Increased prices for Kosher meat in the US

I just caught this report (here , here , and here) about a raid on the Agriprocessors Iowa meat processing plant in the US.   They produce the Supreme Kosher, Aaron's Best and Rubashkins line of poultry and meat products under a hechsher from Rav Weissmandl in Monsey,  NY.  The plant claims to be the largest Glatt kosher slaughterhouse in the world.

The federal search warrant alleged that most of the schochtim were non-US citizens (illegal aliens) from Mexico, Guatemala, Ukraine and Israel.  Even worse, there is a suggestion that the plant was used to produce illegal drugs.

Regardless of the true or veracity of these claims, the plant seems to be shut down for now.  This is going to directly impact the availability of Kosher meat in the US.  Fortunately, its the seven weeks (Shfira) and many orthodox jews eat meat only on Shabbat.

I am willing to believe that the owners undertook these illegal activities in order to provide kosher meat to the community and not to line their own pockets will the proceeds.  The meat packing business is hard and from what I have heard, the margins are pretty low.

Unfortunately, the result is a major Chillul Hashem.  Is it really worth it so that Jews can eat Glatt meat?  Perhaps we are meant to live a yashar (straight) life without attempting to maintain the strictest halachic opinions.  If I recall correctly, part of the reason for not eating Glatt is that it would place a financial burden on the community.  Which is better: eating non-glatt meat or causing a chillul hashem. I believe that the negative commandment from the torah trumps the positive commandment from the rabbis.

Enjoy your meat while you can,  its going to be hard to find this meat in the US.


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