From animal to food

April 19, 2011 | By | 3 Replies More

I eat meat. Not as often as most people, but I eat meat at least several times a week, mostly chicken, but occasionally a hamburger.  I rarely eat pork. Over the years, It has sometimes occurred to me that in order to eat meat I had an obligation to fully understand how a live animal is turned into food. With that as the background, this was the perfect video for me.

As the creator of this video states, this is “a good story about a proud butcher open to teaching his trade, and a story I felt compelled to share with many others, like me, who didn’t want to be disconnected to their food any longer.” This is a story narrated by “Larry Althiser, the owner and head meat cutter for Larry’s Custom Meats in Hartwick, NY, a small farming community in the Northern Catskills.” This is not a video about factory farming.

The video is direct and graphic, but it is also honest and informative.


Category: Food

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

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  1. Adam says:

    Actually, Erich, I would say the video is not "honest and informative," at least if it is intended to reveal general information about modern meat processing. This is a special circumstance, where a specialty meat provider is performing for the camera. Maybe in that facility every single cow is treated with that level of compassion, but in the real world most of the meat consumed by people in the U.S. come from plants where there is intense pressure to process each cow as quickly as possible. Needless to say, this does not result in people gently coaxing the cow to go into the stalls. In fact, a certain percentage of the time the stun guns don't work and cows are hoisted in the air and their throats are slit without even having been knocked unconscious.

    If you carelessly eat meat, this video does nothing to make you less alienated from your food, because it offers a portrayal that is quite different from modern factory farms. I suppose you could say that it helps you to understand the reality of the process if you are very careful about where you get your meat from, but not very many people I've met actually fall into that category.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Adam: I largely agree with you. I should have elaborated further with my short comment that this is not "factory farming." If you buy the meat of humanely-raised animals, this video would resemble that process. I know that some people will disagree that one can EVER eat the meat of humanely-raised animals.

  2. Eddy F says:

    Thanks for sharing the vid. My extended family raises cattle and the three to four calves they process each year go through a similar process, I believe. It is good to connect with what our food goes through. We've been trying to make more of an effort to buy meats from local farms so that we know the animals were treated with dignity.

    If you haven't yet, you should really check out the book "The Ominvore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan. Excellent expose on food in America and the general disconnect most people have.

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