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What’s Behind the Push to Stop Eating Beef?–Texas Slim

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[FULL TRANSCRIPT BELOW] Across the Western world, we’re hearing growing calls to stop eating meat—and especially beef—to combat climate change. But is this really about saving the planet?
“They're trying to take the animal and the soil out of our consumption model, and turn it into basically something that's grown and produced in the labs,” argues Texas Slim, founder of The Beef Initiative.
The campaign against beef is just one part of a radical transformation that both our food and our health have been subjected to over the last half-century, says Texas Slim. A study in 2018 showed that 88 percent of American adults are metabolically unhealthy. What are the root causes? And how do we turn this situation around?


Texas Slim: Welcome to Ginger Hill.
Jan Jekielek: Thank you.
Texas Slim: Thanks for coming. It's a windy day, but here we are.
Mr. Jekielek: That's right.
Texas Slim: It's not bad though. We're close to the cows. We're standing close to the oldest established town in the United States of America. This is some of the most fertile land that we came from. How that land became to be in this nation was through something I call beef intelligence. What we've lost as a nation is that form of intelligence. What is a cow? What is soil? What is nutrition? What is food intelligence? What is health? Basically, it all starts with the cow.
Mr. Jekielek: How are these cattle different from the typical cattle that we might get in a typical supermarket?
Texas Slim: Basically, what these cows are doing right now, they're land tools. We call it regenerative farming and ranching. They basically consume and process the grass and the soil. The global beef industry, which did start in the United States, was stewarded by the multinational corporations, and they have a different protocol. There is one thing I learned from my grandfather. I come from West Texas cattle country, and he always taught me that a cow is a land tool. What does that mean?
It means that they allow us to eat the earth, and this is how we got here. The vitamins and minerals that we got from our ancestors comes from the soil. The cow basically rebuilds that soil. In today's modern times, people have forgotten that. They don't know what nutrition is. They really don't know what food is. We can look at the cow as a steward of the land and stewards of our health. They were stewards of our community. They were the stewards of our nation at one time.
What's fascinating is that you can release these cows onto a pasture. They will go straight to the highest protein source and they will consume that. Then, they know how to deliver that protein through their systems to us. We honor them. We let them have a good life. I always say a cow that's raised and stewarded in a regenerative way, they have one bad day and that's it. The rest of their life is at peace just like right now.
Mr. Jekielek: What does the regenerative way mean, and how is that different from the other ways?
Texas Slim: Regenerative has a lot of different definitions and a lot of different meanings and I don’t like to generalize the term. But what it refers to is the input. You have very little input from chemicals to the grain, whatever that may be. Regenerative means regenerative.
What does regeneration mean? It means that you have soil, you have grass, you have forage, and you have cows. You team them up together and they regenerate energy—energy from the soil, to energy in the cow, to energy for you and I.
We don't have to input into those cows, saying, "Hey, give me what I need from you." We let them regenerate what they know how to do best, and that is to regrow the soil. The big conspiracy that’s going on right now is that a cow is a carbon hazard.
No, they're not. They're the best thing that has ever happened to soil. With what is going on in the cattle industry, and basically the global industrial food shift that we're going through right now, they're going to increase the cattle production across the world.
They're going to eliminate market access to those cows in the western countries, starting with places like America and Australia. Then most Americans will not end up eating beef anymore. They will turn it into caviar and they will basically not allow us to have market access.
Mr. Jekielek: Texas Slim, it's such a pleasure to have you on American Thought Leaders.
Texas Slim: Thank you for having me. It was a good drive into town today, and it's good to see you.
Mr. Jekielek: We're here to talk about your initiative, The Beef Initiative. Beef has been getting a bad rap lately. People say, "There's no reason to be cruel to the cow. Do we really need meat? We might as well be vegetarian.” I was in a library once, and I looked up the patent for something called the industrial hog stripper. This wasn't beef, this was pork, obviously, but it was frankly horrifying. The idea is that at the scale we need to feed the planet, we need to have these industrial-level animal processing facilities. That's often what you think of when you hear about inhumane treatment of animals.
