Mendo Island Journal — Timely. Useful. Sometimes Cranky.

Archive for the ‘Mendo Slaughterhouse’ Category

Mendo Slaughterhouse: Animal Cruelty Is The Price We Pay For Cheap Meat…

In Mendo Slaughterhouse on December 19, 2013 at 9:46 am

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From Rolling Stone

Sarah – let’s call her that for this story, though it’s neither the name her parents gave her nor the one she currently uses undercover – is a tall, fair woman in her midtwenties who’s pretty in a stock, anonymous way, as if she’d purposely scrubbed her face and frame of distinguishing characteristics. Like anyone who’s spent much time working farms, she’s functionally built through the thighs and trunk, herding pregnant hogs who weigh triple what she does into chutes to birth their litters and hefting buckets of dead piglets down quarter-mile alleys to where they’re later processed. It’s backbreaking labor, nine-hour days in stifling barns in Wyoming, and no training could prepare her for the sensory assault of 10,000 pigs in close quarters: the stench of their shit, piled three feet high in the slanted trenches below; the blood on sows’ snouts cut by cages so tight they can’t turn around or lie sideways; the racking cries of broken-legged pigs, hauled into alleys by dead-eyed workers and left there to die of exposure. It’s the worst job she or anyone else has had, but Sarah isn’t grousing about the conditions. She’s too busy waging war on the hogs’ behalf.

We’re sitting across the couch from a second undercover, a former military serviceman we’ll call Juan, in the open-plan parlor of an A-frame cottage just north of the Vermont-New York border. The house belongs to their boss, Mary Beth Sweetland, who is the investigative director More…

Mendo Slaughterhouse: Going Mobile…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Mendo Slaughterhouse on December 6, 2013 at 9:00 am

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From USDA

[We need to call out the planners (and ranchers, even though we love every last one of them) of the Ukiah Valley slaughterhouse group, on their true plans… which are, in my opinion, to expand and supply large amounts of meat to the Bay Area after getting approval of a small local operation right here in our Ukiah population center. And they are going to use the so-called "Right To Industry" proposal to help force it on us.

Becoming Harris Ranch North is not what local citizens will accept. Otherwise, to supply our local, northern California region with appropriate, decentralized, small-scale mobile slaughter, on the ranches, will suffice. Their long range plan to grow big is obvious because they want it near the Russian River with sewer hookups for water and waste management, and close to 101 for shipping to the Bay Area… even though it will be in our largest population area.

The argument against mobile units here is that California law does not permit the burying and composting of waste on ranch land as other states' ranchers, who are successfully using mobile meat processing, are able to do.

C'mon, it's not that hard! Gather up Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, and a few chef celebrities and small ranchers, go to Sacramento, and get the law changed!

If a Ukiah Valley slaughterhouse is approved now, there will no longer be an incentive for ranchers to pursue this small-scale, greener, localized, humane, on-ranch solution. Stop The Slaughterhouse Now! -DS]

[Previous Slaughterhouse blog posts, going years back, here.]
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Times are tough for small livestock and poultry producers. More…

Take Action! Ukiah Valley Slaughterhouse Update…

In !ACTION CENTER!, Around Mendo Island, Mendo Slaughterhouse on December 4, 2013 at 8:35 am

sHorse Slaughterhouses

From RON EPSTEIN and JAN ALLEGRETTI

If you are genuinely concerned about the prospect of a slaughterhouse in the Ukiah valley, and have time and energy to devote, please come to our meeting Saturday, December 7, at 3:00 p.m. at the MEC.

As you may know, there’s a very active ongoing effort to build a slaughterhouse in Ukiah. The Economic Development Corporation (EDFC) is spearheading the effort, and we’ve heard that at least one wealthy investor has expressed an interest in financing the facility. We’d like to update you on what we know and what we’ve heard—you’ll find the details below.

