In addition to the old standbys of corn, soy, hay (and, uh, drugs), “there’s a lot of stuff which the general public might not think of as feeds which are actually quite common,” says Cory Parsons, a livestock nutrition expert at Oregon State University. For example:
Sawdust: Decades ago, when Bob Batey, an eastern Iowa entrepreneur, observed cows gobbling up sawdust hosed down from his paper mill, he had an idea: Why not make the stuff into a commercial cattle feed? Sawdust is made largely of cellulose, a carbohydrate, but it’s bound together with a compound called lignin, which makes it hard to digest. To strip the lignin, Batey soaked some of the stuff in nitric acid, and voilà! The cows were ready to chow down. “They like it,” he says. “It’s good for them. It’s economical. And it’s green.”
But it was only after a…
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Many of us never have the privilege of getting to know a farm animal. Instead, we know them by their parts. A cow is a rib steak, a brisket, a package of ground beef. A pig is a strip of bacon, schnitzel, a loin chop. A chicken is a wing, drumstick, or a thigh.
While this categorizing may make it easier for some to pick out what they’d like from the grocery store, it’s also a way of distancing ourselves from who these individuals once were.
Thinking of a farm animal as an individual is certainly not something many feel comfortable with, but just like the domestic animals we share our households with, farm animals also have their own distinct personalities, likes, dislikes, and desires. What’s more, if we’d give them a chance, they’d show us just as much love as our beloved dogs and cats.
To prove this…
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