Response to VegNews: Empathizing with Slaughterhouse Workers

12 Nov

CtD’s own Stacia recently wrote a letter to VegNews:

I respectfully disagree with the person who wrote a letter in the July/August issue of VegNews stating that empathizing with slaughterhouse workers is akin to feeling pity towards the SS soldiers who worked in Nazi concentration camps.  No one wants to grow up to be a slaughterhouse worker.  There is little pay, lots of danger, and no status.  Slaughterhouse work is undertaken because of a severe lack of choices, or rather, privilege.  If one has the privilege to make other choices, one can consider herself or himself fortunate.  There are a myriad of reasons for working in a slaughterhouse:  trying to establish a life in a new country with limited opportunities, a stagnant local economy, lack of access to good education, poverty.  Being vegan is so much more than about what food you eat or what clothes you wear.  It is about trying to be kind to yourself, other people, animals, and the Earth.  Caring about people who work under perilous conditions for very little compensation is vegan.  It is also vegan to strive to get others to reduce the demand for such work and then to try to focus on improving conditions in other sectors of food production, such as for produce workers.  Check out the Food Empowerment Project to learn more about the perils of slaughterhouse work and produce work as well as how to eat more healthy and get active on this front.     

Stacia Mesleh

Somerville, MA


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