My friend Liza from Food. Curated filmed a 2 part series on the potential, challenges and triumphs that face Upstate New York agriculture by exploring the inner workings of a new USDA slaughter plant and the reasons why plants like this are so important.
When Liza approached me about filming in a slaughterhouse I was really open to helping her tell the story of how meat becomes food and to also showcase the skill, talent and passion that goes into the work at an Artisan slaughterhouse. Truthfully, I was also a bit apprehensive. This is all very personal. The future success of my family’s farm rests on the simple fact that processors like Larry’s Custom Meats thrive. As a farm kid, I was teased about raising animals for food, “how can you do it?” kids would ask, as if knowing the animal I was eating made me cruel. I have always felt the opposite: that knowing the animal, respecting that it was once alive, and cherishing ALL it’s parts, was what was RIGHT. But, I am protective of farmers, and sometimes I wonder how much people really want to know about their food. I have witnessed slaughter many times, and it always makes me more committed to eating meat because it can be done in a way that is humane. So maybe I should have realized that transparency makes people aware and more comfortable.
When Liza went live with the video, I was so close to it all, I was almost afraid. I was afraid people would not be open to how transparent and generous Larry was in showing the whole process. I was also sensitive to the fact that this is Larry’s livelihood and legacy. Thankfully, I was wrong, the thoughtful and appreciative comments show that people are earning to not only have a closer relationship with farmers like me, but also the folks that farmers depend on: processors and butchers.
Here is just one of many comments that the video has received:
“Thank you so much for sharing this story. I am a vegetarian but I still truly appreciate the hard work of people like Larry, who wish to treat animals with respect and to be transparent about their business so that meat-eaters can see the right way to slaughter and process animals. I hope that Larry’s business thrives and that more people will follow his example!” -Ashley
For my sensitive readers this video is graphic but you will have a better understanding of what goes into the whole process of meat.
I find it very moving when people are appreciated for their talents and hard work, one of the reasons I am such a fan of Food Curated and the talented and passionate woman behind all the wonderful stories on the site. Liza was able to capture the humanity and thoughtfulness in the work that Larry does, a testament to her talent’s as a filmmaker and story teller.
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