BEEF Daily

3 Good Reads You Will Enjoy Today


From vegan blindness, to beef industry transparency, to ranch marriage advice, here are three great reads you should check out.

Now that the middle of the week is here, you might be looking forward to the weekend already. I’m busy packing for the upcoming state fair and working on our show cattle that we will exhibit. The countdown is on before we leave next week, but in the meantime, I thought I would round up three quick reads that you might enjoy. Check them out below.

1. Transparency In Packing Plants

Do consumers really want to see where their food comes from? That’s the question that was recently asked and answered by blogger Ryan Goodman on the blog post “Moo-ving toward greater transparency” featured on CNN’s Eatocracy blog. The post was written in response to a New York Times article titled, “Open Slaughterhouses."

Goodman writes, “There is a saying to the effect of: ‘If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would stop eating meat.’ Through all of my experiences, I consider myself more aware of how my meat is harvested, and feel safe when consuming products from our American food system. It certainly has not turned me away from meat consumption.”

A poll at the end of the article asks: If you had the chance, would you visit a slaughterhouse? With 2,960 votes in so far, 27.8% said, “No, I don’t think I could stomach it.” Another 18.01% said, “I have and I’m glad I did.” Meanwhile, 17.06% said, “No, I’m aware of the process, and I’m OK with it.” And, 14.39% of voters would tour a plant if they had the chance. On the flip side, 13.82% would object to a tour based on moral grounds. The remaining 6% are on the fence about a tour or listed “other.” The final 2% have toured a plant and regret it.

Read more about transparency here.

Transparency is going to be a bigger deal as we move forward, so we have to make sure our consumers like what they see. If the average consumer toured your cow-calf unit, feedlot or packing plant, would come away with a good feeling and a greater appreciation for where their food comes from?

2. Advice For Ranch Marriages

North Dakota rancher Val Wagner blogs for her personal page, Wag'n Tales. A post she wrote in May 2011 is getting a lot of popular reviews on social media this week. The blog is titled, “How to spend 10 years married to a farmer.” Wagner is admittedly amused, and a little bit confused, about why all of a sudden this post is going viral online. However, it just goes to show that if you keep writing authentically and sharing your personal story, eventually someone is going to take notice. The blog has now had 10,000 views and growing. Let’s help her get to 20,000!

Wagner cites patience, flexibility, laughter, love and thankfulness as a few of the traits needed for a successful ranch marriage.

You can read her blog post here.

Can you relate to her list of marriage advice? What other qualities would you add to her list?

3. Vegan Diet Falls Short

I guess I take for granted that beef provides me with the essential nutrients I need to thrive. Unless I’m sick, I don’t feel the need to add supplements to my already complete diet. However, this isn’t the case for vegan diets, where B vitamins are lacking and supplements are a must. I’ve met plenty of ex-vegans and ex-vegetarians who admit that they felt weak and lethargic on the diet. It’s understandable since the diet is lacking in those essential nutrients.

Worse than feeling lethargic, BBC News is reporting on a man who went blind because of his vegan diet.

According to BBC, “A man's strict vegan diet may have caused him to go blind, doctors say. The 33-year-old man had been on a strict diet for 13 years which involved cutting out meat, eggs, dairy products, fish and all other sources of animal protein. When he was seen by doctors at the Pitie-Salpatriere Hospital in Paris, part of his optic disc had deteriorated and he had very poor vision. Blood tests showed he was deficient in key minerals and vitamins. Supplements failed to improve his vision as his condition was too far advanced.”

I don’t add this to the list of three items to read today because I feel smug about it, but it makes me wonder how folks think that veganism is a natural diet when adherence to it, without supplementation, leads to adverse health conditions?

Let me know your thoughts on these three news items. As always, if you have some good articles you think BEEF Daily readers might enjoy, email them to me at


More articles you may enjoy:

Would You Eat A Test-Tube Burger?

In Defense Of Show Moms And Dads

5 Experts Predict Cattle industry's Future

Chipotle Changes Its Tune - Conventional Beef Back On The Menu

Discuss this Blog Entry 5

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 21, 2013


I think your argument that a vegetarian diet causes problems or complexities is totally ridiculous.
I have been raised in an indian family (India has more than 30 percent vegetarians, do the math smarty pants), only trying to say that my dear mother still prepares vegetarian food three times a day.
Both of my parents are vegetarians. I know for a fact that my father is one of the fittest 60+ year olds out there. He runs around 3-4 times a week, well on his way to participate in his first marathon.
My grandparents are aged 89 and 96 years, and still going strong. They do not touch meat, to say the least!
Problem in europe is people are not used to vegetarianism, because you can not find the right vegetables which your body needs in normal supermarkets. There are a handful of asian or middle easter stores where you can buy these.
Of course most of these need to be cooked, as you can not expect to be healthy by eating cheese and tomatoes everyday!

Please do some more research on this topic before making superficial judgements.

Would appreciate your feedback once you are through with more reading on this topic.

Best regards,


avatar (not verified)
on Aug 21, 2013

"Research" with one experimental unit is of no value.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Aug 22, 2013

we are only civilized because someone else kills our meat for us.

on Dec 25, 2013

This is my first time ever reading about the negative effects a vegetarian or vegan diet might have on people. However, I think it is not 100% accurate or that the article might not actually represent the entire cohort of vegans and vegetarians. I do have a few close friends who have been vegetarians their entire life due to their religious beliefs. They are as fit as a fiddle and participate in activities that we all do without any complaints. Maybe the number of people affected is just a small percentage. By the way, if I were given a choice, I would not go on that tour to the slaughter storage barn, as ignorance is bliss.

on Jan 21, 2014

There is a large difference between vegetarians and vegans and there are millions of people who follow these kinds of diets all over the world that are perfectly healthy, even over here in Melbourne! The friends mentioned in your article should have educated themselves on the foods they could eat before embarking on the meat-less road. I have recently been reading The Jungle by Sinclair and definitely would not be interested in a tour of a slaughter house.

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What's BEEF Daily?

BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”


Amanda Radke

Amanda Radke is a fifth generation rancher from Mitchell, S.D., who has dedicated her career to serving as a voice for the nation’s beef producers. A 2009 graduate of South Dakota State...

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