If a slaughterhouse project gets defeated by an organized opposition, we consider this a win, no matter the reasons for opposing it, no matter whether the slaughterhouse company tries to find another property, no matter how difficult it is for those of us who care about animals and the planet. Here’s why.
- First, many communities oppose slaughterhouses for purely selfish reasons: for their negative effects on the quality of their life, property values and other economic factors. Regardless of the reasons, it’s still an opportunity for us whenever slaughterhouses are openly discussed and awareness of their negative impacts get covered by the media and therefore reach more people. They will inevitably learn about other ethical and environmental factors. And It helps erode public trust in the industries that exploit and kill animals.
- Second, the claim that the slaughterhouse company can easily pack its bags and move somewhere else is simplistic and often false. The truth is their options are running out. As many recent slaughterhouse defeats attest to, the industry’s options are running out, even in “pro ag” and ranching areas. There are fewer and fewer opportunities for them to set up shop in remote locations without neighbors. The zoning and other laws are tightening and restricting their options more and more. The expense and process for permitting is incredibly complex and full of numerous pitfalls that can derail the project.
- In our view, any activity that disempowers this industry is a win for those of us seeking to dismantle it for good. It’s one step in the right direction, each time we defeat one, each time a community says NO.