Texas Slim: If you look at the industrial food supply and the way that we've changed in the last 50 years, we used to have one microprocessing center in each area. Very few animals were processed each day, and we had a multitude of processing centers all across this nation.
Animal welfare was far better before we industrialized our food supply. I agree, there's a lot of nefarious ways to basically harvest an animal that should not be done, if you look at the poultry industry, and you look at the hog industry. In China, you have warehouses that have over a half-a-million hogs in them.
It's not anything that we recommend with The Beef Initiative. We agree with you. Let's get back to the micro level where we came from. Let's get back to the source of that animal welfare. I was just on a ranch this weekend, and those cows were the happiest cows I've ever seen. They only have one bad day, but they are honored and they are respected.
You can look at the makeup of a cow, and the spirit of a cow. Whenever you do go through a harvest of that animal, if that cow is stressed and it has adrenaline going at the time that it is harvested, that meat is not going to be as good. There's a deep dive that the American public needs in order to get back to what it means to have animal welfare.
Let's look at our consumption model and see why we have this type of animal welfare that people like to argue against. The Beef Initiative is basically taking care of livestock; lock, step, and barrel. That's what we do. I’m a West Texas cowboy that knows how to take care of cattle. That's something that this nation has lost. That's the message that The Beef Initiative is going to start yelling from the mountaintop.
Mr. Jekielek: There's a huge separation between a lot of the population and the food supply, just even knowing where it comes from. There are young kids that imagine that food comes from the supermarket, because they just haven't been taught anything else.
Texas Slim: To give a little backstory, three to four years ago, I started driving across this country and I started talking to communities. I've done the back roads, and I've traveled around the world. I've gone on several trips across this nation, and I have found that most people do not know where food comes from anymore. I'm Generation X and I was able to grow up on a farm ranch. That was my life.
I've seen how we've evolved when it does come to food. It's sad that a lot of inner city kids or even kids in a medium-sized city have the response that food comes from the supermarket. That's part of the industrialization of our food. It’s the highly processed product of the industrial food complex where we think this new concoction is food, because it has labels on it saying it is safe and heart healthy. We need to get back to understanding and reeducating a nation on where food comes from. I tell everybody to go shake a rancher's hand and you'll understand where food comes from.
Mr. Jekielek: A lot of people don't have a rancher in their immediate vicinity. I'm talking about people living in the city.
Texas Slim: You bet.
Mr. Jekielek: Here in Washington, DC, many of them don't head out of the city very much. This is where they live. Ranching is not a part of their frame of reference at all.
Texas Slim: So true. Through The Beef Initiative and everybody that's involved, we held probably seven to eight conferences last year alone. We're opening the gates, and let's put that in perspective. In New York City or in Washington DC, there are some people that don’t ever leave the city. We live in a digital world, correct?
With The Beef Initiative, I wanted to look at how we consume. We consume audio, video and food. How can we bring everybody into the lifestyle that is ranching? Yellowstone is the number one TV show in America, so let's open the gates. But you don't actually have that access to an open gate of a ranch.
You can come in through The Beef Initiative. I get asked all the time, “What is The Beef Initiative?” It's about building relationships, and we can build relationships. I say, “If you can't go out there and physically shake a rancher's hand, come in through The Beef Initiative and shake a hand digitally, because we're giving you full, clean market access to that rancher.
Everybody loves to use Google. We have an index within The Beef Initiative where you can go and search for a rancher. You can establish that relationship. You can call a rancher, and you can reach out to them. It's a peer-to-peer relationship that you can establish digitally, or you can get in your car and take your family. All these ranchers want to open their gates. I tell everybody it's a new international lifestyle that you just don't understand yet.
Mr. Jekielek: In the current industrialized model, there's the farm, then, there's the multinational company that's buying that cattle. The rancher is basically producing for that company. Then, that company will deliver via the supermarket to the consumer.
You’re looking at the rancher and the community going back to these microproduction centers, and that creates a one-to-one relationship. On top of that, the means of production is done in a more natural and clean way. Please explain this to me.
