Slaughterhouse Blues Research Paper

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Slaughterhouse Blues

More than 3,000 animals die every second in abattoirs around the world.

We don’t like to think about where our meat comes from. Wrapped in clear cellophane with little more than an expiration date and a picture of a smiling cartoon animal, the gravity of packaged meat loses its impetus. In its final form—as a drumstick, sirloin, flank, breast, brisket, rib—meat becomes an abstract, a consumable with no weight or relevance to the creature it came from. You don’t consider the entire organism, it’s too difficult to associate trotters as pig ankles; an ox-tail as part of an ox. Even hung bodies of sheep and cowsresemble little more than filaments of fat, muscle and bone; inanimate and lifeless like the cold steel knife that maims it. Cut up and prepared for our consumption, it is easy to distance yourself from the notion that your beef, mutton and venison were once cow, sheep and deer. Neatly displayed in towering stacks in grocery stores and butcher’s
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In it, she documents the time constraints faced by workers who, due to the speed with which they are required to work, skin and maim their animals while they are still living, against regulations demanded by the Humane Slaughter Act, which requires that all animals be insusceptible to pain by the time of their slaughter. Additionally, in the shared two million hours of experience Eisnitz collected for her studies, each worker admitted to some form of animal brutality, and failed to report those who had done the same. Taking out their frustration and aggravation on animals is a prevalent culture in the slaughterhouse industry. But it doesn’t end in the workplace. Several workers admitted to developing alcohol and drug dependency as result of their occupation. Some become physically abusive at
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