Lauren Owens Lambert
Lauren Owens Lambert
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Slaughterhouse On Wheels

Over the past several decades’ large-scale industrial meat production has eclipsed the era of the local butcher.  This shift has led to the disappearance of small-scale farming and local markets and has left small and remote farms without affordable means to process their product.  But with ever-increasing awareness of greenhouse gas emissions, the presence of antibiotics and hormones in meat products from these large-scale industrial agriculture systems, perspectives of where and how meat is raised and processed is of great importance to many people today.

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    Rolling up to farms in San Juan County, Wash., a “slaughterhouse on wheels” provides small and remote farms with a new way to butcher and process meat. Prior to the introduction of the mobile slaughter unit, farmers on the San Juan Islands would have had to truck their livestock over 200 miles by land and sea to the nearest fixed-kill facility. But new mobile processing units enable the animals to be butchered on the same farm where they were born and lived.  

Rolling up to farms in San Juan County, Wash., a “slaughterhouse on wheels” provides small and remote farms with a new way to butcher and process meat. Prior to the introduction of the mobile slaughter unit, farmers on the San Juan Islands would have had to truck their livestock over 200 miles by land and sea to the nearest fixed-kill facility. But new mobile processing units enable the animals to be butchered on the same farm where they were born and lived.  

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 The success of the mobile slaughterhouse model relies on increased consumer demand for organic local meat and also on inspectors that work on site for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The mobile slaughterhouse shown in this essay is the first in North America to operate with USDA approval, without which, the farmers would not be able to sell their meat on a consumer marketplace. 

The success of the mobile slaughterhouse model relies on increased consumer demand for organic local meat and also on inspectors that work on site for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The mobile slaughterhouse shown in this essay is the first in North America to operate with USDA approval, without which, the farmers would not be able to sell their meat on a consumer marketplace. 

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