Texas Slim: The state of Texas has 254 counties. We used to have 254 microprocessing centers in the state of Texas. The bottleneck of all the lack of nutrition that we're receiving as a nation right now is because we have scaled everything to a global size. We've taken that wholesome seed out of the community and our ability to process food in the community. Where I come from in the Panhandle Texas, we have all the multinational processing centers. There's four of them that process 85 percent of the animal protein in the United States—four multinational corporations.
Let's refer back to the 254 counties with 254 microprocessing centers. Whenever you have microprocessing centers in your community, usually you have farmers, ranchers, processors, and distribution all focused within a 30 to 60-mile radius. That's who they're targeting to feed. That's what my grandfather did. That's what a lot of people's grandparents and ancestors did in the United States, before they came in and took those microprocessing centers out. Let's look at how they process that cow. I'm outside of a place called Hereford, Texas, in the Texas Panhandle.
The cow comes into one of the multinational processing centers. They process thousands and thousands of cattle every week. We don't even know where that beef goes anymore. A lot of times it goes overseas to the highest bidder in the global beef industry. We don't have any say in where that beef goes. We don't have a say in how we feed our children, because the bottleneck is that processing center.
If we can revert back to that microprocessing center, we have control of the market access and the distribution of that beef. Then, we're going to start with our community first, and then we will go out from there. Now, beef gets processed in my community, and then, it's sent overseas. Sometimes it even comes back after it's been highly processed into a different form with fake commodities added to it.
We'll probably get into that a little bit later, but it's pretty daunting. What we have to do is bring perspective on where we came from, and what strength and power our communities gave to the ranchers and their livelihood.
Mr. Jekielek: This is a perfect opportunity to talk about where you came from and how you embedded yourself into a harvesting company and discovered some of the realities of food production. This isn't on the meat side, this is on the oil side, correct?
Texas Slim: I like to romanticize where I came from, because it's West Texas, the desert high plains. It's the end part of the breadbasket of America. My grandfather had two sections in a place called Lockney, Texas. I grew up in this small Texas town in small town America. I know tractors, I know cattle, I know animal welfare, I know combines, and I’ve worked harvests my whole life. With that side of my life and the roots of where I came from, I know how to go on a harvest. I'd had a health scare and I started doing a deep dive into our food systems, and looking at the health of the nation.
I was looking at my health personally. I went to the accountability mirror and I said, "Okay, if you survive this health scare, you're going to do whatever it takes to bring a new form of food intelligence to yourself, but then also to your family. You're going to honor your grandparents." The logical place to find the information that I was searching for was on a harvest. If you’re looking for a harvest, there are several harvests throughout the year.
If you start in Texas, you can go all the way to Canada and come back. You start with wheat, and then, you do corn throughout the seasons. It's a fascinating journey. One morning at about 3 am I got up with no rhyme or reason. I sent out a couple of emails and within probably seven hours I was going to Kansas to do a harvest.
Mr. Jekielek: This is a canola harvest?
Texas Slim: It was supposed to be a wheat harvest. When we went on a harvest, we ended up in North Dakota where you usually go on wheat harvest. They even called it a wheat harvest. By the time we got to North Dakota, usually the crops are about 80 percent wheat, and that's what you're going to do.
That year it was fascinating, because all of a sudden we're not doing wheat harvest, we're doing rapeseed. Rapeseed is canola. Most of the general public knows what that is. Where I came from, rapeseed was outlawed by the FDA in 1956 because of its toxicity.
All of a sudden on the radio they were saying there's going to be a shortage of wheat this year. I started correlating everything they were reporting with everything the farmers were hearing, plus with what was happening in that harvest. The harvest that year was 45 percent wheat, and 55 percent rapeseed.
You can look at rapeseed, and you can look at canola. Why would we be doing rapeseed over wheat? I talked to many farmers and they said, "We're making more money off of rapeseed. They're demanding that we plant more rapeseed.”
Canola oil is a seed oil and it was introduced as one of the fake commodities that really took off in the early 1970s when we started monocropping as a nation. Vegetable oil has basically overtaken tallow, which is animal fat. The FDA has said that rapeseed is a toxic weed. Now, it's an industrialized seed that becomes nothing more than motor oil. If that is becoming the majority of our harvest, we have an issue. It's just as simple as that.
