There has been much written about the state of the slaughterhouse over the past hundred years, with books like The Jungle blazing an enlightening trail, and the much more modern Fast Food Nation highlighting the current day’s terrible and incredibly dangerous working conditions and questionable sanitary conditions.
It is quite rare to actually see the interior of a working slaughterhouse, though, and a new video has come from the most unlikely of sources: Oprah.com.
However, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this video’s investigative qualities are basically nonexistent, and the tone is as dry as a bone. The whole functioning of the operation, the animal’s quality of life, and the working conditions are all very glossed over. You didn’t think Cargill would let cameras into their facilities without tight control over the content, did you?
Either way, this video is still worth a look, if not only because the content is so rare to see. Even in this tame video, the footage is shocking and hard to fathom. It’s probably safe to say this is hardly representative of most slaughterhouse conditions, however. Let your imagination take you there, because there certainly won’t be any TV cameras to guide you into the ugly underbelly of the typical and deathly dangerous, violent and blood-soaked slaughterhouse.
Also, one has to wonder: does the release of this video have anything to do with Cargill trying to recover from the bad publicity of having to recall a million pounds of tainted beef in 2009?
And lastly, a random note: the text on Cargill’s sign says “meat solutions” — if that doesn’t sound like industrial agriculture lingo at its worst, I don’t know what does….
Click here to view the slaughterhouse video on oprah.com.
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As the owner of a small meat-processing facility, I’m curious as to why you immediately take the stance that the typical slaughter facility is a violent, blood-soaked, and dangerous place. You stated “It’s probably safe to say this is hardly representative of most slaughterhouse conditions, however.” … but I do know that we take every step possible to make sure animals are comfortable and employees are safe in our facility.
Furthermore, it is rare to get a glimpse into a slaughterhouse because individuals (such as yourself) tend to make their own conclusions immediately, as opposed to learning the facts. This has been demonstrated by this post.
I have been told that in Canada, working on the killing floor of an abattoir is reason to be excused from jury duty. I do not know how anyone could kill all day, every day. and remain sane.
What goes around, comes around. Action and reaction. Karma.
The only problem I have with the process is the excessive use of feed lots. Cattle are happier, the meat is safer, and energy requirements are less when they are paddock raised up to the point of slaughter.
This facility looks good, and from an Australian perspective is representative of our industry. Cattle are treated with the upmost respect as stressed animals are bad for everyone, in my experience any abuse towards cattle resulted in instant dismissal.
Live export is whole other story..
I have to agree with Vanessa.
Additionally, whenever the environmentalists put a given industry in the U.S. out of business, we usually learn that the U.S. versions did their jobs safer, more efficiently and with more consideration for the environment than their non-U.S. replacements. When they successfully lobbied for legislation to ban horse slaughter in the U.S., they “inadvertently” condemned millions of horses to really inhumane ends:
Do we really want other animals to suffer because the “do gooders” refuse to believe that the horse slaughter ban created a major debacle? Some are even saying that it was such a huge mistake that it’s time to repeal the law propagandized as being animal-friendly, but which in reality was anything but friendly:
BTW, how many animals does PETA have to euthanize before people start to realize that their supposed concern for animals is nothing more than a money-making scheme?
shut up! THEY DONT NEED GOOD CONDITIONS TO DIE!!!!