Food & Wine Blog: One Farmer’s Story of Discovering Humane Livestock Slaughter

This is the first installment in our series featuring short films from Real Food Media, an initiative to catalyze creative storytelling about food, farming, and sustainability.

by Fiona Ruddy

In Soft Slaughter, director Allison Milligan takes viewers behind the scenes into the world of humane slaughter. Butcher Mary Lake, of Vermont’s The Royal Butcher, narrates a literal and philosophical tour of the slaughterhouse floor and the growing movement to produce “ethical meat.”

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, over 88% of hogs in the United States are slaughtered in industrial-scale operations with livestock raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). These factory farms house animals in inhumanely tight quarters, causing stress and disease among herds and flocks. Their overuse of antibiotics breeds dangerous resistance; they cause water and air pollution; the list goes on.

But all around the country, bucking incentives from the USDA, farmers and butchers are embracing more humane and ecologically sound methods of animal husbandry, even slaughter.

Read (and watch) the full story here.

This piece is part of a series in partnership with Food & Wine Magazine.

Soft Slaughter | 2015 Real Food Media Contest Winner from Real Food Media on Vimeo.