The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals Chapter 12 Summary

Michael Pollan

Chapter 12 Summary

In “Slaughter: In a Glass Abattoir,” Pollan and Salatin process broiler chickens. Specifically, several hundred chickens are “killed, scalded, plucked, and eviscerated.” As in previous chapters, Pollan explores first hand what it is like to participate in this part of agriculture, though he admits that it is not easy for him. He explores the emotional and ethical implications of slaughter, but he is primarily interested in contrasting how Salatin’s abattoir differs from an industrial slaughterhouse.

In the industrial food chain, Pollan notes, animals are killed behind closed doors and high walls. At Polyface Farm, animals are killed in the open air. Although Salatin would prefer to butcher all of his livestock...

(The entire section is 522 words.)