Mr. Jekielek: It's a big thing to say that canola is nothing more than motor oil, because it’s probably the most common oil used. Canola is a genetically engineered rapeseed, which reduces the toxicity. It has some wonderful properties which allow it to be grown at such a scale and used so prolifically. At least, that's the story I've heard.
Texas Slim: Right.
Mr. Jekielek: But you said motor oil, and it's not motor oil. I've used it a lot in my life.
Texas Slim: Sure. You can't put it in your car. It's almost tongue in cheek, let's say that.
Mr. Jekielek: Okay.
Texas Slim: It's an oil and it's industrialized. With the introduction of vegetable oils, a lot of people don't know where vegetable oils came from. Procter & Gamble used to be the biggest candle maker in the world in the 1900s, and all of a sudden they quit selling candles. Why did people quit buying candles? We had electricity. What were the candles made from? They were made from industrialized cotton seeds that were made into an oil. That was kind of the first introduction. Vegetable oils go all the way back in the 1850s. But as we grew, we started industrializing more of the seeds. We were using all of the seed itself.
Crisco was invented, and instead of candles, we basically started producing Crisco. You can look at vegetable oils and how they were introduced into our diets in the United States. They really ramped up after Ancel Keys said that cholesterol lie about animal fat. There's been a long history of introducing vegetable oils into our consumption as a nation.
Not to say that vegetable oil is horrible for you because we've all grown up consuming vegetable oil. If you look at any of the food labels right now, you will find some type of industrial oil basically embedded into every food product that we have. It's a fake commodity.
It is something that the industrial food complex makes millions upon hundreds of millions dollars on every year. Its introduction in mass quantities into our consumption models as a nation is really starting to have a detrimental effect on our health. This doesn’t come from this cowboy from West Texas, this comes from doctors and heart surgeons. There is a big anti-seed oil movement. We don't need it injected into almost every food product you can buy at the supermarket.
Mr. Jekielek: When you say fake commodity, what do you mean exactly?
Texas Slim: In the early 1970s, we went off the gold standard. When we went off the gold standard in 1971, Earl Butz of the Nixon administration also said, "You're going to go big, or you can go home." He was talking to my grandfather and he was saying, "You're going to go fence to fence with one crop," and that was going to be a monocrop. You look at the food supply in the 1970s when our dollar got weaker. We went off the gold standard and we debased our dollar. At the same time, we debased our food in a way that we had never done before.
You can go to Google right now and look at pictures of Venice Beach in 1969. You can look at the health of a nation and what we looked like in 1969 before we started introducing fake commodities into our food system. 1971 was the bellwether year when we did start introducing fake commodities. In my public school system in Texas, that's when we started eating soy burgers.
Fake commodities are the type of industrialized products that we started injecting into our food supply. Before 1971, whole food was what we ate. We basically ate from the ground up. We ate green beans that were grown right there. We didn't have all these additives that were in our food supply. In the last 50 years, we've introduced more and more fake commodities that make hundreds of millions of dollars for the industrial food complex, and it's only growing.
Look at the attack on beef and the cow in general. What are they trying to do? They're trying to make cows a carbon hazard, globally. They're trying to say that cows are destroying the climate. They're trying to take animal protein out of our consumption model. They're going to insert some more fake commodities that are nothing more than industrial processed types of protein that don't come from animal protein.
Mr. Jekielek: Why is it fake? It's still food. You can get tofu. I'm just thinking out loud here.
Texas Slim: Sure.
Mr. Jekielek: Tofu has actually been around for centuries, and it’s a very good source of protein. You just mentioned soy burgers, and I'm trying to understand why it is fake.
Texas Slim: It’s because we've genetically modified everything. Before 1971, we weren't genetically modifying everything. In talking about tofu and soy, let's talk about Japan. They've been consuming soy for thousands of years. I guarantee you that the soy in Japan is not even comparable to the soy in the United States of America. With the type of soy that we've introduced that is making hundreds of millions of dollars for the industrial food complex, where they genetically modify that seed into a fake commodity, you can't compare them.
We're comparing apples to oranges. That's when we have to bring that perspective back. I've been to Japan and you've been to Japan. I've been to Asia. If we're going to compare that soy to the soy that we're consuming and giving to our children right now, it's not a fair comparison.
