I've become quite convinced that the way animals are processed has as much to do with the final quality of the protein as the lean to fat ratio.
I encourage people to seek out meats that are from farms that allow auditing for humane treatment. One such company is Nature's Source. Being monitored for humane treatment doesn't mean there is never abuse but it does reduce the risk that the animal who is blessing me with their meat lived a healthier life.
Other factors .... I look for companies that state publically that they do not use animal byproducts in their feed or predominantly corn feed.
Too much corn ends up creating meat that is out of balance with omega-3 and omega-6 levels.
What we, as consumers, often forget is that we control the market by our choices. Asking questions of the companies that supply our meat and insisting on healthier feed and more humane processing will result in animals that live better lives and that are not filled with toxic adrenaline at the time of their passing. I think we owe them that, the animals.
ps. After writing this article, I saw the movie about Temple Grandin. If you don't know who Temple Grandin is, she almost single-handedly changed the way cattle are slaughtered. She ushered in a more humane way. And she's autistic. She's awesome! After watching the movie, for which Claire Dane should receive an emmy, I wrote about some of the points of impact the movie had for me.
Temple Grandin shows me a door