Animals play important roles in most of our lives. I have never lived in a house without a pet; and we currently have a dog and three cats enjoying the comfort of our home. When I moved to the farm in 1997, I learned about a new type of animal: a food animal. This animal exists for the sole purpose of providing food and other resources for all of us. It serves a very different purpose than a pet.
As much as my pets enrich my life, at the end of the day, I believe that the gift that my bovine food animals give to me is more precious. When my cattle leave the feed yard, they travel to a packing plant in order to give the gift of nutrition. Their gift nourishes my family as well as yours.
- I believe that my cattle play a critical role in providing needed nourishment.
- I believe that it is ethical to kill animals for the benefit of humans.
- I believe that it is possible to end a food animal’s life humanely.
Dr. Temple Grandin has revolutionized cattle handling and humane care at the level of the packing plant over the past twenty years. From changes in equipment – to employee training – to auditing – to camera placement to further verify compliance, Dr. Grandin’s work plays a critical role in bovine care at the time of slaughter.
The quality of my bovines’ end of life experience is important to me. As a result, I make it a priority to take periodic trips to the packing plant. I have witnessed every aspect of the slaughter process, and I believe that my packing plant partner does an excellent job of remaining committed to a painless and humane death experience for my cattle.
I cannot imagine my life without cattle and the resources that they provide. I consider myself blessed that I can spend my days caring for animals that give the gift of nutrition.
Beef’s Big Ten pack a powerful health punch:
- Zinc: helps maintain a healthy immune system
- Iron: helps the body use oxygen
- Protein: preserves and builds muscles
- Vitamins B6 and B 12: help maintain brain function
- Phosphorus: helps builds bones and teeth
- Niacin: supports energy production and metabolism
- Riboflavin: helps convert food into fuel
- Choline: supports nervous system development
- Selenium: helps protect cells from damage
Each time that I load my cattle on the truck to ship to the packing plant, I am thankful for their gift. I respect that gift as I appreciate the beef meals that I feed to my family as well as the other beef products that come from cattle.
I recognize the sacrifice that my animals make to improve the quality of my own life, and I honor them by offering quality care while they are on my farm.