11 MAY 1929, Page 18


[To the Editor of the SPECTATOR.] SIR,—This article came as a painful surprise to me, and pro- bably to many others of your readers also ; for certain state- ments there made seem to show that Chicago meat-packers do their work in a less humane manner than was the case when I visited the stockyards in 1883 and 1884. From what I then saw (and I was allowed to go anywhere I wished in the yards) all cattle were killed instantaneously with a rifle bullet in the brain, and all pigs were hung up by both legs and killed as humanely as was thought possible in those days, before the invention of the captive-bolt pistol. No " workers ankle-deep in blood " were to be seen, as all blood ran at once through grids into channels out of sight.

Are we to infer from these changes in method that American packers have receded rather than advanced in their methods ? I should be glad to see this inference refuted by someone in [On the two occasions when the present writer visited the Chicago stockyards, in 1906 and 1920, the steers were not shot by rifles but slaughtered in the manner described by Mr. Strachey.—En. Spectator.]