Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Kill Floor

This is a must watch video by Kevin Kossowan - this is the third video of this Edmonton based videographer that I have posted.  He has a way with a camera and a sensibility that I find very
beautiful, simple and often very powerful, particularly in this most recent episode.

The first 14 minutes of this video is a talking head interview with a very articulate, compassionate guy who owns a small scale, local meat processing plant.  The guy interviewed is so smart and makes so much sense.  When he speaks about how important animals are to our farming ecosystems and how essential it is to raise animals with compassion and love on a farm not in a CAFO.

Animals raised in this manner provide milk, mow the lawn (eat grass, grubs, maggots and other pests), provide fertilizer and in the end, provide meat.  The end of their lives should be just as compassionate - but let's face it - killing an animal is upsetting - but a necessity if you want to eat meat.  And one would argue that there is a right way of doing this and a wrong way. These guys are on the forefront of doing it the right way.

Slaughtering something is not an easy concept to grasp, in part because, as is so astutely pointed out, most meat eaters just want to see their meat presented on a slab of styrofoam wrapped in plastic in the meat section of the grocery store.  Facing the reality of how a cow becomes a steak is something most of us never really do.  I think, to actually live sustainably, to be a steward of the earth and an affective opponent of factory, mass produced, processed foods we need to understand just how this is done and how we can do it humanly.  The last few minutes of the video show the process from start to finish.  You don't have to watch it, but you must watch at least the first 14 minutes which is the interview portion of the video.

It is also interesting to me how we have such a different sense of fish. Just yesterday at Whole Foods they had an entire sword fish on a table being carved up off the bone, it was quite a gory scene, but no seemed to mind.  I'd think most people just thought: Wow look at how fresh that fish is.  Yet we know that a lot fish we eat are indeed sentient beings just like cows, some are even way smarter than cows like Octopus for example.  Yet we don't seem to have any problem with eating them, that's OK but killing a fuzzy sad eyed cow is profoundly upsetting because we have anthropomorphized them since childhood.  It's interesting to me to think about how we would go out and put worms on hooks and catch fish which we would gladly gut, filet and fry up, but to do that with a chicken is pretty much unthinkable.

Watch this:

Episode 27 - The Kill Floor from Kevin Kossowan on Vimeo.

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