Also, we’re planning a meeting of people who have concerns about this effort—those who do not want any slaughterhouse in the Ukiah valley, as well as those who want to put restrictions on its location, size, economic, environmental, public health, and social impacts. If you are one of those people, and have time and energy to contribute over the coming months—or longer—please consider attending. If you can’t attend, please contact us by return email to let us know how you’d like to be involved. More…

The Meat Ax (Mendo Slaughterhouse)

In Around Mendo Island, Mendo Slaughterhouse on June 5, 2010 at 8:21 am


From MARK SCARAMELLA
TheAVA.com

On Tuesday, May 18, the Board of Supervisors spent an afternoon discussing the possibility of a slaughterhouse somewhere along Highway 101. 101 is something of a slaughterhouse itself, especially near Hopland to the south and between Willits and Laytonville to the north. The interstate suddenly goes from four lanes to two. Motorists slow to react are often killed.

The slaughterhouse under discussion, however, would render four-footed animals into steaks and chops.

Several sons of the soil, fresh off their back 40s, appeared before the Supervisors to talk up a tax-subsidized facility.

The slaughterhouse idea has been floating around for several years now, never getting very far because, of course, nobody’s willing to put up millions of dollars for, ahem, a pig in a poke.

Ranchers, miscellaneous Friends of Ranchers, and some local food advocates spoke for the idea; none of them offered to front the money. They seemed to think the Supervisors would somehow fund it, or fund the planning of it.

A rancher named John Ford, unlike his fellow ranchers, seemed much more reality-based. Ford rattled off some likely numbers and told the Board, “I can’t see where this is economically viable.”

Several enviros and a vegetarian told the Board that there were various problems with the idea — the smell, the waste, the humane treatment, the idea itself…

One Ukiah resident was for it as long as it wasn’t in his neighborhood…

Counting herself among the Friends of Ranchers, Fifth District Supervisor Candidate Wendy Roberts said she’d spoken to “Sea Ranchers and large cattle ranchers

Peter Bradford, Larry Mailliard, Larry Stornetta… They tell me it would make a tremendous benefit to them. No more hauling of animals out of county.” Roberts then added the facility should not be in the Ukiah area. “Our support is conditional on that,” said Roberts.

“Our support”?…

more here
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Probing the link between slaughterhouses and violent crime

In Around the web, Mendo Slaughterhouse on June 1, 2010 at 7:58 am

From SARAH BARMAK
TheStar.com
Thanks to Dave Pollard

To author Upton Sinclair, the hellish world of factory slaughterhouses was as dangerous to human beings as it was to pigs. He filled his 1906 novel The Jungle with meat-packing images that seem ripped from a slasher movie:

“… and as for the other men, who worked in tank-rooms full of steam, and in some of which there were open vats near the level of the floor, their peculiar trouble was that they fell into the vats; and when they were fished out, there was never enough of them left to be worth exhibiting — sometimes they would be overlooked for days, till all but the bones of them had gone out to the world as Durham’s Pure Leaf Lard!”

Sinclair’s abattoir labourers get so desensitized to violence that rates of murder, rape and brawls among them rise. The book cemented the link between slaughterhouses and crime for decades to come — long before pig farmer and serial killer Robert Pickton haunted headlines.

More than a hundred years later, a University of Windsor researcher may have proven the literary classic right. Criminology professor Amy Fitzgerald says statistics show the link between slaughterhouses and brutal crime is empirical fact.

In a recent study, Fitzgerald crunched numbers from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report database, census data, and arrest and offence reports from 581 U.S. counties from 1994 to 2002. more

Should the Ukiah Valley Become the Killing Fields for the Bay Area?

In Mendo Island Transition, Mendo Slaughterhouse on May 10, 2010 at 5:25 pm

From SAMUEL FROMARTZ
ChewsWise

Factory Farm “sounded like children being tortured. And it didn’t stop.”

Jane Black of the Washington Post interviewed David Kirby, author of ‘Animal Factory’ . This one passage really stuck out.

Q: Of all the shocking statistics and stories in the book, what is the one that affected you most?

A: I visited 20 states. I saw things I never thought I would see. I smelled things I never thought I would smell in my life. But one night, I was at a small family farm in Illinois that raised pigs. Across the street was a pig factory. It was at night. The workers had gone home. And as soon as it got dark, you could hear the screams and the squealing and the crying. It was not like one pig over there. Like hundreds.

