Double Standards and Faux Meat

Beef production, and I suppose agriculture in general, has become a pretty contentious issue over the past several years. Most often, the criticism is directed at us while we try to defend ourselves in a graceful manner. It’s a tiresome existence, warding off unfounded and misplaced criticism, when all we really want to do is grow food and raise our families.

I’ve been thinking about the faux meat issue for a long time. I have mixed feelings about the emergence of these products in the marketplace, which has been happening over the past few years. So what follows are my honest, and somewhat scattered, thoughts about faux meat, alternative proteins and beef existing together.

First and foremost, we’ve got to stop criticizing alternative proteins for being processed. Pot, meet kettle. There is an abundance of processed foods that fit into a healthy diet, including processed beef. Hamburger, beef sausage, corned beef, beef jerky and all beef hotdogs, just to name a few, are all processed beef products. 

This attack is similar to the Food Babe’s crusade of lambasting any food ingredient that she couldn’t pronounce. I’m guessing she doesn’t drink caffeine (scientific name 1,3,7-Trimethylpurine-2,6-dione). In my opinion, the beef industry should take the high road and shouldn’t employ the same fear-based marketing tactics that we’ve been fighting for decades.

Along the same lines is the recent comparison of the Impossible Burger and/or Beyond Meat products to dog food. I’ve seen this statement made by many agriculture peers that I have a great amount of respect for and even though I mean no insult to them, I disagree with that messaging vein. 

Again, processed is not necessarily bad, and I think it’s pretty well-known how much care goes into pets and their food these days – pet owners are willing to spend a lot of hard-earned cash for extremely high-end pet food. Just tonight I saw a commercial for a meal delivery service for dogs. Additionally, humans could actually eat dog food with no ill effects for an extended period of time, if absolutely necessary. So how well does this argument really sway in our favor?

Lastly, and this one may get me thrown out of the beef business … continue reading
  next page



Latest News

Spring has Sprung and Show Season is Just Around the Corner. Are You Ready?

For your showing clients, now is a good time to discuss a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection. Many livestock shows will require a CVI -- even if the animal doesn’t have to cross state lines to get to the show.

Mastitis in Beef Cows: What You Need to Know

Although mastitis, an infection of the udder, is often considered a dairy cow problem, the disease may also impact beef producers. Here's what you need to know and look for and how to help protect your herd.

We Need More Answers, Veterinarian Says About Biosecurity Research

As a veterinarian, Jeremy Pittman, senior director of U.S. veterinary services for Smithfield Foods, says he is constantly tasked with, asked about and challenged on biosecurity processes or protocols. 

Mineral and Vitamin Considerations When Drylotting Cows

Managing cows in a drylot can be a way to maintain the herd when forage production is reduced. However, it's important to make sure cows are getting the vitamins and minerals they need.

Animal Activist and Former Baywatch Star Found Not Guilty in ‘Open Rescue’

Former “Baywatch” star Alexandra Paul and activist Alicia Santurio were found not guilty of misdemeanor theft after “rescuing” two chickens in 2021. Although they faced jail time, Paul says it was worth the risk.

7 Tips for More Effective Vaccination Programs in Calves

Ask 10 dairy producers what they believe is an effective vaccination program for calves, and you’ll likely get 10 unique answers. That’s OK, because there is no effective one-size-fits-all strategy.