Nourishing Fats and the Vegan Opposition

This article has two main topics. The reasons why some people want access to nutrient-dense animal products and also vegans targeting food producers.

 

Nourishing Fats: Why we need animal fats for health and happiness

Sally Fallon Morell from the Weston A. Price Foundation has written many books on the research and findings of Dr. Weston A. Price. Her family farm is also listed with the Raw Milk Institute. This book explains the origins of, and science behind the next movement in the wellness world; healthy fats. For a summary on the chapters click here. The book expands upon the growing scientific consensus that a diet rich in good fats is the key to optimum health, and the basis of a sustainable, long-term diet. We will not be exploring the principles of the book in detail because there are many other online sources of information. We will however be zoning in on the fact that these beneficial nutrient-dense, remineralised animals fats come from particular kind of farming practises: pasture-raised and regeneratively farmed. Science show that when the cows are 100% grass-fed, it results in the best quality and highest amount of these essential nutrients. See The Grass-fed Raw Milk Movement for more science-based information.

The production of these products involves animals eating what is biologically appropriate for them in nature. They should be living in the natural habitats they prefer, where there is plenty of sunshine. Think cows who walk on open pastures with access to lots of green, growing grass. Chickens living where they can enjoy access to insects and earthworms and forage under trees. Pigs who live outdoors enjoying a variety of natural foods and pastures they can uproot to create muddy areas. Regenerative systems allow for carbon sequestration and the remineralisation of plants. Animals with access to these diverse plant species paddocks can get more minerals from them and enjoy increased health as a result. These conditions produce animal products high in certain nutrients and in healthy ratios. 

Sourced from sustainable systems:

Animal fats from these traditional systems are protective against disease and inflammation, and supportive to cell function and hormone production. Animal fats help our bodies make feel-good chemicals. Sally explains why certain processes in the human body really only function optimally with animal fats. Fats taken from pasture-fed animals help in so many ways in critical areas of the body such as the brain, digestive organs and reproductive health. According to this podcast healthy fats promote fertility and ensure a healthy pregnancy. In the book she shows readers why animal fats are vital for fighting infertility, depression, and chronic disease, and offers easy solutions for adding these essential fats back into readers' diets. These nutrient-dense foods from traditional agriculture systems are very valuable but there is a way to adulterate these products and take the benefits away... keep reading...

Sourced from unsustainable systems:

The big food industry however seem to be intent on producing animal products that go in the opposite direction. This food is often cheap to produce and sometimes unsustainably farmed. The animals in these systems are often fed lots of grain, which leads to an overabundance of omega 6 in the animal fat. When there isn't a healthy ratio of fatty acids in these foods, it can promote disease in the human body. Vitamins A, D and K are diminished, because some animals do not spend time in sunlight, natural environments or eat the foods that come natural to the species. Some animal products like dairy are often processed, pasteurised and sterilised because they may contain pathogens. They are not safe to eat in the raw state. Milk fats become oxidised after processing beyond certain temperatures. This system seems to funnel farmers towards dependence on buying seed to reseed paddocks, chemical fertilisers, antibiotics and herbicides on cereal crops. Some of these systems are intense animal operations and they can breed pathogens and other diseases that can impact human health in a very negative way.

Image:  healthy, grass-fed cows enjoying sunshine on open, fertile pastures.

Veganuary and Februdairy?

Who decided that after Veganuary comes Februdairy? Who is pitting eaters against food producers? There is however enough fuel for this fire because many people are not happy with the way food are produced nowadays. Many people are aware of the suffering of the animals who live in unnatural environments, and feel for them. But do vegans know that there are differences between sustainably farmed food and unsustainably farmed food? Can we make them understand why some people want access to these nutrient-dense animal products? Many small-scale farmers are doing their best to stay in business. They want to produce good food despite the global 'get big or get out' attitude in agriculture. They are trying to keep producing in regenerative systems with many limitations placed on them. On the other hand, global governance is making it easier for large-scale farming to continue with unsustainable farming methods. It is not fair that vegans treat and judge all food producers the same way, because some really do care and they want to do things differently. 

 

Vegan campaign in Melbourne

According to the report above an anonymous donor from the U.S. has paid for a series of vegan advertising that is running across Melbourne (in particular) in an attempt to stop people from eating meat. There are often dairy cows and unsustainable farming practises in the images. See the video above.

British raw dairy farmers targeted

The debate over animal welfare and animal rights have been brewing for a while and recently (at the start of February 2018) dairy farmers from Fen Farm Dairy in the U.K. have been attacked by an army of international vegans on Facebook after posting an image of newborn triplet calves. This is very rare. They received death threats against themselves and their children. These threats were seemingly aimed towards dairy farmers, but Fen Farm Dairy is not an ordinary dairy.

Fen Farm Dairy produce various raw dairy products like raw milk, raw butter, raw cream and a raw brie cheese for human consumption. They are one of the most famous dairies in the world for their diversification business. Coincidence or not? Was this dairy particularly targeted after they won two significant prizes for their unique  

produce late last year? First Diversification Farmer of the Year Award and then Best Artisan Producer for their cheese. These products are in high demand with consumers, so much so that Fen Farm Dairy will now be exporting their Baron Bigod raw brie cheese to France, of all places!

