Letter writer: Slaughterhouse ‘Blues’ is shocking

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Reading “Abattoir Blues: Demand Is Growing for a Local Slaughterhouse” in the [Sept. 7] Mountain Xpress felt shocking to me. It really made me pause and reflect on the violence that we are capable of as human beings with our meat-eating habits as well as the numbness society has around this issue.

I suspect most meat-eaters reading the article were sympathetic with the dilemma of not having a slaughterhouse locally. Yet, “the fact that nobody wants one in their backyard” reveals a deeper acknowledgement that no one wants to actually see the horrors of what goes on, hear the screams or smell the blood.

What was most shocking to me was the mention that some larger slaughterhouses slaughter “30,000 head” per day. If that facility is open seven days a week, they are killing 10 million animals per year. And that is just one facility. If we added up all of the facilities in this country and let the public know just how many animals are losing their lives, I do believe most people would pause.

We are all still remembering and honoring the 6 million Jewish people who were put to death in the Holocaust. This is just a fraction of the animals who have been slaughtered. Someday we will look back on this and wonder how on earth did humans do this? My hope is that this recognition can be sooner rather than later.

— Miriam Hard


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Letters
We want to hear from you! Send your letters and commentary to letters@mountainx.com

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

20 thoughts on “Letter writer: Slaughterhouse ‘Blues’ is shocking

    • Melania

      Sorry, “we like causing x or y kind of harm” is never a moral justification for anything. (In other news, recent studies confirm eating meat destroys any semblance of logic or critical thinking.)

      • Andrea

        In other news, recent studies confirm not eating meat causes a snotty condescending attitude.

      • boatrocker

        Wanna debate posting to the Mtn X website using Apple phones or sweatshop produced tech?

        I’ll be here to answer you, cupcake.

    • Frank

      You mean it does not bother you that these poor creatures are being slaughtered because you cannot or will not consider trying a plant based diet, Sad!

      • boatrocker

        I’m an omnivore, silly.
        That means meat, plant, animal based (honey, etc) and even those weird fluffy orange peanuts they sell in a gas station made out of who knows what.

    • Industrial Animal Farming is the most brutal crime against humanity in our times.

      We jeopardize humanity when we carelessly destroy our environment allowing industrial animal farming to pollute our waters and soil, when we use up our grain crops to feed food animals, plunder the last of the rain forest to make room for more food animals, round up wild horses, send them to auctions (most are bought for slaughter) to use the (public) land for food animals, when we allow Fish and Wildlife to poison thousands of wild birds and native species to keep them away from cattle feed.

      We jeopardize humanity when we treat animals which a total disregard for their needs, condone institutionalized cruelty and become in sensitive to torture, violence and bloodshed inflicted on other species, at the rate 50 billions worldwide each year.
      We also support not only the thugs who work these jobs and the corporations who make billions with drugs and GMOs but also our greedy government and the corporate friendly USDA and the FDA aka Monsanto’s agency who allow these crimes.

      Why is it so easy to turn a blind eye to the atrocities committed in animal farms? Have we lost all self respect, all desire to do right from wrong in the pursuit of consumerism and self satisfaction? The bodily mutilations and extreme abuse of gentle cows and their newborns, of intelligent pigs and friendly chickens would warrant felony charges if done to a cat or a dog. Yet it done everyday, day after day.

      Yet we keep perversely torturing them day in and day after.

      When we buy meat, dairy and eggs, we are accomplices of this holocaust.

      Our callous apathy is a cancer grown out of years of gluttony and mindless instant gratification.
      When allowed they nurse their young sometimes for over a year and form strong bonds with their families and often other species. It is not unusual to see a cow befriend a goat, a pig befriend a dog, a cat nurse a baby rabbit, because they value life and love. Every one of these animals can learn their name and come when called. Pigs can be trained to the extent of a very intelligent dog. Cows love the grass you hold out in your hands better than any grass in their field and thank you with a wet nudge and big tender eyes. Chickens love to perch on our shoulder and rub their head on your cheeks. All the animals species raised for food, love to be talked to and enjoy a caress from our hands.
      When we eat animals and drink the milk intended for their babies, we eat their physical pain, their intense misery, their sickness, their final agony.Their pained wasted body and soul becomes part of our body, our psyche.

      We absorb their cannibalistic diet of ground up animal parts, antibiotic drugs and GMO grains now embedded in their dead flesh.
      While they are different from us, it is proven that animals feel pain with the same intensity as we do. They express psychological distress and grief in ways similar to ours, with sorrow and cries.

      • boatrocker


        Last I checked, the Agricultural Revolution was anything but.
        It gave us the idea of land ownership, population explosions which led to starvation and subsequent famines, and my favorite:

        Go Paleolithic for a diet, and see how it makes you feel.

        Also, what are woo woo type vegetarian/vegans’ views on a human baby breastfeeding from its mother?
        Is that baby evil?

        Scientists also have long known that plants feel pain by the various chemicals released.

        I’m more worried about agribusiness, GMOs and big companies trying to copyright a seed which sets humans up for a real ecological disaster.

