Animal Welfare

Animal Welfare and the Environment

The Chipotle Cultivate Foundation supports people and organizations that are working to develop an affordable, sustainable pasture-based system of animal production in the United States. Animals raised on open pastures tend to enjoy an overall higher quality of life than those raised in confinement. They are free to roam and can exhibit their natural instincts in a way that is not possible in crowded confinement operations.

Raising animals on pastures tends to be more environmentally friendly because the impact of the animals, including soil erosion and the quantity of manure, is reduced and spread over a larger area.1 Pasture-based systems also generally require less energy for the production and transportation of feed2 and can reduce or eliminate the need for antibiotics, which are often necessary to prevent disease in animals raised in high-density confinement operations.3

Currently, pasture-raised supplies of most types of livestock and poultry are limited and can be more expensive than conventionally raised alternatives. However, the increasing demand for more sustainably raised meats presents an opportunity to further develop the supply of pasture-raised livestock and poultry. As the supply of pasture-raised livestock and poultry increases to catch up to increasing demand, we believe the cost will ultimately fall. To that end, the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation supports farmers and ranchers who are working to raise animals using pasture-based systems.

1. Gurian-Sherman, Doug. “Raising the Steaks.” Union of Concerned Scientists. February 2011. http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/food_and_agriculture/global-warming-and-beef-production-report.pdf

2. USDA Agricultural Research Service. “Putting Dairy Cows out to Pasture: An Environmental Plus.” May 2011. http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/2011/may11/cows0511.htm

3. Union of Concerned Scientists. “Prescription for Trouble: Using Antibiotics to Fatten Livestock.” http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/science_and_impacts/ impacts_industrial_agriculture/prescription-for-trouble.html