slaughterhouse

A Quote by Michael Pollan on synchronicity, slaughterhouse, food supply, and food

The day after my steak-and-Singer dinner at the palm I found myself on a plane flying from Atlanta to Denver.  A couple of hours into the flight the pilot, who hadn’t uttered word one until now, came on the public address system to announce, apropos of nothing, that we were passing over Liberal, Kansas.  This was the first, last, and only landmark on our flight path that the pilot deigned to mention, which seemed very odd, given its obscurity to everyone on the plane but me.  For Liberal, Kansas, happens to be the town where my steer, very possibly that very day, was being slaughtered.  I’m not a superstitious person, but this struck me as a most eerie coincidence.  I could only wonder what was going on just then, thirty thousand feet below me, on the kill floor of the National Beef Plant, where steer number 534 had his date with the stunner.
            I could only wonder because the company had refused to let me see.  When I visited the plant earlier that spring I was shown everything but the kill floor.  I watched steers being unloaded from trailers into corrals and then led up a ramp and through a blue door.  What happened on the other side of the blue door I had to reconstruct from accounts of others who had been allowed to go there.   ...

Michael Pollan

Source: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Large Print Press), Pages: 328-9

Contributed by: HeyOK

A Quote by Michael Pollan on slaughterhouse, food supply, and meat production

Sometimes I think that all it would take to clarify our feelings about eating meat, and in the process begin to redeem animal agriculture, would be to simply pass a law requiring all the sheet-metal walls of all the CAFOs, and even the concrete walls of slaughterhouses, to be replaced by glass.  If there’s any new right we need to establish, maybe this is the one: the right, I mean, to look.  No doubt the sight of some of these places would turn many people into vegetarians.  Many others would look elsewhere for their meat, to farmers willing to raise and kill their animals transparently.  Such farms exist; so do a handful of small processing plants willing to let customers onto the kill floor, including one – Lorentz Meats, in Cannon Falls, Minnesota – that is so confident of their treatment of animals that they have walled their abattoir in glass.

            The industrialization – and brutalization – of animals in America is a relatively new, evitable, and local phenomenon:  No other country raises and slaughters its food animals quite as intensively or as brutally as we do.  No other people in history has lived at quite so great remove from the animals they eat.  Were the walls of our meat industry to become transparent, literally or even figuratively, we would not long continue to raise, kill, and eat animals the way we do.  Tail docking and sow crates and beak clipping would disappear overnight, and the days of slaughtering four hundred head of cattle an hour would promptly come to an end – for who could stand the sight?  Yes, meat would get more expensive.  We’d probably eat a lot less of it, too, but maybe when we did eat animals we’d eat them with consciousness, ceremony, and respect they deserve.

Michael Pollan

Source: The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals (Large Print Press), Pages: 332-3

Contributed by: HeyOK

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