T Nation

Free Range and Hormone Free Meat


Okay... I've been vegetarian for 5 years now. I've never had a hard time cutting, and I've put on a little muscle since then, but I want to look like a monster. I can't do that on a vegetarian diet. I'm only going to eat meat once a day, and I looked into Earth Fare's meats. They say they are free range, hormone free, treated nicely, vegetarian fed, etc (Montana Ranch Brand is the farm). But then I read the articles stating that there is no regulation for stuff branded free-range (many from PETA, and I don't trust them). The only regulations are for hormone-free stuff.

I became a vegetarian because I don't like the way they treat the animals. I was just wondering if anyone here had any insight or has come across some enlightening articles about this.

And if it's at all possible, I don't want to hear the standard "Just fucking eat meat, what you do doesn't matter" bullshit. Thanks.


I've actually had the "Free Range" meat. I know lots of meat (if not all) are hormone free, but the ones that are fed a vegetarian diet and are able to roam around actually taste better, IMO.


If you want to me a monster, the hormones might help.


I don't know where in N.C. you are, but you have some Whole Foods in N.C. So if you live near one, I'd check there first. They do try to procure from the most humane farms that they can, and they've caught shit from PETA when they don't and proceeded to change immediately. They try to make sure their meat is free range, grass fed, hormone free, slaughtered humanely, etc.

Another option is if you have any smaller organic/hippy/granola/etc. type markets. I have a small co-op market near me that tries to procure both meat and produce locally. I believe they have 2 meat suppliers, 1 pork supplier, and 1 chicken supplier--they won't buy from anyone else because they know these farmers treat their animals as well as possible.

Yet another option is to see if there are any farmers markets near you. Again, I'm lucky because we have 3-4 farmer's markets per week near me. So you can actually go out and meet the local ranchers and ask them in person any questions you want about the animals.

And yet another option is to go to the farms directly. Again, I don't know if you have that option there, but we luckily have quite a few small farmers/ranchers in Texas that have market days. This is the best option if you have the time for the occassional drive to the country because you can actually see the animals, see how they're treated and fed, etc.

All of this is more time intensive and expensive, obviously. But the meat tastes better generally, is healthier for you, and you have a clean conscious going the extra mile.


Just be careful about what "free range" really is. Can't remember the specifics, but there's a legal loophole that allows companies to label their meat as free range if they allow their caged animals to roam for something like a few hours a day. That's like calling an inmate in San Quentin a "free range" human.




Just fucking eat meat, what you do doesn't matter


can you not consume dairy as well?

i.e. whey/casein/milk protein supplements or them directly?


I'm in a somewhat similar situation as you, or was, rather. I've just been taking a ton of protein supplements like Metabolic Drive. If you don't feel like dealing with the cost of organic meat and whatnot, it seems to be a great way to go.


Haha, they probably would. I may delve into the darker side in a while, but that will be my choice and not forced on an animal.

Thanks a lot for all the replies, that really helped a lot. There turns out to be a farm on that website that I can drive to in about 30 minutes, I'm excited about that.

I do take Surge PWO and some whey during the day for protein. I also eat a shitload of eggs and cheese (and I have milk in some of my shakes), but the Anabolic Diet was getting hard with no meat. Thanks again for the help.


Er, not from what I've read/heard. Estrogenic compounds are the norm.


And i'm going to look for some of those co-op markets. Thats a really good idea rg73. Thanks.


LOL! I think that is why I switched over to "regular" meats. Plus, my bill was getting a bit high. Even though it taste better, regular chicken covered in natural peanut butter tastes pretty damn good, IMO.


Every package of chicken that I've bought (brands like Tyson, Foster Farms) has a disclaimer asserting that the product is hormone-free. I seem to remember learning that it's illegal for U.S. farms to administer hormones to chickens, maybe even to all fowl.


I remember now where I encountered this claim - Art De Vany's website:

I by no means endorse all of his "evolutionary fitness" ideas, but he seems to know what he's talking about when it comes to the content of foods.


There is no such thing as "free range". Every animal that is processed for consumption has been confined in one manner or another.

FYI - Every animal processed for consumption has met with an inhumane death - how else would they be dead enough to process.

