From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July 1996:

The steakhouse chain Sizzler
International on June 3 filed for
bankruptcy and announced plans
to close 136 of its 451 restaurants
as part of reorganization. Thirtytwo
restaurants will be shut in
northern and central California,
along with 25 restaurants in the
Baltimore/Washington D.C. area––
the two regions where the national
trend toward vegetarianism is most
apparent. Ironically, hoping to
appeal more to women, who are
becoming vegetarian at a faster
pace, Sizzler was among the first
steakhouse chains to offer an extensive
salad bar. Unable to break the
steakhouse image, “We’re trying
to get back to the essence of
Sizzler,” said CEO Kevin Perkins.

With a 19% vacancy rate in
slaughterhouse inspection jobs
and a 15% vacancy rate in meat
processing plant posts, the USDA
is short 1,370 inspectors, leaving
6,300 on the job to cover 6,400
facilities, according to Food Safety
and Inspection Service documents
disclosed in early June by the
Government Accountability
Project. “It’s basically a hit-andrun
deal out there,” said inspector
and union officer Tom O’Malley,
who works in the Boston area.
Delta Airlines on May 24
deleted pate de fois gras from its
menus. “We only served it in first
class on some international flights,”
a Delta spokesperson said, “but we
don’t serve it any more because
most of our passengers are American,
and we found that Americans
don’t ask for it.” Pate de fois gras,
made from the livers of force-fed
geese and ducks, is a longtime target
of humane boycotts.
“Boss Hog,” a 1995 fivepart-expose
on factory pig farming
and pork barrel politics, won
reporters Joby Warrick and Pat
Stith of The News-Observer, of
Raleigh, North Carolina, both a
Pulitzer Prize for public service
journalism and the Edgar A. Poe
Award from the White House
Correspondents Association––the
second time in five years that the
Pulitzer has been awarded to a
series that told the mainstream in
depth about a subject familiar to
readers of animal protection media.
The previous winner was “The
Monkey Wars,” a 1991 investigation
of primate use in biomedical
research by Sacramento Bee
reporter Deborah Blum, which she
subsequently expanded into a book
by the same title.
Corn prices hitting $5 a
bushel due to drought brought
record slaughtering in April, as
despite falling meat prices due to
oversupply, farmers chose to kill
instead of feed only to risk even
lower prices as the meat glut grows.
Killed were 3.1 million cattle, up
17% from 1995; 134,400 calves,
up 34%; and eight million hogs,
up 6%. Average slaughter weights
were down due to reduced feeding:
11 pounds for cattle, 17 pounds for
veal calves, and three pounds for
hogs. Poultry slaughter during the
first quarter of 1996 was up 7% for
chickens, and 6% for turkeys.
Japan has informed Taiwan
that it will ban Taiwanese pork
after 1999 if Taiwan cannot eradicate
hog cholera, a highly contagious
disease that caused the premature
slaughter of 1,100 Taiwanese
hogs in 1995, to keep outbreaks
from spreading. Japan is the
chief buyer of Taiwanese pork.
About 26,000 Taiwanese farmers
raise 10.5 million hogs per year:
one hog for every 1.6 people in the
island nation. The disease is not
believed to affect humans, but
Japan is concerned that farmers trying
to evade inspection will ship
hogs carrying other diseases too

Print Friendly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.