Are Pasture-Raised Cows The Way Of The Future?

When it comes to raising cows and agriculture in general, there is a wide variety of ways to be done. From raising the cows industrially, zero-grazing (grass-fed) to raising them on farms where they can roam freely and graze naturally. All the while, the method is chosen highly depends on cost-effectiveness and environmental friendliness. This article tries to explain this concept and why pasture-raised animals may be preferable in the future compared to their industrial counterparts.

What are pasture-raised cows? These are animals that get most of their food from organic grass that is grown in pasture land. Primarily, to raise healthy pastured livestock, a farmer needs to have well-managed land for growing the pasture. The soil should not be treated with synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Only organic substances and manure are used to raise the pasture.

The pasture-raised animals should get at least 30% of their food from organically raised grass. Some of the grass can be dried and stored for later use, especially for animals raised in colder environments. The pasture fields can be covered with snow during the cold winter seasons; hence the dried pasture can come in handy.

The environmental benefits of raising animals via organic pasture are tremendous. Currently, the industrialization occurring all around the globe is enormous. The world is at risk of global warming, which poses a higher risk to all forms of life. The healthy grasslands that provide organic pasture to cows remove some of the carbon dioxides from the environment. Less carbon in the atmosphere reduces the risk of ozone layer destruction and consequent global warming.

Industrial farms use pesticides and herbicides to raise the crops on which the animals feed. There is also the use of fossil fuels to regulate the indoor environment as there is minimal animal movement. The chemicals and fossil fuels pose more significant harm to the environment as they cause environmental pollution.

Thus, from back in the ancient days and even where the predictable future is headed to, pasture-raised cattle will be the way to go. The climate and environmental benefits that come with raising the animals on organic pasture outweigh the cost that accompanies this form of farming.

Animals raised on organic pasture provide healthier products that are safe for consumption. In recent years, many incurable diseases have emerged. The question is what brings about these conditions?. The excessive use of industrial chemicals in products, from the food and crops, has proved to be the cause. For example, most cancers result from mutations in the DNA that are brought about by various synthetic chemicals.

Pasture-based farmers ensure their animals feed on organically raised forage, grass and have access to clean water. Moreover, the diet has appropriate vitamins and minerals. The products from these animals provide much higher health benefits to the consumer’s health. Pasture-raised foods have lower calories and total fat, which would otherwise cause obesity. Furthermore, the meals have higher levels of omega-3 and omega-6 fats than other meat and dairy products.

Pasture fed cow’s meat and dairy products have more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is a healthy fatty acid obtained from animals. Indeed, there are significant hurdles associated with raising the animals naturally and organically. Yet the benefits are so tremendous to ignore. This has seen that in the last several years, pastured livestock production and demand has grown tremendously. Going by the same trend, pastured raised cows will be the way in the future.

Why Happy Cows Make Delicious Dairy Products

You’ve probably heard it said that happy cows make the best milk. It’s a popular slogan, particularly among California dairy farmers, lauding the superior conditions afforded to cattle in that state. However, it’s more than just catchy marketing lingo. Science has proven what anecdotal evidence has long suggested: happy cows really do produce better quality dairy products. To understand how and why requires some understanding of the connection between happiness and hormones.

The study in question [https://www.vitaplus.com/blog/articles/serotonin-coordination-calcium-metabolism-transition-dairy-cows-dr-laura-hernandez#.XwQV4ucpDic] was the brainchild of Dr. Laura Hernandez, Assistant Professor of Lactation Biology from the University of Wisconsin. In order to test the theory that happiness impacted the quality of a cow’s milk, it was necessary to have an objective measure of the animal’s happiness. After all, translating their moos was out of the question, especially considering that contented cows moo much less than when they are upset. Luckily, there is a hormone that is directly related to happiness in both humans and animals. It is called serotonin.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that performs a number of complex functions within the brain, but for our purposes (and those of Dr. Hernandez) the most important is the hormone’s effect on mood. Elevated levels of this hormone in the blood are associated with happier moods, a healthy appetite, and decreased stress and anxiety. In order to ensure that the cows being tested were happy, they were administered serotonin daily, which produced an increase in their calcium production. While the nature of this increase varied by cow breed, in Jersey cows it translated directly into more calcium-rich milk.

In the study, the administration of serotonin did not otherwise directly impact the nutritional profile of the milk or the yield. Yet, those characteristics are impacted by a cow’s happiness. We can infer this based on what we already know concerning the impact of stress and adverse conditions on our bovine buddies.

When under stress, cows don’t produce as much milk. This occurs in part due to another hormone, adrenaline, being released as part of the animal’s fight or flight response to negative stimuli. Long term stress, likely a result of poor treatment and living conditions, is almost certainly coupled with decreased levels of serotonin, which in turn leads to a poor appetite. The less a cow eats, the less milk it can produce, and what it does make will be of lesser quality.

Another hormone, cortisol, is released in response to chronic stress. At elevated levels, cortisol compromises the cow’s immune system, making it more susceptible to infection and illness. In turn, more bacteria can enter and survive within the milk. While milk tends to be pasteurized to eliminate bacteria, raw milk has a greater nutrient density. The raw milk from a happy cow is far more likely to be safe for consumption than that of an unhappy one.

Within the farming industry, the push towards the more humane treatment of livestock has long been underway. Consumers and farmers alike have pushed for this out of a sort of moral kindness, but it helps to know that there are commercial benefits as well. Happy cows really do produce the best dairy products, which means that it’s in everyone’s best interest not to give them anything to moo about.