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Blog archive: August 2009

Free range and grass fed

Holstein cows

I’ve just returned from Hollister Ranch, a gorgeous place somewhere near Santa Barbara on the California coast, which is between San Francisco and Los Angeles. It’s a stunningly beautiful stretch of countryside, with rolling green hills, blue skies and rolling ocean famous for it’s great surfing waves. The land around here is rich and fertile, with vineyards and olive groves not too far away. There are wild deer, hawks in the air and rattlesnakes on the ground, and in this idyllic setting, there are free range, grass fed cows. Here are a few of them.

It’s a sad reality that these cows are living it up in a style completely out of sync with 99% of their brothers and sisters. Not too far away, there’s an enormous cow camp known as Harris Ranch that epitomizes everything bad about factory farming cattle. The plains of Harris Ranch are cow brown, because the cows are crammed in so tight, there’s simply no space in between them for any other hues to be seen.

The happy Hollister Ranch Angus cows in this photo eat and sleep out in the hills, occasionally being moved from A to B by a pair of old-fashioned cowboys and their two collie dogs. It was a wonder to watch the cowboys at work. Their skillful effectiveness was so elegant, rounding up the cows with zero invasiveness or distress to the animals.

When you buy beef, please remember these beautiful cows and if you can find it, please buy organic beef that’s grass fed.

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