In recent years, many farmers are turning their attention toward pasture-based farming, which they consider is a better alternative to the convention agricultural practice of confining their livestock in dirty feedlots and feeding these animals a grain-based diet. Moreover, many animal rights activists also welcome in this innovative practice in the farming sector and voice concerns over manner factory-based farm treat their livestock. Even many agricultural experts advocate that pasturing livestock have many advantages for farmers, consumers, producers, animals and for the environment. In fact, many cattle owners feel that nourishing their livestock with pasture is essential aspect of ensuring that these ruminant animals live in comfortable and healthy conditions.
Geoffrey Morell, an esteemed agriculturist who believes in raising livestock on pastures and co-owner of P.A. Bowen Farmstead is of the opinion that confining animals to cold and damp barns results respiratory and other health issues for these animals. On the other hand, pastured animals have the opportunity of getting fresh air from an open environment of grasslands in addition to exercise rather than spending their time crowding together in barns. Moreover, he also agree with many prominent activists on animal rights when they advocate the practice of battery farming is not only cruel but unethical considering the appalling, and awful conditions the animals have to live in.
- Wildlife Benefits
He emphasizes that in the case of ruminant livestock such as cattle are literally born to eat grass rather than high-protein grains, which their stomachs are unable to digest. In contrast to human being, these animals are very efficient in converting fibrous plants into protein. On the other hand, feeding such animals not only increases their body weight but results in digestive problems, discomfort and aliments. This is the reason why cattle who fed pasture outdoors are healthier and more productive than their counterparts who live in confinements and fed grains. Moreover, pasture feed animals do not require antibiotics unless such medicines are necessary.
- Environmental Benefits
In the case of livestock who survive on a diet of pasture, the issue of disposing of their wastes becomes less important because as this waste decomposes, it adds to the fertility of the soil. The nutritional value of the meat and dairy products such as milk along with eggs is significantly higher in the case of pasture-fed animals in comparison to those who are not. For instance, the meat from livestock that eats pasture has less fat but a very high percentage of omega-3 and other beneficial fatty acids. Even consumers will not fail to notice a difference in the taste of grass-fed animals because of the herbaceous and mineral-rich flavor.
Geoffrey Morell further explains that contrary to popular belief pasture-based farming helps to keep small farmers commercial viable in addition to enhancing the consumers’ quality of life and benefits to the environments. These farms are a catalyst when it comes the preserving the biodiversity as they raise suitable breeds of livestock especially when there are concerns among certain sections of consumers about the effects hormones and antibiotics that modern factory farms use on their livestock