Q: Did something happen?

A: No. This was just a night on a factory farm. Because the pigs get bigger and bigger and the pens don’t. And they fight. It sounded like children being tortured. And it didn’t stop. It was the most haunting and most tragic sound I’ve ever heard. And I think it was because it didn’t stop. If there had been a commotion in the barn and they all started making noise, I might have forgotten about it. But this was arresting. That tells me these are really unhealthy animals, that there are too many animals and that they really are stressed out.
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See also Again: Slaughter On The Farm With Mobile Units
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Mendo Slaughterhouse: The Community Comments

In !ACTION CENTER!, Dave Smith, Mendo Slaughterhouse on April 28, 2010 at 9:28 am

From Ukiah Daily Journal

[Reader comments on UDJ slaughterhouse article -- no longer available -- gathered into paragraphs for readability. A very few repetitious ones eliminated. The photo above is from a photo documentary of how sheep are humanely led to slaughter and processed down on the farm, in Romania, as has been done for thousands of years all over the world. Small-scale, on-the-farm, meat processing with mobile units, outside our population centers will be encouraged. The horror, filth, and unhealthiness of centralized slaughter in our Ukiah Valley will be resisted. Let's hear it for the NIMBYs! -DS]

[Wendell Berry: There’s  a lot of scorn now toward people who say, “Not in my backyard,” but the not-in-my-backyard sentiment is one of the most valuable that we have. If enough people said, “Not in my backyard,” these bad innovations wouldn’t be in anybody’s backyard. It’s your own backyard you’re required to protect because in doing so you’re defending everybody’s backyard. It is altogether healthy and salutary.]

Traveler didn’t read the story. to quote: “Concerns about a dirty, smelly, offensive operation are addressed in the concepts used in New Zealand where plants are “clean enough to provide tours to the public.”
Study writers need to demonstrate — not just claim!– that a small meat plant does not have to be a smelly nuisance. How about posting some video from New Zealand? How about talking to neighbors of Redwood Meat Co. on Myrtle St. in Eureka? In this thread, http://humboldt-herald.blogspot.com/2007/06/h… neighbors say they don’t notice odors.
Our Mendocino County grass-fed beef is delicious, and our cattle lead lives outdoors eating grass like cattle should. Let’s work together to find a location that works, to get our good beef to urban customers who want it, and who can pay for it, and to give good jobs to those who need it here.

more→

Again: Slaughter On The Farm With Mobile Units!

In Dave Smith, Mendo Slaughterhouse on March 13, 2010 at 10:05 pm

From CIVIL EATS

[As we have been advocating for several years, mobile units are the best alternative for local meat. We do not want a regional slaughterhouse that processes hundreds of animals a day to supply distant markets. That is a no-go. Rather, keep it small, decentralized, on the farms, and local. Compost the waste on the farms. Here is some history, and here is the answer for our local ranchers. Follow the links. Also, see Scott Cratty's comments below. -DS]

As supporters of sustainable food production, many of us know that finding an alternative to the industrial meat supply chain is difficult but by no means impossible.  For the typical sustainable meat buyer, when one thinks of local meat, he most likely pictures a ranch, and then a steak or pork chop.  Unless he is willing to do the work of slaughtering and processing the animal himself, his access to a local abattoir is as difficult to find as local beer without the brewery. This is the marketplace reality that many small-scale ranchers face today.

As the daughter of a former butcher, I recently asked myself how we got ourselves to large-scale meat processing and what our alternatives are. Giant feedlots that truck thousands of cattle to large-scale processing facilities have not always been the favored manner of putting steaks on plates in the U.S. Rapid consolidation in the U.S. meatpacking industry, starting in the late 1970s, greatly impacted the way meat began to be produced, packaged, sold and consumed in the U.S. Earlier, in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, there were many independently owned and operated meatpacking plants that catered to local customers within a few hundred miles of their facilities.

My parents operated one such plant just outside of Eugene, OR from 1980-86. They slaughtered about 100 head of sheep and cattle per week (primarily animals raised on our ranch) and sold the meat to restaurants and hotels in Oregon and Washington.  more→

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