My processor pays me about about 1/3 of what he sells the meat for and he's does everything from slaughtering to packaging, marketing, and delivery. :shrug:
If I wanted to buy a rabbit dinner from one of the restaurants he supplies, I'd pay 4 or 5 times what I receive for the live animal. As a consumer at the restaurant, I'm not only paying for the cost of raising the animal, but also my processor's time, his production costs, transportation expenses, the chef's time and expenses, and a reasonable profit so both the restaurant and slaughterhouse can stay in business. Those animals are only going through three hands though -- by the time food gets to the grocery store it's gone through who knows how many middlemen!
Guess you could say that the live animal is to the meat case what a bushel of wheat berries is to a loaf of bread.
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