Hate to post twice in a row but out here in the sticks there are a lot of cattle operations. The cattle are grazed on leased land all year. They are moved to the high range (mountains) in the summer then brought down to the lower range (foot hills) in the winter where the temps are more mild and the food is easier to find. The heifers calf out in the lower range. In the spring the cow/calf pairs are rounded up. Calfs are branded, de-horned, and castrated (is this the abuse you speak of?). Then everyone is moved back to the high range. In the fall there is a round-up (yes we still have good ol' fashioned round ups). Steers are shipped to feed lots to be fattened and processed, heifers bred, starts all over. So meat cattle DO NOT spend their lives in pens. They wander around the hills eating whatever they want. No they don't have little metal shelters to hide in but they are pretty tough.
However, now that I've said all that, this post is about weather or not you raise your own meat. Yup, I do. :)
You're missing what I was saying. I was specifically talking about giant feed lots that are owned by places like Walmart and McDonald's. I am pretty sure no one takes every one of them out for their afternoon grazing session. Which is one of the reasons I prefer locally raised beef over anything else.
There is no question really.