In April 2021 I fulfilled my lifelong dream of a owning and living on a ranch.
Animals and Nature need us to go back to our roots of living as one with consideration and mindfulness and in a symbiosis through which we all will strive.
Factory farming does not only destroy the planet, it is hell for the animals. On factory farms large numbers of animals are confined in small spaces, which often means keeping animals indoors for the duration of their lives. On factory farms, animals are not given any choice about how to live their lives. They're raised to grow quickly so that they can be turned into products as swiftly as possible. Various bodily mutilations, extremely tight and crowded confinement, and lives spent entirely indoors are routine aspects of life for factory-farmed animals. Inhumane treatment occurs on factory farms wherever animal cruelty is ignored, though definitions of cruelty vary widely between stakeholders. For example, definitions of animal cruelty used by the CEOs of big meat companies will differ drastically from those used by animal rights advocates. While producers often claim to root out inhumane treatment of farmed animal wherever possible, many advocates believe that factory farms are inherently inhumane.
Routine factory farming practices e.g. mean separating mother cows from infants, which often results in mothers crying for days; castrating male animals without anesthetics, never once allowing animals to experience the outdoors - there is little about the experience of farmed animals in the factory farming system that appears to be humane.
With all my heart I believe factory farms need to be prohibited and shut down now. This must be the first step to stop animal cruelty through farming. Even if we don't want to give up eating meat just yet, we don't have to have meat nearly every day; we could reduce the meat consumption and instead buy a little more expensive meat that comes from humanely raised animals that get to experience a life of natural pleasures, grazing on green pastures in decent sized herds with plenty of space. We cannot seriously believe that buying a rotisserie chicken for $5 is meat from a bird that actually enjoyed a second of it's life considering these $5 pay for the egg that it hatches from, the feed, living quarters and electricity, the salaries of the people who kill it and cut it, pack it, transport it to the supermarket, roasting and the supermarket's margin. How much nutrition do we really expect in that piece of meat when it grew up in life-long misery?
I know I will never convince everybody on this planet or even in this country or state to stop eating meat. But I am hoping to get people to even consider how much suffering is in their supermarket aka factory farmed meat and that with smaller changes to their daily habits they themselves can change the world and lives of many animals.
On my Ranch I want to demonstrate that raising animals can be done in a humane way and with the animals even being good for the land by using rotational grazing methods which capture carbon and improve air quality. My farm property had been sitting fallow for the better part of 20 years and so most of the former cattle pastures have overgrown with thorny bushes and trees. With the help of Scottish Highland cows and grazing goats this land can gently and holistically be brought back to life.
(So far the plan. Unfortunately for me - and the land - the goats and cows discovered they like the "ready for grazing" horse pastures so much better 😂)