Where I live (Israel), I can get either local beef from relatively small (very small, by US standards) CAFO-style operations, with "veterinary supervision" (that's what it says on the package, as if its a selling point!), or totally natural pastured beef imported from Uruguay or Argentina, for about the same price. I'm worried about the possible negative impacts towards the environment and health about importing from across the world and not "going local". What's the best choice, or the lesser evil?
First - I would prioritise your own health. Then - I would import pastured beef since the 'evil-factor' of importing vs CAFO balance out for me, whereas supporting CAFO encourages the growth of that industry whilst also being detrimental to your health. If you feel bad about the environmental impact or transport, how about you get in touch with like-minded Israelis and start a movement encouraging local farmers to break away from CAFO practices? If they know there's a market ready to support them, then there's a chance of change...
Both options are less than ideal. However, for me, the suffering of animals on CAFO farms is far worse than the ecological impact of transportation.
I'd go for the pasture-raised, imported beef.
I see it differently I suppose. Importing the meat from such far distances is only jumping on board with the very thing that you are trying to go against. Consider why CAFO even exist... Profit. Numero Uno. So, when you have suggestions saying that your health is the most important thing (sorry Susan, no offense please) you are now no better than the CAFO operator that is looking out only for him or herself (and their profit margin). CAFOs wouldn't exits without demand. It's business 101: Demand for (cheap) meat is met by supply. If everyone were to be more conscious about their buying power and walk away from factory farming, there would be no supply. The CAFO is only half to blame.
As others have suggested, perhaps try and become part of a movement. Don't buy CAFO meat. At all. That's step #1 in the fight. However, purchasing pastured meat from halfway around the world is no better. This is about cultural, environmental, and societal revolution - not your own personal benefit. Paleo shouldn't be about following some dietary grocery list with no regard to the impact of your purchase. It should be more of a focus on local buying. Purchases that enrich community and health; not just individual health but health of the whole. I fear that this is an extremely important point that so many people either completely miss or don't want to be bothered by it.
Continue your search, start a message board or a blog, get the word out there. That's your best chance for change. Continuing down the road of importing oil-shipped meat will only make you complacent, not healthy.
Wow, that's a tough one. But first, I LOVE that you are trying to think through the options. I just read a lot of CAFO posts on here and it makes me sad that people don't even consider the torture these animals go through and just discuss what they're eating (grain fed or not). I agree with what others suggested and not supporting CAFO for now and getting the beef if you really want it...but also trying to get protein through other sources such as sardines, local eggs (if that is an option) etc.
Anyway, I love seeing people on here who also care about the welfare of animals, our planet, supporting farmers, etc.
cafo meat in south east asia 0 Answers
Anyone bought from Cognito Farm? 6 Answers
Beef budgeting. Quality vs. quantity? 7 Answers