Regarding Henry Kantrowitz’s letter of Dec. 24 about the wasteful livestock industry, I concur regarding the manner most livestock is raised today. It is unhealthy, wasteful and harmful to the environment.
But I disagree with using that to characterize all livestock operations as bad. If Costa Rica was raising their livestock in a proper manner for the health of the people and the land, that would not be the case.
In fact of all the farms I have visited, and I’ve visited a few, the ones that produced the healthiest foods and were the most sustainable were family farms that were integrated pasture-based livestock operations.
As well, I know and have visited non-integrated grass-fed beef operations where they’re increasing their soil fertility every year, with very little work. Pastured based dairy, egg and meat operations where animals receive little or no grains and high rations of fresh grasses are nothing like what the letter describes. In fact just the opposite.
Other added benefits of a livestock operation vs. a non-livestock operation are the free energy and fertilizer you can utilize from the animal wastes and nutrient dense food!
It is a mistake to make suggestions/decisions regarding diet based on what are the most popular current production practices, which are a total failure. The focus should be on optimal nutrition and then optimal systems to create that nutrition, while improving the very soil its self while using as little inputs and time as necessary.
San Isidro, Heredia