It’s no secret that customers of the meat industry have been searching for transparency within the industry for a while now. Every time an undercover video comes out or things like Lean Finely Textured Beef get “exposed”, people begin to scramble looking for answers. Where do they go to look for answers..? Their friends, their family, those people that they trust to provide them with the truth. I am sure that most people don’t go looking to American Meat Institute (AMI)  for answers. But regardless of where you go, AMI decided to finally join in the conversation of animal slaughter and began work on a video looking inside a slaughterhouse. And I am so thrilled that they’ve decided to join in this discussion because well, if I didn’t have the experiences I’ve had in my lifetime, known the many farmers and ranchers I do, as well as seen first hand many an animal slaughtered at large and small processors alike, I too would want to take up a vegetarian and vegan diet too! Those undercover videos put out by animal rights/animal welfare groups are hard to watch, they are very graphic, and quite frankly they aren’t how I want my industry to be portrayed.

We often give tours through our shop because we love to show people firsthand what we do. However, sometimes public tours are not an option, especially in large plants. And it’s not because slaughterhouses don’t want you to see inside what they do. Animal rights activists have commented that if “slaughterhouses had glass walls, people would be vegetarians”.  And I don’t believe that at all. There are numerous reasons as to why large plants can’t allow public tours. First being food safety. Workers in large plants wear sanitary clothing, wash their hands and boots before entering certain areas of production and having public tours coming through could potentially introduce contamination into the plant. Another reason why public tours aren’t always feasible is due to safety. Plants that slaughter large volumes utilize an assembly line containing large, dangerous equipment. Having someone in the wrong place at the wrong time could result in serious injury to either a visitor or even a distracted employee.

I’ve said it before and I will say it again… Slaughter is not something that can be easily glamorized. It’s bloody, it’s graphic and I will admit that watching the slaughter of an animal isn’t for everybody. But if you choose to eat meat, I invite you to experience it  because after all, this is where your meat is coming from. And this is how it is coming from the pasture to your plate. In a statement issued by AMI they say that, “As meat packers, we have an ethical obligation to do the best job we can honor the sacrifice these animals make to feed people.” And I think most processors would agree with that. We value the animals in our lives and we appreciate the sacrifice they are making to feed our families and your family.

So if you’re really interested in an inside look of how a slaughterhouse runs.. please watch this video

DISCLAIMER: This video shows cattle being stunned, being bled, and skinned. This video is graphic but it is a true and honest depiction of what really goes on.

AMI as well as many processors across the country also thank  Temple Grandin for all of her hard work.

We thank Dr. Grandin for the 21 years of assistance she has given us in better understanding livestock and working with their natural instincts to keep them calm and minimize stress. She has been our teacher, our partner and sometimes our critic. But she’s always been honest. We also thank her for her willingness to be part of this major step forward in transparency. – American Meat Institute

Please share with us your thoughts, your concerns, your questions. I’ve seen this process happen many, many times and I assure you, this video is how it happens folks. This is the beginning of the glass walls of a slaughterhouse.

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Katie Pinke (@katpinke)

    Jenny, this is truly what I believe all of agriculture needs to do. All stakeholders need to be willing to put a camera on what they do. If you can’t explain what and why you are doing then you are going to be in trouble. Your famiy’s business, your blog and AMI’s video wtih Dr. Grandin demonstrates the animal agriculture I believe in. It’s respect for food animals and truly highlights animal welfare. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Anna Wagner (@AnnaJWagner)

    This is a great post and video. Very well done and glad it came from someone like Temple Grandin who people recognize, as I think that’s more likely to lend it the necessary credibility and traction for people to want to see it.

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