PETA Supports New Slaughterhouse Construction, With a Caveat

For Immediate Release:
February 17, 2023

Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382

Alachua County, Fla.

Although many residents are up in arms over plans to build a new taxpayer-funded slaughterhouse in Alachua County, PETA fired off a letter today to the Board of County Commissioners expressing its support for the project—if, that is, the facility is built with glass walls or includes livestream video footage so the public can see what happens inside it.

PETA notes that Alachua County Commission Chair Anna Prizzia may embrace the need for such transparency, as she has publicly stated that industrial slaughterhouses are often cited for “safety violations” and that “the animals are treated as a commodity rather than living beings, and consumers have little to no understanding of the process.”

“As long as people eat meat, they can’t complain when a slaughterhouse comes to their town, and Alachua County leaders seem to recognize that people have no idea of the houses of horror these places are,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is asking county commissioners to seize this opportunity to build a literally transparent slaughterhouse, because taxpayers have a right to see what they’re paying for.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—offers a free vegan starter kit and opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

PETA’s letter to the Board of County Commissioners follows.

February 17, 2023

Dear Alachua County Board of Commissioners:

We’re writing from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA entities have more than 9 million members and supporters globally, including many thousands across Florida) to support the proposed construction of a cow slaughterhouse in Alachua County—but with one special request.

This proposed structure would be built with taxpayer funding, so it’s reasonable that it should have a glass wall or walls so that everyone could see inside. That would not only provide a degree of accountability but also allow anyone who wants to see what goes on inside such a place to witness the terror and torment that animals endure before they’re killed for food. Please allow me to elaborate.

Meat is no longer considered a healthy food, and animal agriculture is now condemned for contributing mightily to greenhouse gas emissions. Add to that the suffering of a vast number of animals as sensitive as you, me, or any dog or cat. As Sir Paul McCartney famously said, “If slaughterhouses had glass walls, no one would eat meat.”

It’s easy to forget where meat comes from when you see it in neatly wrapped packages in a grocery store, but animals don’t go peacefully for it. They tremble in terror, as they smell the blood and hear the cries of those ahead of them on the kill line. When it’s their turn, cows are shot in the head with a captive-bolt gun—which we have shown is not always accurately aimed—and hung up by one leg, often dislocating their hips. Then their throats are cut and they are gutted—sometimes while they’re still conscious. They fight for their lives because, just like you and me, they don’t want to die.

Surely, everyone has the right to see this process and to consider who animals are, what makes them tick, and how they feel, especially since the meat industry is heavily subsidized by taxpayers. Cows are curious, clever animals who sometimes go to extraordinary lengths to escape slaughter. They understand cause-and-effect relationships and become excited when they figure out how to do something, such as operating a water pump with their horns. They are gregarious, forming intense friendships and holding grudges against herd members who have treated them badly. They are thinking, feeling individuals.

The residents who have pointed out how cruel, dangerous, environmentally destructive, and unhealthy it is to kill and eat sentient beings are correct. Meanwhile, vegan foods continue to proliferate on grocery store shelves. But should you insist on building a slaughterhouse, at least be transparent about what goes on inside it by giving it a viewing wall and livestreaming its operations for the rest of the world to see.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.

Very truly yours,

Ingrid Newkirk


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