Tue., September 20
Communities throughout the country- especially New England- have localized their food systems. Much of the emphasis in the locavore movement has been on locally grown fruits and veggies, and now there is shifting focus on localizing meat production. In order to do this, small local farms need the infrastructure to support them- USDA certified slaughterhouses, well-trained butchers, and meat packers. Unfortunately, there is not a strong enough slaughterhouse infrastructure in New England to support the burgeoning local meat market. This brings up all kinds of issues: from how overbooked slaughterhouses might compromise the ethical slaughter of farmers’ animals, to the basic economic issue of supply meeting demand.
Framingham State University professor Audrey Kali has set out to make a documentary film about the shortage of local slaughterhouses in New England, and how it is impacting the humane slaughter of animals. We talk with her about her work-in-progress, and with others about how the shortage of small slaughterhouses in New England is affecting their business.
Temple Grandin is a world-renowned designer of livestock handling facilities and a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University. The layout design of most slaughterhouses in the United States has been influenced by Temple’s work.
Audrey Kali is an Associate Professor of Communication at Framingham State University. She’s currently directing a film in production, "Abattoir Rising: The Missing Link Between Pasture and Plate". The film addresses how the shortage of local slaughterhouses is not only causing economic hardships for farmers, but is jeopardizing animal welfare.
Jared Carter is the director of Rural Vermont, an advocacy organization for small farms.
Bruce Dawson is the owner and operator of Miles Smith Farm in Loudon, New Hampshire.