McWilliams: ‘Construction on campus harms the larger student body’ missed the point on new campus slaughterhouse

Leta McWilliams

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by the Collegian or its editorial board.

My colleague Allec Brust believes that the new slaughterhouse being built on Colorado State University’s campus is detrimental to the campus because it shows an unequal budgeting plan, neglect to the larger student body and that certain majors are given preferential treatment. I agree with her, but I also believe the slaughterhouse is morally unethical. It makes my stomach churn thinking that a slaughterhouse is going to be built in the middle of campus. Having a building for the slaughter of animals and meat processing on campus will define the school.

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Colorado State University recently announced its intentions to build a slaughter and meat packing facility on campus. The slaughterhouse will cost $12.5 million, and will be paid for by JBS USA, a meatpacking facility based in Greeley, CO. The intention of the slaughterhouse is to teach animal science students how to correctly process animals after they’ve been killed.

There are many positive and negative feelings about the slaughterhouse being built on campus. Temple Grandin, an agricultural professor at CSU, thinks it will be a great addition to the animal sciences department. Many students, even those in the animal sciences department, are against it being built. Amy Schweitzberger, a zoology major at CSU, is against the slaughterhouse being built.

“I think it’s wrong to build it in the middle of everything. I think it’s really going to upset everyone,” Schweitzberger said. “It’s going to cause a lot of protesting at the school. We’re going to get a lot of animal rights activists on campus. It’s going to draw a lot of negative attention I feel like.”

I agree with many things Brust says. The argument to put it in the middle of campus because CSU doesn’t want to inconvenience their students’ education by making them study off campus is unfair. There is no need to have a slaughterhouse directly on campus, especially since performing arts majors don’t have a single building on campus specifically for their major.

However, it is harder for me to stomach such an unethical building being put in the middle of campus. Every time I go to the library to study, I will see that building. Every time I go to Clark or across the quad, I will see that building. I will be reminded of what that building represents. I will visualize animals being slaughtered and processed right in the center of campus.

Alisa Otte, a liberal arts major at CSU, is also against the building of the slaughterhouse.

“It upsets me very much,” Otte said. “I’m not happy about it because I am a vegetarian, and very for animal rights, so it’s just going to be really uncomfortable for me to pass that on my way to classes and to know what’s going on inside and to just have to live with that on my campus. It’s such a beautiful place, I don’t want to have to deal with that and think about that being there.”

I understand that CSU is an agricultural school, and animal science is a part of it. The College of Agricultural Sciences is one of the largest at CSU. Having a slaughterhouse and meat processing center on campus would benefit the agricultural science students by teaching them how to properly process animals.

However, to put it in the middle of campus is pushing it in front of everyone’s faces. Putting it in the middle of campus is to showcase it. People will tour this school, and for any non-animal science major, they will see such a building on our campus and feel uncomfortable. If I had seen a slaughterhouse on campus when I toured, it would have made me feel extremely distressed and would have impacted my decision to go here.

“It’s something that, whether they want it to or not, is going to effect everyone else on campus,” Otte said.

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If you are against the slaughterhouse and would like your voice to be heard, change.org has a petition you can sign.

Leta McWilliams can be reached at letters@collegian.com and online at @LetaMcWilliams