I respectfully disagree with two recent letters criticizing the proposed slaughterhouse in Liberty. While you have indeed painted an accurate picture of the realities of corporate agriculture today, and the vegan lifestyle is inarguably better for one’s health (assuming you eat organic), I take a different approach.
The argument that raising animals for food is amoral will never be successful. It is as natural for humans as for any carnivore to eat meat. What we can aspire to change is the method, which under corporate management has become one of our greatest environmental, health and moral failures. In pursuit of profits we have created monocultures of “Franken” farm animals, designed to live fast and die young under abhorrent conditions requiring copious quantities of antibiotics, fast tracking the evolution of zoonotic pathogens which threaten not only human health, but could very well lead to the extinction of our food animals. Therefore, the future of livestock and poultry survival lies with small farmers raising genetically diverse heritage breeds for increasingly food-savvy consumers. Given this reality, wouldn’t efforts to support smaller local farms be more effective in the cause for animal welfare than simply refusing to participate?
Here’s where a local slaughterhouse comes in. It will save our farmers transportation costs, and make our area more attractive to new farmers. Every animal raised locally, rather than on a factory farm, is a victory for human health and animal welfare. This will now be enhanced by the fact that these animals will no longer face a two-hour-plus trip to their final destination.
Temple Grandin is a genius whose disability gives her unique insight into the minds of animals. Anyone who takes the time to familiarize themselves with her work will quickly reach the same conclusion. It is hard to imagine another person who has done more to increase animal welfare, and we would be wise to incorporate her ideas going forward, for the animals.