Mendo Slaughterhouse? Kill ’em Where You Raise ’em! (Updated)

From Grist

Whole Foods’ new mobile slaughterhouses

Massachusetts poultry farmer Jennifer Hashley has a problem. From the moment she started raising pastured chickens outside Concord, Mass. in 2002, there was, as she put it “nowhere to go to get them processed.” While she had the option of slaughtering her chickens in her own backyard, Hashley knew that selling her chickens would be easier if she used a licensed slaughterhouse. Nor is she alone in her troubles. Despite growing demand for local, pasture-raised chickens, small poultry producers throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, and even New York can’t or won’t expand for lack of processing capacity…  Full article here
Update: [As a carnivore, I support our small, local, pastoral farmers. Our weekend lamb-shank soup/stew (simmered for 4 hours with local organic veggies), from Owen Family Farm in Hopland, was superb! (They’ll raise lamb, goat, or Black Angus beef for you – 707-744-1615.) Other than our much-respected vegan/vegetarian community, previous opposition centered around outside investors imposing a large facility on our population center to serve distant markets. I believe that the healthiest, sustainable farms are small, “garden farms” that include grass-fed livestock, with agricultural practices such as Biodynamics. Whether using mobile units for chickens, or more permanent structures for larger animals, sustainable community principles for local meat-processing include: humane slaughter, small-scale, location on the ranches or ranch-lands outside population centers, environmentally-friendly, wastes composted, locally-owned. -DS]

See also: Save The Planet: Eat More Beef

…and Favorite Veggie Burger recipes

One Comment

A Slaughterhouse in Mendocino County?

The idea of a slaughterhouse in Mendocino County has recently been proposed by the Economic Development and FInancing Corporation, based on studies by UC agricultural and economic experts. In principle, having a local plant makes sense because there is a lot of local livestock that are now shipped to either Petaluma or Orleans for processing. That is expensive and it takes a toll on the animals.

Whether a particular proposal is a good one depends on water, waste disposal, slaughter method (read “Animals in Translation” by Temple Grandin to get an idea of what humane slaughter involves), working conditions, pay for workers, and location, location, location.

On the location issue, I agree with the writers of the study that the site should not be Ukiah Valley, largely because of the opposition of business interests. Instead, the site should be more rural, but near good roads.

A slaughterhouse would have to be very, very different from the one in Petaluma which was described by a friend this way: “One Thanksgiving day several years ago, I drove by it just to get an idea of what it could look like. Etched in my mind’s eye from that drive-by is a picture of one lone cow standing in damp manure, looking totally forlorn. Yuck. No, no, no!”

Irrigated pastures with some animals on it would be a bucolic scene that would not engender the horrible thoughts that the Petaluma operation does.