move animals around


Senior Member

Feedlot meat is not good for you and it is frankly too cheap, so we eat too much of it—
to our detriment. If we are going to eat meat, it makes far more sense to have locally raised animals, which will be
more expensive because you have to pay someone to go out and move the animals around and pay attention to them. (Voices of the Food Revolution/John Robbins)

I'm wondering whether "move animals around" means "move them around the grazing land" or maybe it's got something to do with the transport?
  • tepatria

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    In this context, I think they mean that they have to be moved around to get the best grazing. Transportation costs would be involved whether they are in a feed lot or not. Feed lots are not always close to abattoirs.


    Senior Member
    Livestock that are raised on grass these days are most often produced by a system known as "intensive grazing," in which the pasture is divided by temporary fencing into smaller units (sometimes called "paddocks," but be aware that this word can have different meanings depending on what type of English one speaks, as well as how familiar one is with ag terminology). The cattle (it's most often cattle) are moved from one paddock to another as they eat the available grasses.

    The reason it is done this way instead of just letting them roam all over the pasture is that if given that option, cattle will eat what they like best, which isn't necessarily the most nutritious. This is more labor intensive, of course, than finishing them with grain, which is how it's done in a standard feedlot.

    I don't believe that the data agrees with the author's contention that grass-fed beef is any healthier that grain-fed beef, though apparently those with very discriminating palates can taste the difference, and which they prefer depends on the person. But that's a side issue. Most cattle in the US are raised on grass and finished on grain, so it's impossible for most of us (including me) to tell the difference.

    The author seems to be combining both the notion of grass-fed meat and that of locally produced meat in drawing his conclusion, and he doesn't do so very logically, at least not in this short excerpt. That's why it's a bit hard to follow.
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