Mr. Jekielek: Is the comparison in terms of nutrition?
Texas Slim: Sure.
Mr. Jekielek: That's what you're talking about.
Texas Slim: One hundred percent. You have to eat five apples now compared to when I was a child and you only had to eat one of those apples. Why did that happen? It's because we started genetically modifying. We started introducing a massive amount of chemicals into our consumption models. As we've done that and industrialized our food, homogenized our food, and commoditized our food, the nutritional value of that wholesome apple is decreasing.
At the same time our health is decreasing. At the same time, our dollar is debasing. When you look at that correlation, you will see this more and more. We're in hyperinflation right now. Food is extremely expensive right now, but they don't include that in inflation numbers. They don't include it as part of the inflation model.
Why is that? They were able to subsidize and commoditize food in a way that made it very cheap for them to manufacture. As they made the food cheaper, they made the nutritional value cheaper for the individual person consuming it.
Mr. Jekielek: You've mentioned the term food intelligence a number of times.
Texas Slim: Sure.
Mr. Jekielek: Food intelligence is understanding what you're eating, and how to find more traditional sources of nutrition. Am I getting that right?
Texas Slim: You bet. One hundred percent.
Mr. Jekielek: Having both the producer and the consumer within the community creates a certain kind of accountability, which might be absent in these larger scaled-up realities that we face today. There has to be more integrity because you have immediate accountability.
Texas Slim: Yes.
Mr. Jekielek: Does that make sense?
Texas Slim: It really does. As you were speaking, I was reflecting back on small town Texas and much of the nation in the last 50 to 60 years. We used to walk through town and there would be a butcher. We don't have butchers anymore. We have the people that wear white jackets. You can go to the back of a supermarket and talk to one of those people—and nothing against those that are working their jobs and providing for their families—but they don't have that skill set anymore.
You can look at obligation and accountability. Whenever you are part of a community, you have an obligation. There is integrity that comes with that obligation. There is authenticity that comes with that obligation. Whenever you have accountability to the people in your community and you want to provide them the best product you can, it brings a different type of responsibility.
It gets back to where I have to bring integrity into what I am producing for my community. It is an obligation, and that’s how I was raised. We didn't have to worry about diets. We didn't have to worry about nutrition because the producer of that food product took on that accountability. That's who they were, and that was their spirit. They loved it and they had a skillset that we've lost in this nation. That's another thing that The Beef Initiative promotes—getting these skill sets back. We want to get back to where we can have that type of accountability.
Mr. Jekielek: When it comes to working for a large company, they have rules and standards that you have to fulfill to maintain quality, because you wouldn't want to have subpar things in the food system. But that might take away this accountability that you were just describing, where someone is proud of what they're producing. They are doing the best they can with their skills, as opposed to just fulfilling this very specific set of rules and just being part of this industrialized system.
Texas Slim: Let's look at the industrialized size of processing centers right now. Who works in those processing centers? It used to be butchers. When I was growing up in West Texas, some of my best friends’ fathers worked in these processing centers. They knew how to cut up a cow. They knew how to create every cut of the cow—every cut, just not one cut.
Now, if you go into a processing center, basically you're going to have an assembly line that is long and daunting, and you're going to have many, many carcasses hanging. That's a lot of the propaganda. That's what a lot of people like to show whenever they're attacking the cow and the beef industry in general.
Let's talk about our society and how we've compartmentalized skill sets. In the processing center, you will have somebody that knows how to do one, or two, or three cuts at a time, and that's it. They're not going to know the full skill and artisanship of how to carve up a cow. Whenever you compartmentalize and you don't have as much accountability, it becomes task-driven. That task is basically all you're truly focused on. Your purpose is to complete the specific task. But that is nothing compared to what we came from. Once again, it was the artisanship of processing.
Mr. Jekielek: I really enjoyed myself at the Cattleman's Feast. I was actually sampling while the barbecue was on, so I was pretty full by the time the main course came along. But I found myself wanting to try every cut of meat that Ol’ Butch had put together.
It was amazing to discover how different they actually are. You think it's almost exactly the same, but you don't really think about the texture and the flavor. It was very much an educational experience for me.
