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May 31, 2020 - The Courier

Meat industry faces terrible problem

Meat industry faces terrible problem
US Meat workersFile Photo / © Photabulous!

If you’ve ever butchered anything from a rabbit to a hog — and butchered is the right word, not the bleached “harvested” — you know there will be blood. Butchering, after all, is a bloody business.

While 95 percent of Americans are carnivores, it’s a safe bet that nearly 99.9 percent of them haven’t thought much about where their meat comes from or how it gets to them so … well, clean.

COVID-19 changed that willful blindness and put America’s industrialized and exploitive meat delivery system on the front page of every newspaper because it wasn’t just killing hogs, cattle, and poultry. It was — is — also killing the people doing most of the butchering.

As of Tuesday, according to in-depth reporting by Leah Douglas of the Food & Environment Reporting Network, or FERN, 73 U.S. “food processing” workers have died since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak in America. Sixty-seven of them, or nine out of 10, were meatpacker employees.

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The Courier

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