  1. The Pontificator

    Maybe someday your insulting and infantile comparison of The Holocaust to meat processing facilities will be fulfilled…but not today.

    Pass the flank steak!

    • The Real World

      Oh my, I believe you just committed a micro-aggression and a safe space is immediately called for! Pls bring forth the soothers and healers for some aromatherapy, soft talk and foot massage. I’m sure there’s also a rule that the offender must be muzzled.

  2. Zia Terhune

    Due to water pollution and toxic odors, most slaughterhouses are located near low-income and minority areas, The local people often don’t have the resources for hiring lawyers to fight them. By locating these hell holes in less populated areas (tours are not allowed), it keeps city people comfortably unaware. Maybe having a slaughter facility in Asheville would help us all to see/hear what the animals endure. I say, we need to know the painful truth about our food, then decide if we want to eat it or not.

    • boatrocker

      Same with military bases in the lower 48 states- you don’t see them in Biltmore Village as they
      are the single biggest polluter in America, with the housing industry as a close second place.
      Second home McMansion types from Jersey/FLA who live in Weaverville/gated communities,
      ignore this as it might hurt the feelings.

      Same with prisons, toxic waste dumps and yoga studios.
      Yoga studios- kidding, but the stench of 1st world problem smug smells awful from miles away.

      It is called environmental discrimination, and yes it is real.
      Flint Michigan, H2O- heard of it? GOP elected folks did that.

      Hate to break it to you, but there is this thing called hunting,
      where meat is not raised in those awful cages with hormones and those pesky indigenous people
      who drive down the property value in your gated community did it too.

      • Negrodamus

        “It is called environmental discrimination, and yes it is real. Flint Michigan, H2O- heard of it? GOP elected folks did that. ”

        The Republican governor appointed Democrat emergency managers. They decided to switch from Detroit-supplied water over to another water source. Democrat-run Detroit got pissed for some reason and cut Flint off before they could complete the water switchover, forcing Flint to draw water from the polluted Flint River. Republicans had nothing to do with this fiasco.

  3. Zia Terhune

    Lots of countries eat dog meat. Would you be ok with dog meat processing in Asheville?

  4. boatrocker

    No, as
    1) I love dogs as pets and
    2) They fulfill so many more roles in our specific society than just dinner.
    Show me a chicken that can locate a lost child in the woods, detect explosives
    or bark at would be burglars.
    Many traditionally minded Japanese families require a woman to walk 5 paces behind a man at all times.
    Does that mean that would fly in Asheville? of course not.

    Your ‘logic’ is anything but.
    Am I evil for keeping a dog as a pet as PETA’s theology states?

    I have a feeling that there is most likely an online ‘network’ of militant vegetarians/vegans both nation and world wide
    who ignore every other article featured in Asheville, NC’s Mountain Xpress (yes, that’s the physical location of the publication you’re posting on if you didn’t know ) who wait on pins and needles for any articles about meat in order to ‘take a stand for justice!’ and ignore every other issue that affects modern society. Have fun with that.

    “Blood diamonds, child labor in order to make phones/electronics/clothing, brutal repressive right wing dictators, meh.
    Meat? Did someone say meat? Hold on, let me send a message to the Xpress site ASAP!”

    • Zia Terhune

      Are you finding it hard to believe that local people care about animal suffering? I don’t know where the other writers are from but I’m in N Avl–and I do care.

      • boatrocker

        A series of questions that I find Vegetypes have always been unable or unwilling to answer (here) would be:
        1- do vegans think breastfeeding as wrong as it is milk from an animal?
        2-hunting- is it ok if done quickly and with respect for the animal’s sacrifice so you can continue to live (aka The Circle of Life) , or have 3 million years of hunter/gather societies had it wrong?
        3- why do humans have binocular vision like predators and those sharp teeth (incisors?) to eat meat if it is wrong under nature?
        Are we not omnivores?
        4- why did I feel like absolute #$%@ for 2 months trying a veggie diet in college for still eating plenty of healthy food?

        Slaughterhouses- yes, many have awful conditions, the same way that when you text your friend with your imported phone made in a sweat shop they have awful conditions. Call me morbid, but at least in death the animals we eat are put out of their misery unlike the kid in China/Bangladesh etc.
        Are you willing to give up any and all sweatshop produced products? I don’t know if I could personally.

        oh yeah, this one is on a personal note-
        5- why do vegetarians actually buy veggie jerky, slim jim type things and burgers? Why make non meat look like meat?
        That, readers, is just plain weird.

        For buying meat (yes I’ve hunted, and not often hit anything- I’m probably more a menace in the woods with a rifle) from more
        ‘responsible’ sources, aka free range, locally raised/better treated than Tyson, am I still part of the problem?

        Whenever I consider arguments pro/con eating meat, I always come back to the fact that this big ol world is severely overpopulated for humans and we have over reached our carrying capacity. That scares me more than a slaughterhouse, “President Trump”, and all the scary
        movies I watched s a kid combined.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.