I know this topic has been covered and covered, but there are still so many people that haven’t seen the reality of it. These could be people that are trying to be Vegan or those who believe getting meat from a supermarket is cruel. Either way, most people don’t understand just how much we get from the cattle we raise. Once an animal has passed all the inspections and tests to ensure a safe, nutritious and wholesome product every part of the animal is used. If it’s healthy, it’s used. Everything but the “Moo” that is.
As you can see, the uses and possibilities are practically endless. The truth is if one sector of the Ag industry drops its standards then the whole system breaks down. Actually everybody relies on Ag for every day life whether they know it or not. Where would we be without any of the items on the list above? Animal by products make so much possible that nobody knows about. Without these by-products many other industries would struggle to continue daily functions, some stopping all together. Even things such as the houses we live in to the cars we drive and the materials that supply our hobbies wouldn’t be available!
On the other hand beef producers rely on other by-products as well. Common feed ingredients are often waste materials from their production such as almond hulls, cottonseed, beet pulp and even bakery waste. What cannot be fed to the animals can sometimes be used as bedding instead. But the cycle doesn’t end there, these plant by-products are then returned to plant production when applied as fertilizer, lending even more nutrients to the next crop.
When all’s said and done we rely as much on animals as they rely on us. We provide them nutrition, shelter and health care throughout their lives and they return the favor for us. This is not something that we take for granted. We work hard every day to care for them and we honor them by utilizing anything and everything. Some animal rights activists often point to people who raise cattle for food as cold hearted and soulless. They see sending animals to slaughter as a brazen disregard for life but in reality it is the opposite. We are feeding the world, fueling industries and giving back to the animals themselves. Farmers spend their lives growing the crops for feed, veterinarians give up their lives for the wellbeing of animals and millions of other individuals endure financial hardship and endless harassment about their jobs to give these cattle the best care possible.
This job is not one of those rewarding jobs where you get praised daily and thanked for your work. The thanks we get is families and friends pitching in to help get the work done. It’s our neighbors enjoying a tasty beef BBQ with all their friends and family. We get peace of mind knowing that none of this would be possible with our hard work and the efforts of those in the same industry as us. We know every day that we are surrounded with the fruits of our labor and that is what keeps us going in the hard times.
So keep in mind, next time you consume anything, you can thank a farmer or rancher. Next time you are participating in your favorite hobby or next time you have to take medications to help you feel better, thank a farmer or rancher. When you look for it you can find by-products in everything.