Meat production done right.

Photo by roboppy | flickr.com

Photo by roboppy | flickr.com

The vegetarian ethic states that vegetarianism encourages us to think of ourselves as part of nature rather than separate from nature. This ethical approach focuses on freeing us from exploiting nature. Industrialized meat farming, rapidly adapted by society, has threatened the integrity of our ecosystem. This unsustainable practice encourages us to treat nature as a commodity, ultimately destroying nature for the benefit of humans. Fortunately, this is not always the case. Polyface Inc. is a small-scale farm located in the United States that practices a unique approach to farming which prevents us from exploiting nature in this way. By mimicking natural patterns on a commercial level, Polyface Inc. provides benefits to the ecosystem rather than destroying it.

Their approach involves herbivore animals and living off the land.  An effective grass-based system works in a cycle. First, the cows graze over the grass where they forage for food.  They are then followed by the chickens, who prefer short grass. Finally, laying hens graze the land, feeding off the nutrients that remain from the previous animals, while providing their own and scratching the land which allows for new grass to grow. This natural process heals the land and continuously produces thick forage. 

This environmentally friendly approach to farming increases the nutritional qualities in meat, and eliminates the need to degrade the environment in order to manufacture meat. The farm produces enough meat each year to feed 2,000 families, 25 restaurants and 10 retail outlets.

As global citizens, it is our duty to ask questions about where our meat comes from. There are many alternatives to the industrialized meat industry that are easily accessible in and around cities. Polyface Inc. is just one example, but there are many farms preserving the quality of the environment, while providing nutrient rich meat. Paying attention to where our meat comes from is a simple way to reduce our environmental impact and improve the quality of our health.

Andrea Moscoe