And EVERY single bovine raised in the US has been injected with either progesterone, testosterone, trenbolone actetate, or estrodiol.

To say that a bovine is hormone free is a joke. There is not a Rancher worth his salt that doesn't implant a Ralgro in his calves during Spring Works.

Geez - it's like some folks think beef grows on trees prepackaged in styrofoam trays and wrapped in plastic.


While I understand your concerns about hormones, almost all beef in the US comes from steers (males castrated early). European beef comes from bulls (not castrated). The natural hormone levels in bulls are much higher than in supplemented steers.


As for the tratment of the animals, IIRC (I am having trouble documenting this), if an animal has more than one hour of non-captive, outside time a day, it can be called Free-Range. The requirements are different for each kind of animal. They are looking at changing it, though.


Pretty much, do what you are comfortable with. Going to a farm directly is the best option. You can meet the people who handle the livestock and see how the animals are treated. Someone gave you a link to Eatwild.com. Check it out.

Hope this helps



I don't know whether this is something that you've considered or if I'm just adding another cloud to your day, but if your concern if primarily that the animals be humanely raised (it is for me), you may want to take a hard look at where your milk products and eggs are coming from. The commercial methods for egg and milk production certainly don't meet my standards for humane. There's not much one can do about the protein powder (I don't think any of the producers are going to switch over to using milk from free range cows any time soon), but you can get milk and milk products and eggs from animals that had an acceptable quality of life.

Farmers' markets are great for that, because you can really talk to the producers about how they treat their animals.


Yo, this is the website you want:

You should be able to locate several traditional farms near your residence. They're still out there. If you want to save a trip to the farm, check out the local co-op store fronts and farmers' markets, as others have suggested.

And yes, there is a humane certification:

The chickens that I buy are certified through this program. The website is also another resource for finding products available in your area.

(Don't listen to the people who say it's impossible to minimize animal cruelty. They're only covering for their own guilt, and don't want to see someone else doing things right. Fuck them.)




NADA 38-233, Approved by FDA

Composition: Zeranol, the active drug in RALGRO, is a derivative of resorcylic acid lactone fermentation product. The RALGRO implant provides a management tool to produce increased rate of weight gain and greater feed efficiency in all classes of beef cattle.

Zeranol is an anabolic agent that has a positive influence on the dynamic state of protein metabolism in the animal. Studies indicate that one mode of action of zeranol is stimulation of the pituitary gland to produce increased amounts of somatotrophin. Implanted animals can be expected to gain 10% faster and improve feed conversion 8% over nonimplanted animals.

Indications: Used to increase the rate of weight gain and improve feed conversion in suckling beef calves, including replacement heifers between one month of age and weaning, weaned beef calves, growing beef cattle, feedlot steers and feedlot heifers.

Dosage and Administration: The dose for all classes of beef cattle is 36 mg (three 12 mg pellets). The implant site is subcutaneous, between the skin and cartilage on the back side of the ear and below the midline of the ear. The implant must not be placed closer to the head than the edge of the auricular cartilage ring furthest from the head. The location for insertion of the needle is a point toward the tip of the ear and at least a needle length away from the intended deposition site. Care should be taken to avoid injuring the major blood vessels or cartilage of the ear. Squeeze the trigger of the RALOGUN? to deliver a full dose of RALGRO. Keep the trigger depressed while withdrawing the needle to be sure that the RALGRO implants stay in place.

Precautions: Not for use in breeding herd replacements or lactating dairy animals. Edema of the vulva and udder, teat elongation, rectal and vaginal prolapse, and signs of estrus may occur when heifers are implanted. Delayed testicular development may occur in young males. To avoid difficulty in castration, young males should be castrated at the time of implanting.

How Supplied: RALGRO is packaged in cartridges specially designed to fit the easy-to-use RALOGUN pellet injector. Each cartridge contains 24 doses; each dose or chamber of the cartridge contains three 12-mg pellets (one dose). Each cartridge is individually wrapped. Ten cartridges are packed in one carton (240 doses). Two cartons are packed in one shipper unit (240 doses). Also available in single cartridge boxes.

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information published. However, it remains the responsibility of the readers to familiarize themselves with the product information contained on the product label or package insert. NAC No.: 10471681