Francis Thicke: How Now, Industrial Cow?:
"Pasture dairies make sense financially. Milk production per cow is less, but milk production per acre, when acres used to grow feed crops are included, is comparable. Studies at the University of Wisconsin show that grazing dairies are as profitable, or more profitable, than industrial dairies.
What's more, cows on pasture are healthier and live longer than those on a high-corn diet, which is not their natural food. And research is beginning to suggest that milk from grazing cows is more healthful because it has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, beta carotene and conjugated linoleic acids -- substances that may be useful in helping to prevent heart disease or certain cancers.
Given all these benefits, it is time we get serious about focusing our agricultural research, education and government policy on farming that uses ecology as its guide. And we should begin requiring industrial agriculture to pay for the environmental costs that it imposes on our planet -- costs now borne by society as a whole or charged to future generations."