Monday, August 29, 2011

Humanely Raised Animals Are Healthier To Eat



I’m a localtarian when it comes to eating meat, which makes me one of those weasely douchebags who drives a Prius, recycles, composts, puts spiders outside and sends his extra shoes to African children. And I’ll live with that label if it means that some animals have better lives because, well, I’ve met a lot of animals and I’m pretty sure they care about having a nice lifestyle as much as people do.

I’m not preachy about it, since we must draw the line at douchebaggery somewhere, but I do champion the fact that animals existing in better conditions are healthier to eat than those that live in the abhorrent squalor forced upon those in America’s Big Meat industry. So I’m pretty pissed off at a PR campaign from the egg industry on a study showing no nutritional difference between the eggs of chickens raised humanely vs. those raised in the poulet version of Devil’s Island. Mainly because the study didn’t show that. It showed the opposite.

next up, a study stating the chickens in this picture are perfectly happy.


I guess when you’ve got lawyers as powerful as Big Meat you don’t let pesky science stand in your way. Fund a study that doesn’t yield the results you want? Fuck it. Just issue a press release to the major wires stating it did. Who’s going to care as long as you’re paying, right?

The Fitness Nerd, that’s who! Big props to Denis, who went the extra mile to scrutinize the science. Not that he needed dig that deep in order to begin finding flaws . The Nerd reports,

So many things wrong here. First off, it's a lie. So much of a lie, in fact, that the release itself admits it 5 paragraphs later when it explains "β-carotene levels were higher in the range eggs, which... may have contributed to the darker colored yolks observed in these eggs during the study."

Huh? How do "no nutritional difference" and "β-carotene levels were higher" mesh? The study indicates vitamin A levels in both types of eggs were the same, yet β-carotene can be converted into Vitamin A in our body, so technically, the body gets more A from the free-range eggs.


But he read the entire study, on principle, and found more problems. So either read his entire post or just believe my anecdotal logic—now based on Big Meat’s own science—which concludes that animals that eat healthy, exercise, breath fresh air and aren’t subjected to Frankenstein-esqe experiments and filled with more drugs than Mr. Olympia are healthier to eat. In turn I promise not to get mad when you call me a douchebag because, in my mind anyway, it’s a lot better than being an asshole like all those wankers at Big Meat. Now excuse me while I ride my fixie to the local farm to make sure they’re letting the chickens get enough exercise.

11 comments:

Ben Woods said...

I would hate to see the study on Iowa pork. These piggys are taken from their mothers at 8 days of age, and within one year of force feeding and taking more steroids than Arnold they are removed from their confinement stalls where they had less than 8 inches of wiggle room and taken to the meat packer.

It's painful to pay as much as I do for chicken that is not raised in a confinement facility, but cruelty/tree-hugging aside, you are what you eat, and it makes no sense to think you can build muscle eating something whose muscles have never been challenged....

.....and yes, personality goes a long way.

Matt Withers said...

Do enjoy when you rant :-) My father is a physician and taught me growing up that you have to separate the human element when looking at science. For instance, of course a mother whose child comes down leukemia wants someone to blame, and it's compelling to hear a person in that state of grief say they think such and such caused it, but things like Love Canal didn't actually have any higher incidence of cancer associated with them outside of those explainable by lifestyle factors in the area. So people tend to go with emotion rather than science, and give equal weight to things they read on the internet regardless of source.

So we end up with people who truly believe that Obama wasn't born in the US, that Global Climate change and evolution have significant counter arguments that are accepted by the scientific community, and believe that studies funded by an industry aren't ina best case scenario severely biased, and in a case like this egg study an outright lie.

Because we look for things that support our worldview instead of things that inform it for the most part. So it sucks that this study will get quoted, and not vetted, and lead many people to think that it is offering honest information. But it has the power to do so because as a group, consumers allow it.

And anyone who thinks that caring about the world around us and the living things in it makes a person a douchebag misunderstands the insult :-)

Josh said...

You Prius driving d-bag . . .

I dunno about the science of it, but the eggs from my neighbor's chickens bear the same resemblance to store bought eggs that an 18 year old Sazerac Rye bears to Jagermeister.

Most folks are probably unaware of the fact that egg yolks are not supposed to be pale yellow, and that egg shells are not uniformly white. Ordinary fucking people . . .

The fact of the matter is: you can't really believe anything you read. Everything is a lie, including this sentence. Stick that in your pipe, you goddamned bourgeois preacher.

"I don't want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don't want to do that."

Got a freezer full of elk. Come on by and I'll cook you a local meal that'll knock you virgin-humanely-raised-wool-socks off.

J

Mikescrill said...

My wife simply went Vegan, and I'm closer to the idea of being a vegetarian, it's just not right to treat animals that way. I do think eating other animals is a natural part of life, but subjugating them to prison and torture so I can have chicken nuggets everyday is far, far from normal or natural.

Trainer T.s Fitness said...

I love animals :-) and I hate to see anything that is like this going on.
I do buy cage free eggs, since my family were farmers and that is how they raised them.

Great blog!

Toby Dunn said...

Steve your killing me man.... I wouldn't neccessarily call meat derived from humanely treated animals as any better or worse than those from inhumanely treated animals. I can see animals that are truely free range (not just in name only) and feed a diet consistent with what their digestive tracks are suppose to digest to be healthier. MOre along the lines of what the Salatin's at polyFace Farms do with thier live stock.

Satya Swaroop P said...

Go Vegan completely restricting animal produce to milk and eggs at the most.
Eating meats is not a necessity nor helps either the human body or the nation (notional cost of feed/fooder, land displaced, health effects and expenses on health care - cholestrol, heart diseases, obesity) are immense. There is so much to eating meat.

drew.. said...

Awaken to the reality of the human body, go vegan, be selfish and regain your health.
Or.. and this is not mutually exclusive: go vegan to start to end the holocaust of animals.

The ends are the same: you get healthier and animals no longer suffer.

There is no such thing as an non-vegan animal lover. You are simply speciesist, and you love certain animals while eating others. This is just wrong.

Tonja said...

Go vegan is someone's answer to a post regarding eating meats and eggs from humanely raised animals? Try forking over the money to buy the humanely raised animals and give your body what it was DESIGNED to require - MEAT protein. If you don't want to support inhumanely raised animals, then don't buy them. Because not buying any meat at all won't send the same message to mass producers. That's like saying I don't agree with how some crops are sprayed with pesticides so I am going to stop eating all crops. The only difference between us and other animals is our intelligence... that just goes to show if they are eating meat to survive (and thrive) than we should still be doing it as well. Damn vegans/vegetarians.

Chris said...

Drew is 100 percent correct. It doesn't matter if an animal is treated in a humane way or not by a farm... killing an animal for it's meat is inhumane... period. If you're trying to get people to take off their blinders to big " Meat Market " industries, go all the way, not just partiality. We've been duped for decades believing that we need animal flesh. We don't. Just because a person has a dog or cat that they love doesn't make them an animal lover if they're eating a half roasted chicken dinner. That's just word play for a dismembered chicken carcass. A corpse. Just simple science. Don't confuse the issue. You're right in your argument, but fail to see the BIG picture. Many people read your articles and believe in you. Don't puss out now. Give them the WHOLE story.

Anonymous said...

Tonja, if you think that we should be eating meat just because other animals do, then let's see you eat it raw like they do. That is an absurd line of reasoning. Your body was not "designed to require meat". Yes, we can digest it. Yes, we can use the nutrients in it. However, there are other ways to get most of the same nutrients from non-animal sources. No, I am not a vegetarian. I'm a well-informed onmivore.