Insightful book takes you inside the slaughterhouse

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The article, “Beef moves too fast at Alberta meat plant: union,” in The Telegram Oct. 11 caught my attention because I’ve just finished reading “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safron Foer.

Mr. Foer researched factory farming and slaughtering of the animals we eat for three years before he wrote the book. He visited farms and abattoirs

of all sorts and practices, spoke

with farmers, slaughterhouse owners, designers and workers, government inspectors, animal rights activists, omnivores and vegetarians, agricultural and animal psycho/behavioral academics and legal experts.

He found that the drive for speed at factory farm slaughterhouses causes problems, and not only for the processing line workers.

Foer’s research revealed that there is often not enough time to stun animals properly and to assure that they are rendered unconscious, resulting in frequent instances of animals hung on conveyor lines arriving at scalding vats and cutting floors still alive and sentient.

In addition to the brutal treatment of the animals, Foer observed the psychological trauma suffered by workers who must continue cutting up live cattle, hogs or chickens or risk losing their jobs and ability to support their families.

An inescapable conclusion I gained from reading “Eating Animals” is that inspectors need more and closer access to factory farming and slaughtering processes and our government agencies and the laws need more teeth. What’s been uncovered at XL is the tip of an iceberg made even more threatening by cuts in this area made by the Harper government.


Ane Christensen

St. John’s

Geographic location: Alberta

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Recent comments

  • Eli
    October 17, 2012 - 18:36

    The headline had me looking for the machinations of a PC Cabinet meeting!