The Need for Custom Slaughter
[...]To get around such backlogs, some small, sustainable producers have opened or purchased their own facilities. These include Will Harris’s White Oak Pastures, Georgia’s largest grass-fed beef producer; Sallie Calhoun, owner of Paicines Ranch, a grass-fed cattle operation in San Benito County, California; and Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm in Virginia, made famous in Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma…
“It’s the best way to slaughter them because you don’t have to transport them,” Temple Grandin, the renowned author, livestock handling expert, and associate professor at Colorado State University, told me. Being trucked long distances and then herded shoulder-to-shoulder into confined areas with strange sights and noises is a huge stress on animals, she said. A cow killed on its home turf doesn’t know what hits it. “If on-farm slaughter is done properly, it’s very, very humane,” Grandin said…
I followed Winship for about 30 miles to a building off to the side of a winding gravel road. The unimposing structure, not much bigger than a two-car garage, was the headquarters for the company that had hired Winship, Rup’s Custom Cutting, a mom-and-pop business run by Rupert LaRock and his wife, Jeanne. The spotlessly clean facility is regularly inspected by health officials, so apart from the manner in which he had died, Léo would comply with all state and federal policies regarding the sale of meat. LaRock, a butcher for 41 of his 55 years, hoisted Léo’s quarters onto meat hooks connected to an overhead rail. He immediately started spraying them with a high-pressure hose, commenting on the size and high-quality of the carcass, but nonetheless grumbling, “Cows get so dirty this time of year.” I could detect no traces of filth.
Because of the slaughterhouse shortage, LaRock is run off his feet. He processes only one cow per day. “And it gets busier all the time,” he says. If you want Rup’s to butcher, wrap, and freeze one of your steers, you have to book an appointment three to four months in advance.
For those of us who want to eat local, sustainably raised meat, LaRock has some words of encouragement. “Every time there’s an E. coli scare, my phone starts ringing. There’s so much demand out there that they are going to have to open on-farm slaughter to commercial sale soon.”
Full article here→
See also Yes I Care For Animals And Then I Eat Them- Gene Logsdon→