heeb'n'vegan

"I've noticed that quite a lot of people who are prominent in the animal liberation movement are Jews. Maybe we are simply not prepared to see the powerful hurting the weak." --Peter Singer (Author, Animal Liberation)

11.01.2008

This Could Be the End of AgriProcessors

As I've noted again and again and again and again (and in other posts!), AgriProcessors has been in bad shape since a May 12 raid by more than a dozen federal agencies. The events of the last four days likely spelled the end of what was, until May 12, the world's largest glatt kosher slaughterhouse:
  • It seems that cattle are no longer being slaughtered at AgriProcessors. According to the Forward, "Jeff Abbas, who runs Postville‚Äôs community radio station, said that he saw live cattle being trucked away from the slaughterhouse on the morning of October 29."
  • AgriProcessors is killing and disposing of thousands of baby chickens because it can no longer process them.
  • The temp agency that filled AgriProcessors' jobs in the wake of the May 12 raid has suspended its contract with the company, leaving the slaughterhouse without half of its workforce.
  • A bank is "seeking to seize and auction all of Agriprocessors' assets, claiming the slaughterhouse defaulted on a $35 million loan," according to the Associated Press.
  • Former AgriProcessors CEO Sholom Rubashkin was arrested and appeared in court. According to The Des Moines Register, he is accused of "knowingly conspiring with others, for his own financial gain, to harbor undocumented workers in Postville" and "aiding and abetting workers in stealing the identities of other people." The paper adds, "If convicted on all of the charges, Rubashkin faces up to 22 years in prison and $750,000 in fines."
  • Iowa's Labor Commissioner announced nearly $10 million in civil penalties against AgriProcessors for "repeated violations of Iowa's wage laws."
  • An AgriProcessors HR employee pleaded guilty to conspiracy to harbor undocumented aliens and aggravated identity theft. She faces up to 12 years in prison, among other charges.
  • Failed Messiah reported that Menachem Lubinsky (of Lubicom and Kosher Today) no longer represents AgriProcessors.
The story of AgriProcessors' fall is one of embarrassment and shame. It's a story of how a major kosher company disregarded Jewish teachings and values with regard to animals, workers, and so many other issues. The only saving grace is that this story appears to be coming to a close.

Failed Messiah was the secondary or primary source for numerous items in the bulleted list.

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