Fast Food Nation: The Federal Meat Inspection Act

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In the United States, according to the North American Meat Institute, the average man will consume about 6.9 oz of meat in a day, while a women will consume about 4.4 oz. Meat companies in America produced 25.8 billion pounds of beef and 38.4 pounds of chicken just in 2013 alone. People walk into grocery stores and purchase meat but never think twice about the environment their food, or the workers that handle the animals, were in. Upton Sinclair exposed the industry with “The Jungle” in 1906, people were now fully aware of what was sometimes in the meat, this lead to the Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906. Therefore, once the 1980s came along, companies relocated to rural areas and became a non-union workforce. Not only were unions not allowed …show more content…

Paul McCartney once said,” If slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be vegetarian”. At the same time, these animals are tortured and most never see the light of day and workers are underpaid, overworked, and taken advantage of but people turn a blind eye when they are told about how the animals and employees are treated. Meatpacking employees are constantly injured on a daily basis. Schlosser, in Fast Food Nation, states, “ The injury rate in a slaughterhouse is about three times higher than the rate of a typical American factory”. If the employers are being careless about the safety of their employees, does that mean they are careless when it comes to the meat? Surely, the speed of the line the workers are expected to work in is the main cause of most of the injuries. The industry pressures them to work faster, and as a result more money is made. As proof, in a Human Rights report a worker stated, “ The line is so fast there is no time to sharpen the knife. The knife gets dull and you have to cut harder. That’s when it really starts to hurt, and that’s when you cut yourself”. However, there are injuries that go unrecorded because the companies threaten the employees or …show more content…

In fact, the animals are often stored in small cages or spaces with barley any room to move, many will catch a disease from their poor quality of living. Social interaction is crucial because the animals become tired of the same environment, this leads to aggression. To control the aggression, animals are often pumped with drugs. Often, if an animal is sick there will be no veterinary help because of the high cost that is required, as a result, cattle have died from dehydration or other reasons regarding the lack of care. Because the animals are seen as a profit they are bred in a way that is convenient for the slaughterhouse. For example, broiler chickens are bred to have larger thighs and breasts, for this reason, the chickens have a hard time standing and sometimes will break their legs. Common diseases for these type of chickens range from heart attacks, respiratory diseases, and cancer. When first brought to the slaughterhouse, cattle are branded with a hot iron and de-horned without anesthetic. In feedlots, cattle are contained in small holding pens forced to live in their own feces, which results in diseases. According to the Last Chance for Animals(LCA), 250 cows are killed every hour at a slaughterhouse. Because of the pressure to stay on their fast schedule, workers

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