Meet Larry Althiser, the owner and head meat cutter for Larry’s Custom Meats in Hartwick, NY, a small farming community in the Northern Catskills. Larry takes pride in his slaughterhouse. He’s been butchering and processing animals for over 30 years, learning through hard work his philosophy on the right way to slaughter animals so we can eat.

“My hope is that my children will have the same passion for this as I do…”

The sad fact is that “skilled, artisanal type butchers” who take pride in their work and thrive on transparency are mostly nonexistent. According to Department of Agriculture figures, factory farms account for “more than 99 percent of all farmed animals raised and slaughtered in the United States.” The butchering of animals at Larry’s processing plant may not be very appetizing, but it’s done with the kind of humanity that is sorely missing from an industry that long ago forgot the need for heart.