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 AgricultureProud.com 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.
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 .
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 [email protected]
More articles you may enjoy: