Letter writer: Local slaughterhouse would be boon for economy, environment and health

Graphic by Lori Deaton

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

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5 thoughts on “Letter writer: Local slaughterhouse would be boon for economy, environment and health

  1. boatrocker

    You raise some valid points, poster of LTE.

    However, we go by omnivores. We the people who eat meat in moderation for only hunting or buying locally from responsible stewards of livestock are not carnivores, and I call your facts out for that if that is what you believe. C’mon, man.
    This response if more for the wingnut meat is evil types than your original LTE, but hear this out.

    Humans, if one believes in science (aaaah!), evolved as omnivores.
    Binocular vision for depth perception for hunting.
    Longer digestive tract for digesting meat and veggie matter.
    Incisors and molars for meat and veggie matter.

    Or, yeah , meat = holocaust. Sure. Animals for food are not gassed and incinerated without eating them, just like Jews were (to make a point) bred, raised and eaten for sustenance. Show me one child of Abraham, David or Seinfeld who was ever eaten by Germans during WWII.

    Those folks sound like the anti abortion types for hysterics.

    We omnivores can cook meat and veggies. Starches, grains, fruits, vegetables and other foods too!
    Believe it or not. People who eat meat in moderation being classified as carnivores is BS. Get your science straight, if you believe in science.

    I’ll trade you veggie recipes any time. Hint- it’s called flavor and spice. Veggie/vegan food does not have to taste worse than English food to
    make a point. Geeeeeeeeeez.

  2. The basis for Epstein’s argument is a common one we hear so often: a certain destructive human behavior that inflicts an enormous amount of unnecessary suffering on infant and adolescent age animals can’t be stopped so we had better try to at least reform it. This is bad logic. Apply this logic to any other situation in which there are innocent bystanders or defenseless victims and it essentially means that since it is unrealistic to advocate for what we feel is right that instead we just try to put a band aid on the problem and ignore the inherently exploitative and violent nature of the problem. As feminist activist Audre Lourde wrote, you can’t use the master’s tools to dismantle the master’s house. And Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges points out that “the corporate state will never permit real reform. It would mean their extinction.” Whether local or not, animal agriculture is an industry worth over 200 billion annually in the U.S. In Illinois, where I live, we have “local” farms that raise and kill millions of animals every day. A “boon” for the Illinois economy? You bet ya! Trying to reform what is inherently bad on so many levels and greenwashing and humanewashing locavorism, as Epstein does here, a futile attempt to change things with those who have a vested financial interest in keeping things just as they are.

    • boatrocker

      Wow, someone who expresses a view about the issue at hand without being preachy. Kudos, Grillo.
      Though I don’t think I agree with your position (see below), you write well and make a non hysterical case.

      I don’t agree with your second post as the idea of ‘baby steps’ or reform has been used for womens’. civil, LGBT, and many other struggles and though it moves at the pace of a snail, it does move forward, albeit sloooowly.

      As an example- Is one life saved for cops not gunning down an un armed person of color without value or much like buying in bulk, do only numbers matter?

      Only in an ideal utopia could we wake up in the morning after one amazing night of people changing their minds about an issue and making a positive step forward. I’m not holding my breath for that.

      A few LTE’s ago, a writer expressed the need to put a local slaughterhouse in plain view of diners in town.
      Hell yeah. Know where your steak comes from.
      Most LTEs dealing with meat take the wacky tone of the anti abortion crowd screaming ‘holocaust! holocaust!’ from the rooftops though neither issue us even remotely related to a brutal regime attempting to eradicate (not eat) an entire religion from the face of the earth.

      That’s not to say I won’t jump on someone (without mercy) who incorrectly labels an occasional meat eater as a carnivore. I can’t take those types seriously for obviously not even having the facts in which to argue a point. If one occasionally sips a cold one, they are not an alcoholic. If one occasionally takes an aspirin for a headache, they are not a drug addict, etc. I’m sure my ‘lack of understanding’ will be called out on this point- go ahead, get the whining out of your system, PETA-philes. Sigh.

      I do agree that factory farms are awful, which is why I encourage omnivores to hunt and buy meat from responsible local farms. Food should never be a commodity- gasp- free market capitalists are seething right now, oh well.

      For hunting, yes, you are working for your dinner and it’s called the Circle of Life.
      If you’ve never hunted, it’s tough. You don’t always come home with something to eat- I should know for being below average at hitting an animal with a bullet. For frequenting responsible farms, you’re literally putting your where your mouth is and taking $ away from Tyson, McDonald’s etc.
      It’s called a boycott and it is the only thing that terrifies corporate America.

      In short, if you oppose eating meat, as I have stated before, be there to adopt an animal/s as you obviously are Mother Teresa.
      Also, be there with funding to take on Monsanto and GMO lovers who seek to destroy our wide variety of seeds for a quick buck in the hand.
      Using American farmland to grow crappy corn to make ethanol with and deny hungry people food for fuel= bad, but a different thread.
      Otherwise, hand over your saint/martyr card.

  3. Bright

    A local slaughterhouse would bring in tourists! Perhaps a blood red tour bus could carry them around to all of the big meat restaurants, and end up with a guided tour of the slaughterhouse…the mind boggles. Also, there are many good jokes that could be told about slaughter of meat, kind of like the purple bus that we all are so proud of.

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