EDITORIAL: Peaceful protests held at Adams Farm

  • Members of Western Massachusetts Animal Save getting ready to hold a vigil at Adams Farm last Wednesday morning.

Published: 2/14/2019 8:56:04 AM
Modified: 2/14/2019 8:57:17 AM

Adams Farm slaughterhouse is just one small part of the huge national industry that puts meat on the tables of those who choose to eat it.

Most Americans are meat eaters and think a steak or burger is a good thing, though dieticians and health researchers explain that many of us probably eat too much of a good thing.

Those who skip meat in their diets do so for a range of reasons, some health related and some for humane concerns for animals that we raise solely for their meat.

That concern for animals is what brought about a dozen members of a small group calling itself Western Massachusetts Animal Save to a vigil at the USDA certified slaughterhouse on Bearsden Road last Wednesday morning.

Some came from as far as Boston, and others were from western Mass., motivated by concern about a food system that they feel victimizes animals unnecessarily. They are clearly in the minority despite the strength of their beliefs. And while some other animal rights groups stage violent or destructive protests, we were pleased to see this group was respectful in its vigil. The vigil’s participants notified the farm in advance of their plans and were peaceful and quiet throughout the morning at the designated spot the farm provided – even though some local meat eaters had a brunch barbecue nearby to make their counterpoint.

While about a dozen members of the Save movement picketed at the entrance to Adams Farm, the small counter protest took place about 75 yards away, and business went on as usual inside the slaughterhouse – on which many of the region’s farms and producers depend.

About 10 people were on hand to show support for the farm and its activities at the barbecue. No signs were carried; these folks got their point across by using a gas grill, bacon, burgers, and the scent of cooking meat to get their point across.

In some other place or with some other groups, this could have turned unpleasant, and although the police made an appearance during the morning, the animal rights defenders and the barbecue fans kept the peace on their own.

Of that we are pleased. It shows that people of the North Quabbin can be tolerant of minority views, and find clever ways to show their opposing position without acrimony.

We were also impressed that Adams Farm and the Animal Save group worked cooperatively to allow the vigil.

Eli Hamel, who made the trip from Boston, said his group had hoped to offer some comfort to the animals scheduled for slaughter that day, but they no doubt were also looking for the publicity that usually follows such events to help spread their message.

“In a perfect world,” Hamel told the Daily News, “we would give animals the same basic respect that they’d want for themselves, because in the most fundamental way they are the same as us. They can suffer, they can feel joy and well-being and, because it’s not necessary for us to eat meat or dairy or eggs, it makes it a cruel act to rob them of their lives.”

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