"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)


The Kosher Meat Industry: Not Just One Bad Apple

In May, I featured three different posts about the one-year anniversary of the AgriProcessors immigration raid. More than a year later, as both the sale of AgriProcessors and the trials of former manager Sholom Rubashkin apparently approach, all is not well in the rest of the kosher meat industry:
  • Last week, the Forward reported that Alle Processing, the largest kosher meat producer in the U.S., "was found by the National Labor Relations Board to have illegally intimidated its employees before a union election last fall."
  • It was reported that 44 tons of rotting, unsold meat were removed from the grounds of Bridgewater Quality Meats, the producer of Solomon's Glatt Kosher. "It’s too bad (the meat) had to go to waste when there’s so many people that could have used it," said a city official. The owner of Solomon's later clarified that the 44 tons included packaging, not just meat, and that this meat would have been sold as pet food, not for human consumption.
In addition, Empire Kosher is growing by leaps and bounds, which isn't a scandal but isn't good news for animals either:
  • After announcing in November that it would increase chicken production by 50 percent, Empire said last week that it would raise non-holiday chicken production from about 225,000 birds per week to about 350,000 birds per week and peak production from more than 500,000 birds per week to almost 800,000 birds per week. Empire CEO Greg Rosenbaum said that "Empire's capacity will equal or exceed the combined production of Empire and its largest competitor prior to May 2008."
  • Empire also announced that it would sell new product lines of organic and antibiotic-free chicken and turkey products.
  • Costco is reportedly now testing out sales of glatt kosher beef from Empire in some New York stores.
Kosher consumers would be better off following an all-vegetarian diet, as Empire's antibiotic-free chickens apparently will. Costco would be better off following the advice of an article in last month's Costco Connection. The article recommended that a vegetarian/flexitarian diet "can help you lose weight, reduce the risk of certain diseases and add years to your life, all while being budget- and Earth-friendly. And it's easy to follow ...."

Failed Messiah was a secondary source for some information in this post.


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