Texas Slim: You and I were up there at the very beginning and we were talking to Ol’ Butch, and we had a half-a-cow there that day.
Mr. Jekielek: Oh, wow, I didn't realize this was full.
Johnny Ochoa: Nothing is trimmed.
Mr. Jekielek: Fascinating.
Johnny Ochoa: Just sliding off, nothing taken off. That's just basic caramelization. Again, I'm leaving that fat.
Mr. Jekielek: It's amazing.
Texas Slim: All that healthy animal fat, that source of animal fat that we all need.
Johnny Ochoa: That's going right back into your body.
Mr. Jekielek: It's amazing.
Texas Slim: The tongue.
Mr. Jekielek: We've been taught that fat is terrible.
Texas Slim:    Yes.
Johnny Ochoa: Exactly.
Mr. Jekielek: Man, I can't wait for later.
Texas Slim: That half-a-cow was on the table and we had everything that he had on the grill. We had the fire going right next to it. We saw the kidney, we saw the heart, and we saw a tongue. We saw every part of that cow that we can use and we can consume.
How much we have lost as far as knowing what's available to consume on parts of the cow? Once again, look at the multinational processing centers. How many cuts of the cow do they offer us through the supermarkets? What do we have, rib eye, filet, and a New York strip? Ribs sometimes? Nobody really understands what we've lost when it comes to the cuts of the cow. The microprocessing center is going to be the center of the universe for the narrative moving forward. We need to get them back into the communities, and have no chemicals used during processing.
Johnny Ochoa: The fact is that I work at a USDA packing plant and it's a clean one. We're traceable from entry to exit. It's just really full circle.
Texas Slim: Like you experienced firsthand, we left all the fat on most of the cow. That's part of the cow that you can actually use to flavor and cook during the whole preparation. We've lost our beef intelligence in this nation. We need to get back to understanding the cow and how valuable it is to us and how valuable it is to our communities.
We have forgotten how much of the cow that we can actually use to nourish our bodies and what we used to leverage the cow—the hides, the leather, and everything from nose to tail. That's what beef intelligence is. A lot of people sampled heart the other day at the Cattleman's Feast at Ginger Hill. They didn't even know they were eating heart, and they were talking about how good it was.
Mr. Jekielek: You've talked about how you expect a crisis in the food supply. Please explain that to us.
Texas Slim: We've had a consolidation of multinational, industrial corporations when it comes to food. In 2017 and 2018, we had the last major consolidation of chemical and grain companies and with the industrial food complex. They are trying to basically create a one world food group. They are doing it, be it nefarious, or be it in a way that they are trying to change what we consume as humans. It's happening, and the marketing behind it is big. I spent two months overseas, and I just got back from Australia and Asia. The marketing is coming. You have a lot of things that are happening at the highest level of our food supply chain lines.
In the beef industry there is a lot of manipulation. We had a multinational corporation that got fined $56 million during Covid because of price manipulation. They made over $500 million in profit. They are able to decrease and increase the food supply in a way that is detrimental to the consumers.
It's also detrimental to the producers. Whenever you give them that much power, and I'm not going to say how it's going to happen, there will be a shift in the food supply for a lot of people. They won't even notice it because of the types of ingredients and the type of things that they're introducing into our food supply. They are introducing a new fake commodity system, which is basically taking out animal protein and injecting soy protein into everything.
When I was in Australia, every protein bar that my son and I looked for in Australia was soy protein. It wasn't whey, grass-fed protein. With the shift, I don't know if supply chain lines will be disrupted, but I know that nutrition will be downgraded even more than it already is.
We have the proof. There was a report that came out saying 88 percent of Americans are now metabolically compromised. We have over 10 to 20 doctors that basically give data in reports to The Beef Initiative. The number one metabolic disease right now in the United States of America is fatty liver disease. It's not because of alcoholism, it's because of the industrial food complex producing what we consume. Whenever I say there's going to be a shift, there's going to be a shift in nutrition, and they're going to come with marketing plans that say you are saving the planet.
They are trying to take the animal and the soil out of our consumption model and turn it into something that is grown and produced in the labs. We all like to talk about Bill Gates. Why is he buying up all the farmland in the United States?
