Slaughterhouse Research Paper

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Walking down the grocery store aisle, there's only a number of "cage free," "organic," and "humane certified" labels seen until one questions their validity. In modern times, people boasting of vegan or humane-eating lifestyles are becoming increasingly ubiquitous. Because many are disconnected from what they eat, it's comforting to know that humans have elevated their compassion for the animals and are now taking their capacity to suffer and quality of life into consideration. But can one truly deem the systematic killing of animals for meat consumption "humane" or remotely ethical on either side? Slaughterhouses are an unfortunate institution for the animals, but society has yet to sympathize with the hands that run them. As a valid consequence…show more content…
As an institution designed for efficiency, many factors like safety, sanitation, and well-being is not included in the final equation. Gardner cites Schlosser, who travelled to many fast food chains while writing Fast Food Nation, explaining that "cattle intestines often carry dangerous pathogens such as E. coli and are suppose to be kept away from the meat, but faster lines can lead to more intestinal spillage onto meat" (Gardner). Evidently, the efficiency of meat processing is prioritized over the own workers safety. Slaughterhouse workers are large in number and must work in unsanitary conditions, running the risk of contracting potentially deadly diseases or injury. Not only is their safety jeopardized, but also their psychological well-being. McWilliams quotes a former abattoir employee from the book Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment inside the U.S. Meat Industry, who attests "[while working in the stick pit, where hogs are killed] Pigs down on the kill floor have come up to nuzzle me like a puppy. Two minutes later I had to kill them. [...] I can't care" (McWilliams). Slaughterhouse employees are desensitized to killing, and are forced to become apathetic beings on the work floor. As a dire attempt to preserve their emotional well-being, they must refrain from expressing emotion or sympathy for the animals. The mere nature of this work…show more content…
Abattoir workers must observe or actively participate in the preparation of animal produce, but given the atmosphere, must also suffer the emotional toll and cope with the psychological costs of their job description outside of the workplace. Shell Ethics cites Flinders University senior sociology lecturer, Dr. Nik Taylor, who established that "if you're cruel to animals, you're more likely to be violent to humans" and that "meat workers' aggression levels were 'so high they're similar to the scores for incarcerated populations'" (Shell Ethics). Abattoir employees are desensitized to many forms of violence every day, and the correlation between slaughterhouse workers and elevated crime rates are not to be overlooked. Exposing workers to environments that require a lack of emotion and compassion carry out beyond the workplace. Although this is not the case for every employee, one should recognize the dangers this work brings to society as a whole. Shell Ethics further corroborates this claim by outlining the effects of slaughterhouse work, such as increased "domestic violence, social withdrawal, drug and alcohol abuse, and severe anxiety" (Shell Ethics). The unsettling outcomes of slaughterhouse work do not only reflect the morally flawed institution of systematic

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