Is it so hard to raise a happy farm animal? Here, in North America, apparently, yes. Hormones, antimicrobials, ionophores and other growth-enhancing feed additives, vaccines, artificial insemination, poor living conditions, should I continue? We are fighting to ban foie gras and tuna fin, but are wholeheartedly buying ”natural” meat in our groceries. Little do we know that when we buy meat in a store labelled ”natural”, it has nothing to do with the way the animal was raised for consumption, but rather how the meat was processed. If its true that everything is interconnected and ”we are what we eat”, what 99% of Americans who eat industrial food is genetically modified ”corn”. That ”corn” is also what our industrial farm animals are as it is the primary feed grain in North America. And while it’s hardly breaking news that industrial farms are inherently unsustainable, this post is actually about some good news.
There is a hope. A recent article about the revival of domestic pigeons in ”La Presse” newspaper has brought us to the local farm Miboulay. We were looking for a squab, but found so much more at this place. The farm grows corn, soybean, wheat and flax for both, human and farm animal consumption. Their stock includes grain-fed calves, squab, Omega 3-fed pigs and rabbits. The owners told us they feed their cattle to grass naturally, and rotate it among fields continuously. Their classy pigs are fed with flax seed and chicken are free to run and look for their food in addition to the natural grain meal they receive daily. Their animals are happy, relaxed, properly fed and hormone free. We also have learned about the Slow Food, eco-gastronomic international organization they are the proud members of. The Slow Food is a healthy alternative to fast food that strives to preserve traditional cuisine and encourages farming characteristics of the local ecosystem.