A Visit to the Kill Floor

| 11/17/2008 4:44:54 PM

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Before you delve into this blog, let me warn you the content may not be appropriate for some viewers. As the subject implies, this article has to do with killing — the killing of animals raised for their food value. The reality is, for any of us to live (vegan or otherwise) others must die.

Close to Our Food

Where I now live, we are close to the source of our food. While I studied self sufficiency in the '70s through the pages of Mother Earth News, Organic Gardening, Shelter, etc., my wife and I are now living what we only read about in the past.

In those days, we had a large, suburban garden and practiced “edible landscaping.” My wife “put food by” in our basement shelving and freezer. We grew as many as 60 tomato plants in one season; in addition to keeping honeybees; growing grapes, blueberries, strawberries, asparagus, raspberries, apples, and a myriad of other standard vegetables. We had a dual bin compost system and instead of raking our leaves and having them hauled to the landfill, we asked the township to deliver truckloads of other folks’ leaves to us, and we used them for mulch.

We were working full time, and there were many times when we wanted to do things outside the house, but everywhere we looked in the yard we saw work. That’s ultimately why we moved to a home that was basically work-free.

Now we’re back on the land — with ten acres of cornfield, which we had plowed and disked after we moved in. We’re expanding our gardens from the house south, into this treeless expanse. This year (our second year here), we tripled the size of our gardens. This means two-thirds of our beds are first year beds.

With the cost of everything on the rise due to the dramatic increase in the price of oil, we feel fortunate to have this opportunity to “grow our own,” and now associate with local folks who have been doing so for generations.

11/24/2012 1:55:06 PM

Thank you for your honest article. You began your article with a conclusion that the reality is that for people to live, vegan or otherwise, others must die. What did you mean that others must die even if living a vegan lifestyle?

Ben Dau
11/19/2008 9:29:11 AM

Wow, thank you for posting. I just got a job as a butcher and meat cutter yesterday but didn't get to see the kill floor. Thanks for helping to prepare me for the first day.

Sarah Beth Jones
11/18/2008 7:27:01 AM

I'll admit, this doesn't make me want to run out and eat a burger, but it's still a heck of a lot less disturbing than Pollan's description of industrial butchering in Omnivore's Dilemma...

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