The NYU event was open to the public and sponsored by NYU's Fales Library; Steinhardt School of Culture; Education and Human Development; and the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health.
The moderator, Clark Wolf, a restaurant consultant from California, began by mentioning his state's newly approved water restrictions. Niman took over from there, spending the next several minutes promoting beef as an essential agro-ecological element of our food system. It sounded like a defense; but it wasn't. A proper defense would have acknowledged documented problems concerning the kind of beef she produces. But Niman didn't. Not a word.
Instead, she lauded cattle's "miraculous digestive systems," praising their ability to "take grass and turn it into meat and milk" on "land that's not good for anything else." She waxed poetic about how cattle restored and improved grassland ecosystems, including soil and water, adding that cattle helped "protect habitat for countless wild animals." Her recommendation, in a nutshell, was that all cattle confined to CAFOs and feedlots be turned out on grass.