Can you imagine killing cattle, pigs, and sheep right in your own backyard? This is the service provided by a 8-by-12 foot trailer, now home to Lopez Island’s own portable slaughterhouse. The island, located off the Pacific coast in Washington, has the first mobile slaughterhouse sanctioned by the U.S. Agriculture Department. It is a convenience for local farmers, a quick and easy way to produce meat… and in my opinion, absolutely disgusting. The idea of a slaughterhouse anywhere is slightly revolting, but having one drive around the neighborhood in between animal slayings is beyond disturbing. Yes, I can see the benefits that a mobile slaughterhouse would give to small farmers, but to the non-farming community, this innovation simply brings home too much gore. The smell of the carcasses alone would induce nausea.
However, Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, would probably approve of the mobile slaughterhouse. The trailer is run by a cooperative from the U.S. Agriculture Department, and it uses humane methods to kill its animals, who are also spared the long journey to a slaughterhouse. Since Schlosser strongly opposes big businesses and working conditions in a conventional slaughterhouse, he would probably prefer the smaller, government-operated mobile version. Lauren Etter, the reporter from The Wall Street Journal who wrote this article, seems to agree. Although her tone is generally neutral, she dwells only on the positive aspects of the mobile slaughterhouse. This is definitely an issue that can be debated on both sides.