The Slaughterhouse Sensorium

With Lori Gruen’s proposal for “entangled empathy” still fresh in our minds, we turn to the way humans actually “treat” other sentient beings, through their violent transformation into consumer-ready meat.

In Every Twelve Seconds, anthropologist Timothy Pachirat provides an unflinching, meticulously detailed account of his experience working inside a slaughterhouse; we are passing the book from hand to hand here at DP, and urge your close consideration.

For now, we provide a few brief excerpts from Pachirat’s interview with the honorable blogger James McWilliams, author of other essential books about our treatment of animals, such as A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America.

The images are from a manual of recommended practices for the processing of meat, as endorsed by Temple Grandin. On to the testimony of Pachirat, in response to questions from McWilliams:

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More information on the Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary is available here; a visit, highly recommended. Also recommended, a brief visit to a previous DP bearing on the map of 2012, Wrestling With Modernity.


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