Monday, February 19, 2007

Meat Packers Trying To Organize

HOLCOMB, Kan. - Each day 150 semitrailers loaded with cattle arrive at Tyson Food Inc.'s Holcomb plant for slaughter. Each day workers here butcher 5,700 head of cattle.
And each day at least one meatpacker at the plant gets hurt on the job.
On the killing room floor, beef carcasses dangling from an overhead conveyor belt constantly stream past blood-splattered workers — each with a very specific job to do
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If you do the math, it takes less than 12 minutes to butcher a cow completely. (5700 / 8hrs = 712.5 per hour / 60min = 11.8 cows per minute.) Now cows are big creatures. To completely skin, cut, kill, and chop a cow in less than 12 minutes is extremely dangerous. Not to mention, the workers are doing one job repetitively, with high speed. This is extremely dangerous.

Now, these workers (mostly Hispanic immigrants) are trying to organize a union, hopefully to protect them from injuries and to insure that they wont be fired when they are unable to work from an injury.

Former Tyson worker Gabino Martinez strained to stretch his arm as he
recounted how a surgeon shortened his tendon an inch while trying to repair
damage caused when a cow mashed his hand. The 26-year-old Mexican immigrant had
surgery at 8:30 a.m., and was back at work by 4 p.m. with his arm in a sling
because the company would not pay him otherwise. He said Tyson eventually fired
him after he refused to move heavy carcasses against his doctor's recommended
weight restrictions.
Meat packing is unarguable the most dangerous job to work in. Knives, blades, heavy machinery, equipment used to kill huge animals, sterilization tanks, blood and unsanitary materials, chemicals, and other factors make this job so deadly. Of the people who die in this job, most of them die a painful death. And if you don't die, you are left with unimaginable injuries. (I suggest reading Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser if you really want to understand.)

The point I am getting to (of course I'm all for human rights, no matter what job they are doing) is that all of this insanity is because of MEAT. People are DYING and being critically INJURED to SLAUGHTER innocent animals all for a food product that is UNNECESSARY.

That's right. Meat is unnecessary to survival or health. The USDA even has this on :
Vegetarian diets can meet all the recommendations for nutrients.
(Currently they do not have a section for vegan diets, but it has been proven medically that they are extremely healthy and can provide all nutrients needed.) Meat is something that people used to need to supplement their diets before farming was advanced as to allow for food during the winter months. It was also eaten in moderation, maybe once or twice a month. Humans were meant to eat plants.

I really cannot comprehend how the American people are letting this go unheard. If you didn't know, meat packing used to be one of the best jobs to be in back in the 1800's. Once big corporations and big people (like Ray Kroc, McDonald's bighead) started to realize how the job could be turned into an industry where people were used as money-making machines, it all went downhill.

But now, in an age where technology is flying and information AND communication is at our fingertips, we are ignoring this. If not for the animals, but for the humans involved.

People are being treated worse than the animals being slaughtered but nobody seems to care. Congress wont do anything because the big companies are supporting lawmakers (most of whom are Republican) to keep things on the hush-hush so profits won't go down due to safety regulations. In Fast Food Nation, the author mentions how meat packing employees prefer working the days when the meat is being shipped to the European Union because they have to go 75% slower to meet their regulations. When this happens, it also means that the animal will get slaughtered more humanely (the EU has tighter laws on how animals need to be unconscious before their throats are slit, and by going slower it means that animals wont get skipped.)

As fellow humans, there is one thing we can do to show big companies like Tyson that we do not approve of their treatment of humans beings, AND to show that we don't think animals should be slaughtered for unnecessary reasons.

The thing? Go vegetarian or vegan. It's not supporting the industry, and you are not purchasing the lives of innocent animals who don't have a voice. If meat packing profits go down because nobody is buying meat, then they will realize that the American people do not support unnecessary cruelty towards animals and people (most uneducated immigrants who do not have any constitutional rights.)

It's not hard to do. It's healthy for you. It's what you were meant to do (if you believe in creationism or evolution, either way our body parts are meant for herbivores.) It saves the lives of animals who cannot speak up for themselves. You are not eating carcasses. You are showing that treating people like machines is NOT RIGHT, and that you will not stand for it.

So please, support the union, support the people. And if we can eliminate the industry by showing meat is not fit for humans, then these companies will fall. When they fall, the workers can rise up and get better jobs that don't hurt them and don't hurt animals.


Twisted Cinderella said...

I have never heard about this. It is terrible! Thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

well put and well written i am glad there are people like you that are educated on this issue.

vko said...

Thank you for continually voicing the outrage that vegans feel.

Fast Food Nation is actually the book that led me to becoming a vegetarian and eventually a vegan.

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