Animal fat… The original skin moisturizer and the case for true sustainability.
100 years ago, most Americans lived on a farm or darn close to one. Nearly every farm had farm animals. Farm animals were kept and cared for because they provide food for the family and their communities in many ways directly like meat, but also indirectly like eggs, cheese, and milk. The usefulness of the animals didn’t end there. There was also soap, clothing, bedding, fertilizer, the list goes on.
In the US we have 1.9 billion acres of land and nearly half of that is grass land. That is one heck of a big solar farm! Why is that a solar farm? Well, plants (grass) do something nothing else on the planet can do. The EAT sunlight and turn it into energy and complex information (phytocompounds) that humans and animals need to build healthy functioning bodies. We can’t eat grass.
Our vast grasslands need ruminant animals for us to survive. The soil healthy is key to healthy grassland and the grazing ruminant is key to soil health, providing manure for nutrients and food for dung beetles. Dung beetles help naturally aerate the soil so that the soil can capture more rainfall to provide more nourishment for the grass. If you haven’t figured it out yet, it’s a big circle of life that has been ongoing for eons. Seems pretty sustainable without much effort when you look at it like that!
From our community in rural southwest Nebraska we have seen the attack on animal agriculture intensify more and more every year. We see marketing campaigns and political campaigns built on lies and sketchy “science”. It really always boils down to one thing… money. Corporations are so quick to make a buck that they would throw Momma in front of the train and animal agriculture isn’t even Momma!
While you keep hearing in the news and on social media about how animal agriculture is destroying the planet, you never hear much anything about palm oil… an ingredient in the vast majority of natural soap (not ours). I guess no one stops and wonders if plant oil production is bad for the planet. Makes you wonder where the idea that animal production is bad for the planet came from.
Well, as it turns out over 50% of the products in our grocery stores contains palm oil. Palm oil has secretly become the worlds most popular oil because it’s cheap and versatile despite the fact that it only grows in areas within 10 degrees of the equator and most of that area is ocean. So where is all this palm oil coming from? Rainforests… or what USED to be rainforest.
Every year we are losing more and more acres of rainforest across the globe due to palm oil production, illegal logging, illegal gold mining, and other corporate mining operations (cobalt). Recent undercover operations have shown that despite (deceptive) marketing campaigns most US corporations are turning a blind eye to all the illegal and unethical raw materials they are buying up from areas like this while they spout ESG slogans at us because profit is king, not the planet or the people.
Palm oil is not only bad for the climate: As their forest habitat is cleared, endangered species such as the orangutan, Borneo elephant and Sumatran tiger are being pushed closer to extinction. Smallholders and indigenous people who have inhabited and protected the forest for generations are often brutally driven from their land. In Indonesia, more than 700 land conflicts are related to the palm oil industry. Human rights violations are everyday occurrences, even on supposedly “sustainable” and “organic” plantations. But remember…it’s cheap to manufacturers.
Outside of the big food corporations and packing plants, we don’t see any of this happening in animal agriculture. Most of our beef is raised by families. You can actually drive up to a family farm/ranch and shake hands with good, honest people, visit the animals being raised, and see where they live. As Americans we tend to pat ourselves on the back because we don’t have much of these horrifying labor conditions and land abuse going on here, but everyday we consume the goods that made abroad where these terrible things DO happen.
We know exactly where our tallow and lard comes from. We know many of the farm and ranch families that take care of the land and resources who take these animals in for processing. They are feeding their own families, marketing direct, or even going straight to retail counters at Ranch Foods Direct. We know their employees have great jobs, they own their own homes, they are instilling skill and dignity in the workplace in America and keeping the money in hands of every day Americans instead of sending it over seas with the multi-national corporations.
These farm/ranch families that are part of our supply chain are the ones who donate hay, fencing, labor, money, food, feed, and more when we have wildfires, floods, ice storms, tornadoes, they support the local schools in more ways than one, they build communities large and small, coach little league sports, and make sure we have clean air and water. What do the multi-national companies that turn a blind eye to illegal deforestation, forced labor, human trafficking, ecological disasters, and inhumane work conditions for profit do for the American communities?
It’s time to stop assaulting American animal agriculture and start holding these multi-national corporations accountable for all the crimes against the people and the environment. Know where your food and your personal products come from. Don’t rely and slick marketing campaigns, do some research.