm

Corporate agriculture is killing people all over the world. It does not matter what it is once you hand the production over to a CEO at the top of a high rise building in a city and all that matters is profits the idea of it being any good for anyone other than share holders is completely lost. Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and feelings about eating meat…I have been a veggie, vegan and a meat eater but be careful about blaming meat eaters for ruining the world. There are large scale organic farming operations, planting a monoculture on their land, that are not much better than the mega farms run by corporations.

anonymous Aug 28, 2012 9:23am

I don't eat beef, however if one does, doing this is the most human and healthy way to go. This animal lived a good life and since it was killed instantly, it died without a great deal of stress. Kudos for you.

    anonymous Aug 28, 2012 9:40am

    the animal still died. with this reasoning, if a human had a good life but was shot in the head with a .22 (killed instantly and without a great deal of stress, as you state) then all is well. all life is equal.

      anonymous Aug 28, 2012 10:59am

      Plants are alive. You say "all life is equal", yet have no problem killing a living thing in order to survive…. Odd…

      anonymous Aug 29, 2012 8:41am

      Circle of Life, man. Animals have always eaten animals. Lions will always eat antelope and they are not inherently bad. It's the process through which many of us now eat our animals that is not natural. Avoid factory farming and ensure the animal lives a life being a happy cow and eating grass and I have much less issue with it.

anonymous Aug 28, 2012 7:40am

A friend of mine lives outside of Duluth, MN, and he hunts, bagging deer and birds. He sent me a photo of 2 deer he shot recently. He does the same thing as this writer, feeding his family of 4. My wife and I are veggies, so we don't shoot animals, and besides, we don't have any guns, which does seem un-American, now that I think of it. Anyway, I don't think most people can really do what this writer does, or what my friend does. Most people live in cities and don't have a corral handy, nor do they have access to wildlife they can find and kill. If they are going to eat animals they have to go to store and buy the ones that are dead already. As for buying range free and all that, I wonder how many people can really afford to do that. I am not sure I can agree with this writer about the taste of animals. I don' t think any of them taste that great.