You Are A Rancher

November 3, 2015 by Taylor Collins posted on Land + Livestock

Being a good steward of the land is an epic task that has tremendous opportunities to positively impact our world. Ranchers and farmers shape our landscapes in ways that inspire beauty, host native ecosystems, and produce healthy food. As a rancher and farmer, healthy lands not only feed family and friends, but also provide a means to receive income. This financial dependence on land inspires many good ranchers to constantly work towards restoring ecosystems and creating healthier habitats.

cow1

It might surprise you to learn that if you eat meat, YOU are a rancher. The animals that you decide to consume are the same animals in which YOU are raising. Of most importance, as a consumer you are dictating how the animals YOU eat are treated and raised.

We live in a world in which our consumer dollar casts a meaningful vote for how our food system is structured. When we purchase meat and veggies we are incentivizing and rewarding producers for creating food that is in alignment with our own morals and values. Because of this, we are all ranchers and farmers!

rancher3

When you eat meat that is conventionally raised, chances are that these animals were put through a high intensity commercial feedlot focused on output. Feedlot animals are pumped with antibiotics, growth hormones, and consume diets which make them sick. These animal rearing practices are destructive on our ecosystem, inhumane, and create unhealthy meat.

Let's be honest with ourselves and recognize that when we buy cheap meat that is low quality and inhumanely raised, we are supporting a livestock system that is destructive. We are supporting large multinational conglomerates that destroy our environments, make animals sick, and produce meat full of hormones.

sheep

Thankfully it doesn't have to be this way! Due to consumers like yourself, we are creating a movement that is changing the landscape of how our food is produced. It begins with our purchasing habits and how we spend our money on food. Conscious consumption around meat and veggies creates a market environment in which sustainable and regenerative ranchers are rewarded for producing high quality food that is good for the environment, our bodies, and the lives of animals.

Next time you are purchasing meat, remind yourself that YOU are a rancher. It's a simple, yet powerful notion that resonates with the reality of how each and everyone of us are impacting the food system. As a rancher which livestock paradigm do you want to practice? Do you support sending young cows to feedlots or pasture? Do you produce food that is nutrient rich or food that makes us sick? In my opinion the answer is clear, support the system that does good for the world and makes us feel epic!