In addition, farmers who produce for the raw dairy market have to take excellent care of their animals, otherwise the animals will not produce suitable milk. Fen Farm Dairy do not even slaughter any young calves. They are allowed to grow until a certain age. Did the vegan group know anything about the dairy's farming practises or standing in the local and international community before descending on them with abuse? Fortunately Fen Farm's community stood up for them in the thousands on social media.

 

Both dairy farmers Jonathan and Dulcie Crickmore, and an Australian vegan activist Joey Carbstrong who is visiting England, were invited to the ITV This Morning studio to be interviewed on 5 February. The interview asked if militant vegans were making the lives of farmers hell, watch the full interview here. Joey accused the farmers of horrendous things. He seemed to zone in on what he believed as a vegan, instead of what he knew about this particular farming operation. 

 

Not all dairy farmers farm the same way

Joey Armstrong and his followers may or may not know the following: 

The point is that being able to produce raw milk for human consumption allows dairy farmers to do dairy differently. It is a step in the right direction towards farming in harmony with nature, the animals and consumers. ARMM has many examples on our website of raw dairies who are able to satisfy consumer demand for more ethical, cow and calf friendly dairy. 

Consumer preferences and values have been ignored for too long in Australia and this issue is now clearly at boiling point.

ARMM do not condone this militant behaviour. Each adult has a right to eat what they consider best for them. However this situation highlights our limited choice here in Australia to choose food from sustainable farming operations and to enjoy direct contact with farmers so we can ask them to produce food the way we like it. If we remove the middleman who dictates the farming methods and takes all the profit, farmers and consumers can be at peace with each other. Raw milk for human consumption enables that, as farmers can receive a proper price for their raw dairy, enabling them to farm more in line with what the local community asks for.

This incident suggests that vegans seem to see all farming operations in the same light. They seem to ignore that some farmers are trying real hard to be different. It seems that vegans don't understand why some people want these nutrient dense food with the healthy essential fatty acid ratios and abundant vitamin A, D and K from sustainable farming systems. This article had to be written.

Who is behind this attack? According to the Vegan Vengeance video the organiser has no idea who paid for this elaborate scheme to descend on Melbourne. Is there anything else behind it other than animal welfare concerns? Who wants to install a barrier between consumers and nutrient-dense animal products from regenerative systems?

 

Farming differently when Industry do not want competition

Many farmers have tried to farm differently by satisfying consumer demand. However there is often a pattern of being disadvantaged for it in some way afterwards. Is it punishment for trying to break free from the status quo? There are plenty of examples.

Today there are many foreign owned large corporate farming operations in Australia. Powerful people with lots of money seem to dictate to Australian politicians and government what the agricultural landscape should look like. There is a lot of evidence now that suggests the Australian government don't really care for small-scale or sustainable farming. They show that they won't act to stop them from sinking into financial ruin and won't allow them to diversify into other markets where there is consumer demand, like fresh, unprocessed milk.

Ethical dairy farmers from Elgaar Farm in Tasmania has a unique story. They were disadvantaged unfairly by food regulators to the point where they almost went out of business. Farmers often don't have the tools to defend themselves against clever arguments made against them. The business was saved thanks to a small number of people who loved how the dairy farmed and who came up with a good idea. See the following article and video:

Attack on small scale dairy in Australia

Elgaar Farm with the AFSA Legal Defence Fun video

 

Solutions 

If vegans want to get angry, they should take a real hard look at who is responsible for limited access to ethical, humane and nutrient-dense animal food products in Australia. In other words, they should look at those who make it hard for farmers to farm in Australia with unfair and size inappropriate regulations. Many consumers are not going to stop eating animal products anytime soon because they value the nutritional benefits. But many are very concerned about the way food is farmed. They want access to alternatives (example) and they want them to be profitable for farmers, not regulated out of viability or banned altogether because the big food industry is jealous of their success. 

The big food industry and those who serve each other in this dysfunctional revolving door system (like food regulators, the media, the medical community, supermarkets and politicians) are too self-serving and ambitious. They are selfish and want to be the only ones making a profit. They are apathetic and indifferent to the suffering of small-scale farmers who they see as the competition. They are cold and harsh to consumers' needs, values and desires. They only care about the dollars, the power and position and not for the animal welfare. Change must happen... We must hold up a mirror for those who find it hard to learn their spiritual lessons; if we harm our environment with unsustainable farming practises, we harm ourselves.

Our social culture is on a mysterious slide towards transformation and something has got to give...

Read the follow-up article:  Food for thought for vegans


Video:  There's a lot of confusion around what constitutes a healthy fat. In today's episode, Sally Fallon Morell, the head of the Weston A. Price Foundation, makes a solid case for including animal fats in our diet, based on her book "Nourishing fats: why we need animal fats for health and happiness."