Schlosser describes the environment of the meat packing plants serving fast food companies in a startling straightforward narrative of his visit through a meat packing plant. He describes a brutal, and sometimes unsanitary environment. The rights of animals are a very broad and complex subject, but Schlosser touches on this as he describes the slaughterhouse floor. He describes animals in various states of disembowelment. Sometimes the animals were dead or stunned; sometimes they were thrashing about wildly in the last throws of death. The slaughter room floor was described as being covered with blood and feces. Employees worked at a furious pace to meet the day's quota. What bothered me most was the fact that this meat is not only prepared for fast food companies but also contracted out to serve our children's schools.
In addition to his solutions, Pollan’s modern narrative sheds light on the façade of our food industries; asking us to rethink what we know. Despite the mention of certain inhumane acts in All Animals are Equal, Pollan takes us one step further to uncover the reason for which we continue to purchase our corrupt food. We all know animal abuse exists, but the average consumer like myself is more worried about the best price and the fastest way to get a burger rather than how fairly the animals are treated in the process. Whether it be the confined living space of chickens or the mental and physical torture of pigs, we continue to blind ourselves from reality. Is it purely out of selfishness? Or are we too ignorant to come to terms with our wrong doings? Like Pollan explains, it takes seeing the abuse before the shame of our disrespect can be felt (pg.6). After seeing Pollan’s truth, I might now think twice before eating out and the choice to support organic produce can make a dramatic difference for those farmers who promote the ethical lifestyle.
Our nation’s industrial farming has become more than just feeding people; it has become a way for the food industry to make more money as human population continues to grow. Jonathan Safran Foer in his book Eating Animals, illustrates the effects factory farming has had on animals meant for human consumption. Furthermore, Foer asks many questions to the reader on what will it take for us to change our ways before we say enough is enough. The questions individuals need to be asking themselves are: how do we deal with the problem of factory farming, and what can people do to help solve these issues? Eric Schlosser in Fast Food Nation, also illustrates the animal abuse that goes unseen within the food industry as well as Bernard Rollin and Robert Desch in their article “Farm Factories”, both demonstrate what is wrong today with factory farming. Foer gives such examples of employees who work in slaughterhouses giving accounts of what goes on in the kill floors, and stories of employees who have witnessed thousands and thousands of cows going through the slaughter process alive (Animals 231). Namit Arora in the article “On Eating Animals”, as well as Michael Pollan in his book The Omnivore’s Dilemma, both address some of the issues that animals face once they hit the kill floor. The food industry has transformed not only how people eat, but also the negative effects our climate endures as a result of factory farming as illustrated by Anna Lappe in “The Climate Crisis at the End
Do animals have the right to a certain quality of life? How would your views change if our cooks got treated the same way cattle and poultry do? How would you feel about them being beaten and brought to their knees just to be detained to know how to cook todays specials? You might think that the food industry has no issues and no faults behind their tasty food, but when you open up the meat curtain, there is a different kind of world out there that is cruel and inhumane. In Robert Kenner’s 2008 film, Food, Inc., He shows the conditions that cows, chickens, and pigs have to live in. The dark and closeted homes in which the animals are closely compacted together and eating, sleeping, and walking in their own manure. As a person who would consider themselves an animal rights activist, most people would agree that the food industry treats their animals like products instead of living things.
Before the passage of the Federal Meat Inspection Act, meat processing plants and slaughterhouses were very unsanitary and dangerous places to work. There had been previous meat inspection acts, such as the Meat Inspection Act of 1890, but they were largely ineffective as they did not successfully regulate the industry (Rouse). Therefore, even if a person
“The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA) was passed to prevent workers from being killed or seriously harmed at work. The law requires that employers provide their employees with working conditions that are free of known dangers. The Act created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which sets and enforces protective workplace safety and health standards. OSHA also provides information, training and assistance to workers and employers. Workers may file a complaint to have OSHA inspect their workplace if they believe that their employer is not following OSHA standards or there are serious hazards. “OSHA's commitment is to provide information to help employers and employees in the meat-packing industry comply with OSHA standards and increase safety in the workplace. There are currently no specific standards for the meat-packing industry.” (OSHA, N.D).
More than ever before, our planet is one filled with meat eaters. In fact, the average American consumes 270.7 pounds of meat per year. And, as one might have guessed, the question of where this food set before them on the table came from is often unregarded or ignored altogether. As more media forms commercialize extremely unhealthy versions of double cheeseburgers and meat lover’s supremes, the consumer’s demand for meat spikes up and companies in the food industry are faced with the ethical dilemma of benefiting themselves, their companies, increasing profits...and doing right by the animals- who without, they would not even be where they are today. Needless to say that animal rights and the humane treatment of their precious lives have been disregarded. Why do we, as a
“I think using animals for food is an ethical thing to do, but we 've got to do it right. We 've got to give those animals a decent life and we 've got to give them a painless death. We owe the animal respect.” ― Temple Grandin. Temple Grandin brings up a brilliant point, it’s okay to eat meat but it’s not okay to treat these animals throughout their life as just something that you will be killing. They have the right to live healthily and in a property environment. Throughout the novel The Chain by Ted Genoways it brings a light to all the dangerous conditions animals and workers go through and what actually goes into the meat you buy in stores. Although low prices on farm produced meat sound enticing, the abused caused to animals and the dangerous working conditions for workers cause dangerously poor sanitation, and can affect many Americans health.
