I talked about the apparent collapse of AgriProcessors in my November 1 post
, and the news keeps coming. There's simply too much going on to discuss all the details, particularly since I've been out of town a lot in the last two weeks, but here are some highlights:
Failed Messiah was the secondary or primary source for numerous items in the bulleted list.
- IsraelNationalNews.com ran an article today titled "Kosher Meat Shortage in US Turning Jews into Vegetarians." Here's an excerpt: "Nationwide shortages have forced many people to eat vegetarian meals on the Sabbath, when meat and chicken are a long-standing tradition. Many stores throughout the U.S. reported their meat cases were empty. One rabbi told the KosherToday website, 'This past Sabbath was the first in a long time that my wife made a pareve [non-meat] cholent,' a stew usually consisting of meat or chicken, grains and potatoes."
- A November 4 article in The Jewish Week did a good job explaining the scope of kosher meat shortages.
- On November 3, The Des Moines Register noted that AgriProcessors is "struggling to survive." The article said, "Two main boilers at Agriprocessors, Inc. are not operating, and a local priest who drove past the parking lot counted only 35 cars - far fewer than the hundreds visible on a typical day." The paper quotes AgriProcessors' CEO as saying, "I don’t believe we’re going to have substantial production of any kind in the near future."
- On November 3, the Forward reported that three of the five largest kosher slaughterhouses in the country had stopped production. Rubashkin-owned Local Pride in Nebraska stopped operating in October (a November 5 Associated Press article confirmed that the plant has closed down). A fire at a Minnesota abattoir that supplies Alle caused production to halt at that plant. The article also noted, "Before the raid [on May 12], Agriprocessors did a significant amount of beef slaughtering at a plant in South America. Those operations have also stopped." Combined with what's going on at AgriProcessors' Iowa slaughterhouse, it's no wonder that there's a kosher meat shortage.
- On November 2, the Forward described the appalling conditions of chickens and turkeys at AgriProcessors. In short, the birds were not being treated with adequate care because AgriProcessors lacks workers and money, and the animals were in danger of starving to death.