Visitors to the website www.mycow.de, based in the northeastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania since 2010, have several options for ordering fresh beef. They can order steaks from specific farms and pick between a succulent Angus or delicious Galloway cow.
They can also choose whether cows are killed traditionally in a slaughterhouse or in a field as they happy graze away their final moments.
Considered more humane, the field method also supposedly results in tastier beef because the cow isn't unduly stressed before its demise. Trips to the slaughterhouse can be enormously unpleasant for animals and their surging adrenaline is said to toughen up their meat.
Few farmers use the field-killing method because it’s more expensive and difficult. It necessitates someone quickly stunning and then shooting the cow, which then has to be rushed to a butcher. A 5 kilogramme packet from www.mycow.de starts at about €75.
“This is a much more gentle slaughtering process,” Susanne Marx, the website's operator, told The Local, saying that the beef www.mycow.de sells comes from “happier cows.”
But Marx acknowledged that there is a limit to how much people want to know the specific cows they eat – this is why www.mycow.de doesn’t allow them to get to know or select specific cow for slaughter.
She also said there are a lot of variables that factor into how beef on someone's plate tastes.
“But in general, a cow that was killed more humanely is going to be tastier,” she said.