“Eating Animals” is written by Jonathan Safran Foer. This book was published on November 2, 2009. Jonathan Safran Foer is an American writer who is known for his novel, “Everything Is Illuminated”. In this book, Jonathan believes that those who eat meat are involved in the most horrifying crimes committed against animals. Foer Cleary admires his grandmother, who believes that you can never have too much food. Throughout the book, Foer also describes his grandmother’s favorite dish, chicken with carrots, even though he is a vegetarian. Foer cannot eat something that seems to cause him some distress. Throughout the book, Foer presents the conflict between cultural traditions involving meat traditions he wishes to share and his views as a vegetarian himself. Anyone who is a meat eater or even an animal lover, this is a must read book. This book is written with clarity, force and passion that will lead anyone to think carefully about eating animals and where it comes from.
Factory farms having locked doors only reinforces what some of us already suspect. That they are engaging in activities appalling to the public. Their secrecy is seemingly sustaining their business. Consumers’ ignorance of the meat production business only encourages inhumane animal husbandry. Foer says, “the power brokers of factory farming know that their business model depends on consumers not being able to see (or hear about) what they do.” (pg. 87) This is why we need to educate ourselves on this matter extensively and start actively demanding where our meat is coming from. Advocating for animal welfare is one way we can begin the process of changing or ultimately ending factory farming.
People today believe that the government is supposed to eliminate any possible danger from the food they consume, but that is not the case. In the book Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of The All-American Meal written by Eric Schlosser, he discusses numerous problems with food production. Some of these issues are discussed in the “Epilogue”, “What’s In Meat”, and “Most Dangerous Job” chapters where Schlosser elaborates on the government’s role and how workers are mistreated. In the article, “U.S. Meatpacking Under Fire: Human Rights Group Calls for Line Speed Reduction, ERGO Standards,” it explains how the working conditions in the meat packaging industry are hazardous and are violations of basic human rights. Although workers are affected by the government’s role in the food industry, consumers are affected as well. The consequences of the lack of governmental oversight, like food contamination and others, are discussed in the film Food Inc. “Escaping the Regulatory Net: Why Regulatory Reform Can Fail Consumers”, an academic journal written by Henry Rothstein, explains how “putting consumers first” is difficult for the Food Standards Agency (FSA) to accomplish because with consumer’s interests that means regulatory reforms are most likely going to fail.
There is a large problem of animal cruelty linked to the food industry in the United States. Countless slaughterhouses, chicken farms, and other meat producers have been found guilty of harming animals and killing them inhumanely. This is something that clearly needs to change.
Close your eyes and step into the world of an individual. You are born into a world where nights and days are never constant (attention getter). You are fed three to five times a day, but no one is there to nurture you. Not even the numerous others crammed into your living space. You grow frantic, scared, and sickly. Now open your eyes, to reality. What I have just described is one of America’s worst ghettos. You know this individual who is trapped in this environment. He is your breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is the meat you eat . Today’s farms not only abuse their animals they also produce harmful diseases and environmental hazards that affect each and every one of us, regardless of whether you consume animal products or not. The U.S. government should ban factory farms and require the meat industry to raise animals in their natural environments (preview of points and statement of purpose).
“Recognize meat for what it really is: the antibiotic- and pesticide- laden corpse of a tortured animal.” says Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder of (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) PETA and animal activist. Factory farming should be banned or demolished thoroughly due to more harm than good that is being presented worldwide. Animal brutality, which can be found constantly and excessively throughout factory farms, is a deleterious act involving the animals and a diabolic act regarding human morals. The antic actions that proceed have an effect on both humans and the environment, as well as the unethical, inhumane treatment and the atrocious sufferings of animals. Besides factory farms offering a copious amount of cheaper food, factory farming is a detrimental agricultural practice to both humans and the environment. The way we receive our food is inhumane and unhealthy to humans and the environment, thus factory farms should be banned.
Mahatma Gandhi, an Indian spiritual leader once said, “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” (n.d.). Every year, there are animals being killed in the meat industry; more than 25 billion of them. They are being murdered mercilessly in ways that would make any compassionate person cringe. A typical meat-eating American is yearly responsible for the deaths and abuse of approximately 90 animals (HappyCow, n.d.). Animals that are being killed for the intake of humans should be treated fairly and with respect.