Mr. Jekielek: Please give me a sense of that. How much farmland does Bill Gates actually have?
Texas Slim: When I wrote, “The Harvest of Deception,” he had about 242,000 acres of farmland in the United States, and that's a lot of farmland. Why is Bill Gates buying up a quarter-of-a-million acres of farmland across the United States? During Covid, China bought up about the same amount of farmland in the United States. It's to control the food supply.
If you're buying up the best farmland in the world, in the middle of America and some of the best soil in America, what are your intentions? Now, Bill Gates is also one of the biggest investors in fake meat products that are coming to the storefronts. You have all the fake meat commodities that are being introduced into the supermarkets. But I believe that's a distraction. You heard me say how we insert canola oil into almost everything that we consume right now.
Let's look at fake protein and how they're inserting it into most of our products as well. We're being told to eat bugs and they're saying it's saving the planet and it's just as good as animal protein. That's wrong, 100 percent wrong. Once again, fake commodities are being inserted into our consumption models.
Mr. Jekielek: I have heard that cows produce too much methane and contribute to global warming, which is a crisis. I take it you don't subscribe to that view.
Texas Slim: No, I really don't. You've been around the world and seen how much land is in this world. What is the number one tool to regrow soil? It's the cow. The cows are land tools. They are the best thing that we have to sequester CO2. Cow farts do not produce methane, it's from cow burps. They don't have cow farts. That's not what they're talking about, but that's what they'd like to push. I always say that I do not validate deceptions.
I don't argue with their agendas. The smartest thing for everybody to do is to laugh at them and mock them, because that's probably the biggest lie that I've ever heard in my life. Good luck with that. Go ahead and try, and we'll see.
Mr. Jekielek: This is exactly what I wanted to ask you about.
Texas Slim: Sure.
Mr. Jekielek: How exactly are cows the number one tool for sequestering carbon?
Texas Slim: Once again, I grew up in the high plains desert. What was that? That was where the buffalo roamed. In the Panhandle of Texas, some of the most beautiful grasslands were there before any of us arrived. It was Comanche country. How did those grasslands survive? How did they thrive? It was because of the bison. They graze on the grass, they fertilize the grass, and then, they move on. What happens when you are able to take that energy out of the soil? The bison or the cow consumes that grass. What does that do to the root system of that grass? It makes it grow deeper into the soil. You're able to have a grass system with a root system that grows deeper and deeper.
Where do vitamins and minerals and nutrition come from? They come from the earth. Whenever you're able to regenerate the grass and the forage by grazing with a land tool, then that root system goes deeper and deeper into the soil, and deeper into a density of nutrition, vitamins and minerals.
In the 1930s, we were looking at soil because we were going through a massive drought in the Midwest. They brought a lot of experts into the Texas Panhandle, including Native Americans. The Native Americans looked at the root systems we had created and they said, “Upside down.” What did that mean? It meant how we were growing our food was basically upside down. Our root systems had gone from deep into the soil into more shallow in the soil. Therefore, we were not maintaining the density of the soil.
We were creating a dust bowl. Whenever you are able to regenerate soil, you're allowing the root systems to go deeper and deeper into the soil. That basically creates something that can't blow away in the wind. Right now in West Texas, we're suffering another dust bowl. We're in another drought.
Why is that happening? You can look at cotton, corn, and everything that we're growing in the Texas Panhandle right now, and the root systems are only this long and this deep. The plants have grown much taller, and they look very good and pleasing to the eye.
Where is the nutrition? Where is the soil? It's not there anymore because we're using herbicides, pesticides, everything we can besides the soil itself to grow those plants. If you look at soil and what it is, it's not really dirt. It's actually formed in a regenerative way. The root system is the bonding agent of those minerals which become our nutrition. They're deep down underneath our feet.
Mr. Jekielek: I'm still not clear on how that actually sequesters more carbon. How does that actually make it so that carbon is taken out of the system?
Texas Slim: The root systems? Because it stays in the soil. The root systems are the delivery of the carbon. You have photosynthesis. You have plants that grow where they take in sunlight. It basically brings in carbon and it basically stays underground, so you're taking carbon out. The cow is part of that system that delivers the CO2 back into the ground where it stays.
