Recent [letters to the editor] in the Mountain Xpress have rebutted the idea of establishing a local slaughterhouse. Mainly, these authors have argued that eating animals is amoral and ought to be compared to the Holocaust.
While I accept that there are many good reasons to become vegetarian and have been for three of the last six years, we all know that our country and community will not be switching to a completely vegetarian diet anytime soon.
Considering that Western North Carolina will continue to eat meat, there is infrastructure and policy that we can put in place to benefit our community, including establishing a local slaughterhouse. Demand for higher-quality, local and grass-fed meat will only continue to increase as carnivores understand the health hazards of conventional, grain-fed meat.
Locally slaughtering meat reduces costs and emissions from transport and produces local jobs while keeping our farmers’ dollars here in WNC. Finally, if the proposed slaughterhouse were regulated by the state, not the USDA, animals could be slaughtered significantly more humanely while also being able to operate at a smaller, local scale.
A local abattoir would thus be a boon for our local economy, environment and overall health.
— Casey Epstein