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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

August 16, 2009 at 6:15 AM

Slaughterhouse on wheels: questions for the “Pig Lady”

Cognitive dissonance

Editor, The Times:

I was impressed that the Times chose to run a feature about animal slaughter as the lead feature [“Slaughterhouse on wheels,” page one, Aug. 11]. Notwithstanding the upbeat tone, questions came to mind:

I could not help but wonder what kind of communication, if any, transpires between the “Pig Lady” and the pigs, lambs and cows before their final dispatch. For example, pigs are known to be at least as smart and sensitive as German shepherds.

Does the Pig Lady hold their gaze as the animals take in what must be confusing surroundings and apologize for the taking of their short lives? Or do they blend in as commodities — “livestock” with the machinery of the abattoir. Does the Pig Lady wrestle with what she has done when she dreams?

Of course the Pig Lady, our collective scapegoat, is only one player in a collaboration to satisfy a multitude of taste buds. Does her service (while purportedly more humane than transport and feedlot confinement) really ease our cognitive dissonance associated with the trade of life for a succulent morsel prepared by our best local chefs? Can’t pleasures of the palate be garnered in other ways?

— Valerie Bitter, Kenmore

Comments | More in animals, Food/nutrition

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