I'm not a biologist, but what it does is stay within the earth. Carbon in the soil is something that we need, and that's where we came from. Whenever you say that there's too much carbon, let's look at monocropping. How much do we plow our soil every year? That's something that a lot of people don't even realize. Our soil is dead, and our soil has run out.
There's a lot of people out there right now that say that we only have 20 years left of soil. That means we have 40 harvests left. You can look at climate change, and you can look at the people that are pushing climate change. It's those who have destroyed our soil through monocropping.
My grandfather didn't know what the word regenerative was. He didn't have to use that word. I just came back from the northern mountains of Thailand. They don't know what the word organic means. They don't know what grass-fed means. They don't know what regeneration means.
All they know is their elder's doctrine of knowing where food truly comes from, and they all know that the food comes from deep within the soil. Whenever you look at good healthy soil, that healthy soil basically sequesters CO2 in the way it should, so as to not be a hazard, as they say.
Mr. Jekielek: As we finish up, there has been a lot of consolidation as you mentioned earlier. The food system is very centralized as you've described. It can be daunting to imagine how you would take this on.
Texas Slim: It is daunting. That's why we have to get back to perspective. We need to replicate the successes of each small community, and we have proof from our work in The Beef Initiative from Hometown Meats in Luling,Texas, from Panhandle Meats in the Panhandle of Texas, and from one of the best ranchers I know in Colorado, Jason Wrich of Wrich Ranches. We have so many different stories. We have Brooke Miller and his family from the Ginger Hill Angus Beef Initiative Summit.
We have all these wonderful success stories that are actually happening everywhere across the United States. I just came back from Australia where we had nine functions on farms in Australia. Look at what happened to Australia during Covid. Do you think that they're not worried about their freedoms over there? They are. Where are they starting? They're getting back to the farms. They're going out there and they're shaking the farmer's hand.
Here in the United States, go and shake your rancher's hand. Don't let it be daunting to you. Think about your child, because we’re saving children's lives here. The children of this nation are starting to have ill health. Why is that, when we are the most advanced society that this world has ever seen? Why are we now the most unhealthiest that I've ever seen in my lifetime?
A lot of people realize that we live in the shadows of our consumption model. Let's not allow it to be daunting anymore. Let's empower ourselves. Let's cowboy up, because it is time. I've been doing this for three to four years. I've had a fascinating life. I've done many things, but I guarantee you the last three or four years of my life have been the most empowering.
Once you take all of the propaganda and eliminate it out of your eyes and ears, then you will have the eyes to see and the ears to hear what is important in your life.
Mr. Jekielek: You're not actually looking to fight with these large multinationals or take them over, you're just looking at another way.
Texas Slim: Just another way. Times of mass prohibition require times of mass innovation. There's no way that I'm going to fight the multinational corporations. They're going to do what they're going to do. They serve a purpose in some form or fashion. There are many parents that work for multinational corporations. It's ludicrous to think that Texas Slim who created The Beef Initiative is going to go out and fight a multinational corp. That's not what we're doing.
We have a business model that we like. It's something that circumvents their protocols of producing food. We don't have to participate, and I choose not to participate. That's all I'm saying. I'm going to feed my child in a different way than you're recommending and marketing to me. I'm choosing to say no. Go ahead and do what you're going to do, because I know I can't fight you, and this isn't a fight. I'm innovating. Pay attention, and maybe you might learn something from us.
Mr. Jekielek: Texas Slim, it's such a pleasure to have you on the show.
Texas Slim: Thank you for having me. This has been a pleasure, and I really want to show my gratitude and graciousness every time that we're able to speak about what we're doing at The Beef Initiative. It's definitely an honor for me. This is nothing that was planned, but it's something that is happening holistically because of people like you, so I really do appreciate it. Thanks, Jan.
Mr. Jekielek: Thank you very much.
Texas Slim: Thank you.
Mr. Jekielek: Thank you all for joining Texas Slim and me on this episode of American Thought Leaders. I'm your host, Jan Jekielek.
This interview was edited for clarity and brevity.