Roughly 98 percent of cattle do live to see the day the truck from the packing plant pulls up because antibiotics are mixed in with the feed to keep livers and guts from failing. A certain number are fated to die, however. Feedlot nutritionists, Williams explained, actually want to see a small percentage get sick, as "that way, they know they're pushing the feed to the edge." The ones that aren't dying are getting fat fast."
That is from the new and notable book Steak: One Man's Search for the World's Tastiest Piece of Beef. This book is interesting and substantive on virtually every page and it is one of the best food books I have read in some time.
If you are wondering, the best steaks I have had were (in no order):
1. Kobe Beef in Kobe, Japan.
2. Dry-aged, in Hermosillo, Mexico.
3. Southern Brazil, in small towns outside of Curitiba.
It is rare that I end up eating steak in the United States; I just don't see a good reason to do it. I also think a lot of steak in B.A. is overrated, as does Schatzker.