The Rubashkin family is attempting to open a massive cage-raised chicken farm in Iowa. 400,000 chickens would be hatched, raised and then sent to slaughter every six weeks. The chickens would be raised in giant sheds, locked in tiny cages, unable to run free or even move significantly.
According to the WCF Courrier, of the nearly 100 people attending the county supervisors meeting, not even one spoke out for Rubashkin or the farm, in part because of Rubashkin's record:
Leana Stormont of Iowa City, president of the Iowa Law Student Animal Legal Defense fund, spoke on behalf of PETA and referred to Agriprocessors recent problems exposed by that animal rights organization. The slaughterhouse came under national scrutiny recently because of kosher techniques PETA maintained were inhumane. She noted the company is also being sued by the Environmental Protection Agency for violations.
"Unless the board takes decisive action to stop it, the deaths of more than 1.5 million animals annually will be left in the hands of a man who can tell you with a straight face that a steer slipping in his own blood, who struggles to his feet and walks while is trachea and esophagus dangle from his cut throat, is not suffering from cruel and inept slaughtering practices," Stormont said.
Of course, using that logic niether the OU, KAJ, Crown Heights Beis Din, Kehilla Kosher, Margareten, Nitra, etc. would pass muster. After all, they all allowed throat-ripping, claimed that it was normal and claimed that the animals did not suffer.
For a religion that, until very recently, set the standard for humane treatment of animals, we have fallen far. For that descent, we have no one else to thank but the rabbis who lead us.