Fast Food Nation By Eric Schlosser

1253 Words6 Pages
Meat Packers or Criminals Slaughter houses started in urban areas close to the railroads and shipping ports. Cattle and other livestock arrived by railroad. After the animals were slaughtered, they would be shipped to meat counters around the country and overseas. In his book Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser writes about the changes in the meatpacking industry. Among those changes, Schlosser explains, Iowa Beef Packers (IBP) changed the entire meatpacking industry by turning the business of slaughtering animals into an assembly line. Meatpacking no longer requires skilled workers because each employee is only responsible for one small part of the whole; therefore, training an employee is easy and inexpensive (153). The meat packing…show more content…
The top four meatpacking businesses hold 20 percent of the nation’s cattle in company owned feedlots or cattle bought before-hand, sometimes using secret pricing contracts (138). These farmers are doing everything they can to make a living. This includes rotation practices that big companies would never care about. Small business today is changing from a mentality of all success and forget about the consequences; to a more earth friendly thought process that asks how the company can do business longer. Schlosser writes, the small rancher today has more in common with environmentalist than they do with huge cattle lots and meat packers (134). Small ranchers invest in the land and need to preserve it to continue just making a living—not a profit. Schlosser explains, Hank was practicing a form of range management inspired by the grazing patterns of elk and buffalo herds, animals who’d lived for millennia on this short-grass prairie. His ranch was divided into thirty-five separate pastures. His cattle spent ten or eleven days in one pasture, then were moved to the next, allowing the native plants, the blue grama and buffalo grass, time to recover (134). Hanks system is exactly the right way to graze cattle, as Eugene Ungar, et al writes in Grass Grows, the Cow Eats: A Simple Grazing System Model with Emergent Properties, “Grazing systems are of great ecological and economic
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