Chapter Summary Of Every 12 Seconds By Ishmael Pachirtat

1158 Words5 Pages

Timothy Pachirtat went undercover as a worker in an industrial slaughterhouse in Omaha, Nebraska for five months to discover how the power of concealment plays a role in how the meat we consume is processed. Pachirtat worked in three different positions during his time at the slaughterhouse. The first was in the cooler as a liver hanger, the next was pushing the live cattle into the knocking box, which begins the cow’s gruesome journey on the line, and finally he made his way to a quality control worker. Each job is a part of the 121 jobs that make up the production line. The book, Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight, gives us an insight in to what goes on behind the closed doors of a slaughterhouse. Yale …show more content…

Pachirtat writes, “This book provides a firsthand account of contemporary, industrialized slaughter and does so to provoke reflection on how distance and concealment operate as mechanisms of power in modern society.” (3) Pachirtat’s main argument of this book is not to bring light to the thirty-three million cows that are killed every year in the United States, but to make an argument on how distance and concealment of the slaughterhouse are hidden by power. Pachirtat explains that there are laws put into place that prevent any outsiders to enter the slaughterhouse and to keep what is going on inside hidden from society. Throughout the book Pachirtat’s style of writing can make the biggest meat lover think twice before biting into their next hamburger, the main argument is not the cow. He states that “this book does not engage directly with arguments for animals rights, it is my deepest hope that its detailed account of industrialized killing will invite readers to seek a more thoughtful relationship with the nonhuman creatures.”(i) He follows the cattle from a scared cow in the knocking box to a neatly packaged steak ready to be shipped to a grocery store. The main point is not the killing of the cow, but who is ultimately responsible for the killing of these …show more content…

He describes in great detail all the different positions on the line that strips the cows of their dignity. He describes how the “de-animalization” (70) of the cow is concealed from not only the consumer but also from the workers on the production line. Each position has a specific job whether it is “an ear tag recorder” who keeps tracks of every cow by number and color, or the “lower belly ripper,” which Pachirtat described in Appendix A as a position on the line that “uses hand knife hook to open lower half of pattern in hide, picking up where upper belly ripper left off.” (260) Each job on the line is kept hidden from the next and is ultimately hidden from outside

Open Document