Animals that are caged or in feed lots have miserable lives, with cramped quarters, no fresh air or socializing.
Cows are meant to eat grass, not fattened in feedlots, where they are fed small amounts of hay and stuffed with grain, soy, corn and other ingredients. This diet makes them sick, so they are given antibiotics.
Eating meat from sick animals raised in factories and fed GMO, pesticide laden corn, soy and wheat and antibiotics makes meat unhealthy. Likewise, eating processed meat or nitrates is bad for your health.
Eating grass fed meat can be part of a healthy diet. It is healthy for you because it contains three times as much omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed cattle. It’s also higher in key nutrients, including antioxidants, vitamins, and a beneficial fat called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) a type of fat that’s been tied to improved immunity and anti-inflammation benefits, which is thought to reduce heart disease and cancer risks. Grass fed animals are not given antibiotics. They are healthy animals, because they eat what cows are supposed to eat. (Same goes for pork, poultry and lamb.)
From my experience with grass fed meat, it tastes better than fed-lot fed meat. Eat it for awhile and you may be able to taste the difference from individual farms! This summer, I bought grass fed ground beef from Morning Glory Farm in Martha’s Vineyard and it was the best I’ve ever eaten. I can only surmise that the grass was superior and possibly had flowers and other plants in it to deliver such remarkable flavor.
The only downside to free range meat is that it is more expensive. However, I find myself satisfied with 4-ounce portions because it’s so much more favorable than fed lot/caged. (Some time ago, I was hangry and ended up getting a salad with “conventional” (caged) chicken. It had little to no flavor and was rubbery!
Once you get used to the way meat is supposed to taste and understand the misery of animals living in cages/confined, you will only eat free range meat.