The Meat Racket : Social And Economic Effects Of Tyson Foods Practices

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The Meat Racket: Social and Economic effects of Tyson Foods Practices
The book “The Meat Racket” by Christopher Leonard basically is an informative book that discusses the chicken business of Tyson Foods and how it has been affecting farmers. The book mainly focuses on exposing the model of business that Tyson Foods has put in place to guarantee their business is a success. The success of the company is however painted to be at the expense of the farmers who continue to rot in poverty. The book also explains how Tyson Foods have effectively enslaved Americans in the name of contract rearing of chickens.
According to Leonard, Tyson Foods has perfected the model of controlling the entire chain of meat production, a point which he emphasizes
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Leonard (p. 26) reports rumors that death of flocks of chicken in Tyson farms was not coincidental but strategic to drive out the inquisitive farmers, just like Jerry Yandell. Tyson Foods had mastered a system where farmers were subjected to loans and other financial obligations that they had to take care of, making them be enslaved to the company. Just like Jerry, many of the farmers eventually declared bankruptcy and lost everything they owned, and remained deep in debt after they were thrown out of the business. New people can then purchase the farms and become new farmers of Tyson Foods, become enslaved into depending on the company for provisions and eventually be kicked out for a new crop of farmers as the cycle continues. Leonard explains the disadvantage of tournament system as “the tournament isn’t built to produce enduring winners” (p. 127).
Tyson system of chicken rearing has a number of economic effects, the most prominent discussed by Leonard being enslaving people with debt. Most of the farmers, when they enter into the chicken business with Tyson, do so in the promise of earning big money. Most of them overlook the big cost of establishing farms that will meet the threshold to become a contractor with Tyson Foods. Due to the big lure, people are eventually tricked into taking loans to finance the projects against all their properties such as land, house, cars etcetera. Most of those
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