At Grist, Erik Hoffner grabs Q & A time with Patrick Martins, the guy who founded Slow Food USA in 2000, then left it to open Heritage Foods. Martins says what those of us once known to have left The Omnivore's Dilemma on the nightstand or back of the toilet tank semi-permanently, where we could absorb its lessons at leisure, key among them that we won't have truly clean meat until we develop a network of regional slaughterhouses near urban centers. Martins:
Investors in this country have failed to take the plunge and invest in slaughterhouses. They've been considered "risky" investments. I think part of this is the effect the vegetarian movement still has on us ― and PETA. What is sad is that while no investments are made, and while PETA and Paul McCartney expand their discourse, billions of animals are suffering at major slaughter factories. We are offering no alternative, while meekly avoiding the issue that Americans eat tons of meat a day. We eat it, so we have to deal with the issue. While major crimes against God's creatures are being committed, we are standing by because the solution is "too complicated."
Martins imagines the effect of situating four slaughterhouses in New York City:
If people who cared acted on the issue of humane slaughter, alternatives would pop up everywhere. If we can land a man on the moon, we should be able to open a facility that processes animals humanely outside every major city in the nation. We should not wait for, or expect, rules to change. We must force those changes by acting ourselves. If four slaughterhouses were opened in the Bronx that met all rules and regulations, however draconian, the government would be forced to reckon with this movement. Action creates change.How's about it, San Francisco? How about restoring the slaughterhouses in Hunters Point, for starters. *sound of crickets* Anybody?
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