What is 'Ethically Raised' Beef?

What is 'Ethically Raised' Beef?

In this age of eco-conscious, higher quality living, it's become a high priority to serve your family and friends only those foods sourced environmentally and ethically responsible. What, however, does the phrase 'ethically raised' really mean when it comes to beef?

At Big G Ranch our commitment to reducing our collective carbon footprint on the world, and to know each and every day we can provide our family and all our customers the highest grade beef products means everything. We are so dedicated to this promise that we can assure with every share and purchase from Big G Ranch, each animal has been raised, ranched and taken to market in the most humane and ethical way possible. 

The current market definition of 'ethically raised beef' is; 

"Any animal used to produce the meat, poultry, dairy, or eggs to be consumed by the public (or private sale) were treated humanely from birth to slaughter, on farms that provide decent living conditions that meet the animals’ needs (e.g., cows are allowed to graze and not confined to a feedlot)."

Why It Matters

When animals are treated humanely, can move freely, and can engage in their natural, species-specific behaviors, it benefits the animals. When an animal has been treated with care you can know the ranchers and farmers are not only concerned about commerce and profit - this is extremely important to Big G Ranch. 

How We Stay Accountable

Verifying Our Sources
A representative of Big G Ranch will have a personal relationship with every supplier of cattle to the Big G Ranch beef program and our protocols are followed from birth to plate. All cattle have full traceability. A Big G Ranch representative pre-approves all cattle in the program and, if practical, visits the ranch or farm where the cattle were born. All ranchers agree to sign producer affidavits confirming that their cattle program meets all requirements of this protocol, and the Big G Ranch producer affidavit must be signed by the time the cattle are contracted for or purchase. In addition, Big G Ranch will select cattle based on their ability to produce the finest-tasting beef possible. To be eligible for the program, cattle must be selected by our Big G Ranch approved personnel. All cattle must have been born, raised, and have spent their entire lives in the state of Arizona.
 
Husbandry
Being supremely conscious of our carbon footprint on the planet and our ranch's dedication to the dignity and respect of all animals, our overriding objective is for cattle to be treated humanely and whenever appropriate, they will be allowed to express their natural behavior. Family Ownership Priority will be given to cattle that come from ranches where the primary occupation of the owner(s) of the business is agriculture, and where the ranch is managed, leased or owned and operated by the rancher and their family members.
 
Pasture
Only 100% organic fertilizers spread on pastures and/or cropland are acceptable for those farmers partnering with Big G Ranch. The runoff from the pastures will not be allowed to pollute any ponds or streams. Neglected health problems will not be allowed in the cowherd. Cuts and necrotic prolapses are to be tended to immediately. Under no circumstance are the cattle to be allowed to become necrotic (predominantly a hind limb lameness). 

Feed & Supplements
Every animal that's been selected to be a part of the Big G Ranch crowd butching program will be fed an all-natural, 100% vegetarian diet of the highest quality feeds. Our cattle will never receive feeds or supplements containing any fish, animal or meat by-products (including feather meal), waste, or garbage. Only the very best vitamins, minerals, and supplements will be given to Big G Ranch cattle or cattle raised for the Big G Ranch program.
 
Antibiotics
When it comes to providing the healthiest, freshest beef, there will never be any added synthetic or natural form of growth hormones, steroids, or other artificial growth promotants given to our animals. Big G Ranch cattle will never be given any kind of antibiotics, including therapeutic and sub-therapeutic antibiotics or ionophores.