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This book is for everyone to read, not just animal activists or vegetarians. This is a book about corporate greed and government ineffectiveness, and how absolutely everyone in the room refuses to see the Pink Elephant at the table, stuffing itself at the expense of your health and hard earned money.
Pay Attention! Virtually every piece of meat you purchase from your supermarket with the "USDA Inspected" safety stamp on it HAS NEVER BEEN INSPECTED AT ALL. USDA inspectors are no longer responsible for "Contamination Control", which amounts to debris coating the carcass such as feces, urine, mucus, pus, hair, dirt, grease, rat droppings, blood clots, etc. Their only responsibility is to examine the organs and head for gross malformations, and the inspectors are severely reprimanded or even fired for stopping the line, so virtually every filthy and disease ridden corpse makes its way to your table anyway.
A) Taking the butchering of animals away from the smaller, pride-of-ownership slaughterhouses and moving virtually all of the animal product production to high-speed, high profit corporations was a deadly move, and it is up to the working-class people to stop it.
B) The US is the only industrialized country that cools their chicken carcasses in water instead of air cooling, creating a virtual disease pool filthier than a public toilet next to a crack house. Why? Because water adds weight, so you get the privilege of actually paying increased poundage for the putrid and infected water your chicken soaked in.
C) Going against the National Academy of Science recommendations, the USDA relaxed standards and cut back on inspections while allowing production to increase over 40%. The question is no longer "IF" there is fecal matter on your meat, but "HOW MUCH IS ACCEPTABLE". Feces has been reclassified from a "Dangerous Contaminant" to a "Cosmetic Blemish". So has hair, mucus, dirt, droppings, etc.
D) With greed and profit being the only driving force behind the industry now, they have tried to pass the buck to you, the consumer, by telling you that the process of decontamination is up to YOU; i.e. cook your meat before you eat it. When did the decontamination issue switch from containment BEFORE occurring to recovery AFTER they allowed the feces to literally pass under their noses?
E) Working conditions in these Flesh Factories are deplorable, with chances of injury or illness six times greater than working in a coalmine. Workers cannot leave the floor to take a bathroom break, and often urinate into the blood trench or on themselves. If a worker removes a carcass as "condemned", the Supervisors at the plant often put it back into production and reprimand the worker.
F) Slaughterhouses take advantage of immigrant labor, knowing they are too poverty stricken or scared to protest their working conditions. The USDA Veterinarians who oversee the Plant's Inspection Line are mostly Foreigners, who fear for their jobs more than American workers.
G) Animals go through the Kill Line ALIVE all the time, it is so common that slaughterhouse workers do not even see it as an infraction any longer, they are more worried for their own safety from dropped carcasses, flying hooves, slashing knives, faulty equipment, and inhumanely high speed Lines.
So, are you scared yet? I simply skimmed the surface of this book, and if you are not already terrified by these seven points, you should be.
This isn't just about animal cruelty, or poor working conditions; its about the unfathomable corporate greed that we the people have let our Politicians slip past us, where only a few come out ahead and millions of others will suffer. From the mistreated workers and their families, to taxpayers whose hard earned dollars are now paying for a toothless agency (USDA), all the way down to the victims of the tainted food passed down to us by an industry no longer accountable for its own greed.
Ms. Eisnitz has sworn affidavits from people all across the industry, from plant workers and plant supervisors, USDA Inspectors and USDA Veterinarians, even a letter from the (then) Secretary of Agriculture Edward Madigan (who not only denied any wrongdoing in a letter, but also unwittingly documented that the USDA was breaking the law) stating that inspectors were not allowed near the line.
She took her entire caseload of documented proof of the industry's greed, neglect, and cruelty to the shows 20/20, 60 Minutes, and other prime time media, but was told that her story was "Too Graphic" for the public-at-large to handle.
Too Graphic? We see war, murder, rape, incest, child abuse and more just on the 30 minute segment of news, and the media felt this would be "too graphic" for you, the consumer, to handle. I found this horribly pompous of them, and have since written a letter to both shows.
The only thing I didn't like about the book was its lack of a reference listing; web sources and whatnot. But Eisnitz does name names, and references the Human Farming Association if you want further information. Overall, I highly recommend this book, but don't read it before dinner. Enjoy!!