This Carnivore’s Dilemma

As more and more disturbing information comes my way regarding the meat industry, I find myself eating less and less meat. Pictures literally flash in my head from videos that have been sent to me & I simply put things back. It’s not that I think there is anything wrong with eating meat. For health reasons I believe most of us should cut down signficantly on the red meat we eat. That, in turn, will help with carbon emissions. But I am pretty much a meat eater at this point in my life and that may change at some point. So what’s a conscious meat eater to do?

Stay with me….The troubling part to me is the heinous, unthinkable, despicable treatment of the animals that is, by and large, internationally  hidden from the public. To me, it’s as simple as those animals are God’s creatures too. There are humane ways they can be killed and cruel unthinkable ways as well.  I have seen both.

To that end, I was thrilled to discover something here in my own city called CCGA meats. CCGA stands for Collegiate Cattle Growers Association. Cattle growers is a University of Arizona club that provide hands on livestock experience to university students. I visited their facility last Friday and spent quite a bit of time asking how they fed, raised and killed the animals. I liked all of their answers and then bought quite a bit of meat. They sell the meat every Friday between 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. and all the money raised goes to support their programs. Their website is

If it’s starting to get under your skin about wanting to eat cruelty free, grain fed, humanely raised meat, check them out. If you don’t live in Tucson, explore possibilities at your local University, 4H Clubs or even county fairs. It’s one more step we can all take in the right direction & helps to create sustainable partnerships.  To your health!

2 thoughts on “This Carnivore’s Dilemma”

  1. Leah says:

    My parents have been buying meat from the “meat lab” (as they call it!) for years! You certainly can’t beat those prices…

    Can you tell me more about what they told you regarding their feed? When I questioned them a year or two ago about what their cows are eating, they told me they are still feeding them corn. I’m totally, completely freaked out and against corn fed beef. The pesticides being sprayed on corn fields freak me out–have you seen the movie King Corn? Also, corn and corn products are in so many of the foods on grocery store shelves and meat counters these days and I feel fairly strongly that it has something to do with the obesity epidemic in our country. I now primarily purchase my beef products from the local ranchers at our farmers markets who are selling range fed beef products. (Which, by the way, are often also processed at the UofA meat lab because they are certified by the US Dept of Agriculture).

    If they are now only raising range fed or grass fed beef, I’m there!

  2. Mrs. Green says:

    Leah – thank you so much for your thoughts/comments/questions. I appreciate them and you! Here is the timely & thorough response I received from Andrew Kurth from CCGA:

    We primarily sell grain-finished beef. These animals spent the majority of their lives on grass pasture, but spent their last several months being fed a grain diet. This diet consists of corn, hay, soy, and a complete balanced ration of vitamins and minerals. We occasionally have a small supply of completely grass fed meat for sale. All of the meats sold through the CCGA have not been given growth promoting hormones (although natural hormones found in all beef are present) or antibiotics.

    In response to the reader: Firstly, an animal that has been feed a conventional grain diet is not fed only corn. Their diets are a mix of forages and grains.
    Secondly, the corn is not present in the meat. The corn will be digested and fermented inside the cows stomach, extracting only the starches, which it will use for improved growth. The presence or lack of pesticides in the growth of the corn will not effect the animal or its meat in any way.
    And finally, I would caution you not to assume that “grassfed” or “range-fed” means organic. Not all producers who grow grasses grow them without the use of pesticides. It sounds like you are looking for organic beef which can come from grain or grass fed cows, but both of those groups have non-organic products.

    Thanks again,

    Andrew Kurth
    CCGA Meats Manager

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