AURORA BEACON NEWSPAPER ARTICLE Jeff Ward: Anyone afraid of butcher shop is a chicken May 6, 2011 12:35PM
Let Mr. Benitas open his butcher shop. Geez, Aurora! When you decide to take a ride onthe crazy train, you go all in — and that includes the aldermen. In these dire economicstraits, when an entrepreneur asks you to open a business, you might want to consider saying something along the lines of “aye!”With Mayor Tom Weisner breaking a 5-5 tie, you did try to say “yes,” but with twoaldermen missing, the six affirmative votes didn’t add up to the seven required by citycode. And it took a former city official to point out that error the next day. Ain’t thatembarrassing!So just as Aurora resident Fermin Benitas thought he could open his specialty butcher shop at 629 S. River St., the City Council pulled that rug right out from under him. Thevote never should have been that close to begin with. Benitas already owns a similar successful Chicago enterprise that slaughters and sells turkeys, ducks, chickens andrabbits.To paraphrase a famous playwright, “ain’t that the real rub?” Do Aurorans really think those Encor Salisbury steak TV dinners just magically appear in the frozen food section?The way some residents (and councilmen) shrieked about this prospect, you’d think Mr.Benitas somehow got his hands on the Easter Bunny.And just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, someone had to call PETA. ThesePeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals make the birthers look like they have a clue.Let’s take a look at some of their more interesting pronouncements:First, they sponsored a TV ad in which a mother and father encourage their teenagedaughter to have frequent unprotected sex and dump her progeny on shelters. Then theyasked the pop group Pet Shop Boys to change their name. As difficult as it was to top thatone, objecting to fish sticks, they insisted fish be called “sea kittens.” After all, there’snothing quite like curling up with a purring catfish. Though PETA may be one egg shortof a dozen, their “slaughterhouse horrors” argument has some merit. But which wouldyou rather have? Tyson hanging chickens upside-down on a conveyor belt leading to acircular saw, or someone humanely killing them one at a time? As Alderman Rick Mervine stated, there’s no evidence Benitas’ Chicago shop ever violated any applicablestatute.