"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)


In the Spirit of High Holidays Reflection

The trial of Sholom Rubashkin, who ran the slaughterhouse formerly known as AgriProcessors, will begin next month. It's no big secret that I've chronicled the company's downfall and expressed concern for its animals and workers as well as other members of the Postville, Iowa, community.

At times, I might have given the impression that I was taking pleasure in the personal turmoil of members of the Rubashkin family. In October 2008, I linked to a parody song by a Failed Messiah commenter and called it "hilarious." Upon rereading the lyrics, I see that they discussed abuse of "Rubbishcan" in prison. I regret making light of this situation and perhaps indirectly suggesting that Rubashkin should suffer in such a way.

Failed Messiah just posted a letter from Rubashkin's daughter, who talks about how her family has struggled. I don't agree with everything she says in assessing the situation, but I couldn't help but feel sorry for her and her relatives. Other people's suffering isn't "hilarious."

I don't like everything the letter says. I agree with the Failed Messiah post and some of the comments that follow that much of the contextual puzzle is missing from the letter. I certainly am not suggesting that anyone donate to the Rubashkins' legal defense fund. And of course, I cannot forget the horrible alleged crimes by AgriProcessors and its personnel; I am quite curious to see how Rubashkin and other defendants will fare in court.

What I will say is that I hope that Rubashkin receives justice, both from the U.S. court system and, ultimately, from Hashem—nothing more and nothing less.

Update (9/25/09): Here's a video featuring Rubashkin's daughter.


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