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With knives, blades, grinding machines and other hazardous equipment surrounding you — plus fast-paced, profit-driven line speeds — meat processing is an extremely dangerous job, according to a new report from the National Employment Law Project (NELP).
As our undercover investigations have revealed time after time, Big Ag puts profit before the welfare of both humans and animals. Cheap meat is produced as quickly as possible, jeopardizing animal welfare as well as worker and food safety.
Our newest investigation, exposing heartbreaking cruelty to mother cows at a dairy factory farm, also exposed worker safety concerns, as farm workers handled hazardous formaldehyde without protective gear. And have you seen our video exposing the USDA’s dangerous and cruel high-speed slaughter, reduced-inspection program?
The NELP report, tracking severe workplace injuries from January 2015 – September 2016, states: “The number of incidents reported by the meat and poultry processing industry is startling.”
And several companies (or their suppliers) our investigations have exposed for animal cruelty made the list, including:
- Tyson Foods at #4 with 70 amputations or hospitalizations
- JBS/Pilgrim’s Pride is at #6 with 51 similarly severe injuries
- Walmart and Kroger ranked #2 and #8 respectively. Our February 2017 investigation revealed animal cruelty and deceptive food labeling practices at their lamb meat supplier, Superior Farms. (Sign & share our petition)
As if these figures aren’t alarming enough, data from major meat states that are regulated by state (rather than federal) OSHA agencies, are not included. This means the meat industry’s toll on workers is likely much higher.
The poultry industry, where workers suffer illness and injury at 1.6 times the rate of other workers, was specifically highlighted as having some of the worst numbers — higher than “much of the construction industry, the auto industry, the steel industry, saw mills, and many other high-risk industries.”
At Tyson and Pilgrim’s Pride, workers suffered finger and hand amputations, fractured hips and chemical burns.
Cargill ranked #14 in severe injuries. Meanwhile, the major beef producer recently made headlines for selling all of its cattle feedlots as it explores plant-based proteins.
Will companies move toward food that is kinder to animals, workers and the planet? Cargill isn’t the only company recognizing the ever-growing consumer demand for meatless options. Tyson’s CEO even recently said that plant-based demand is outpacing meat.
You can opt out of supporting the industry’s reckless disregard for both animals and worker safety. Choose vegan. We can help you get started.