Agriprocessor's Inc is charged with more than 9,000 misdemeanors for hiring 32 children at their "kosher" processing plant in Postville, Iowa. In May of this year, the plant was raided and 400 workers were arrested, accused of being "undocumented immigrants". That is nearly 60% of Agriprocessor's workforce (they are now hiring homeless people from Texas to fill the void). Postville has a population of about 2,300 - nearly 18% of their entire population was detained and arrested.
While 2/3 of the animals at Agriprocessor's are slaughtered conventionally, with a captive bolt gun to the head and then bled, a 1/3 of the animals are killed using the traditional practices of shechita. While a little more complex, the ritual slaughter involves restraining a conscious animal and cutting their throat, severing the eosophagus and trachea. No stunning is permitted. In 2004, PETA released video footage showing improper shechita and cruel treatment of cattle being killed. Federal inspectors were caught sleeping and playing card games on the job, not properly inspecting contaminated carcasses and generally not doing their job. While animal cruelty charges were considered, no case was filed. The USDA suspended one inspector and sent warning letters to two others. No ice cream with your pie for you, you crazy inspector-kids you!
Meatpacking plants are dangerous. They have a 100% turnover rate. Life on the processing line is unsafe, with a high rate of accidents and injuries. Workers are denied medical care, overtime pay and sick time. Some spend 50-70 hours a week enduring back-breaking labor and killing sentient, feeling beings. Meatpacking plants are founded on cruelty; their human employees aren't exempt from callous treatment.
Intensive farming is a destructive force. It ruins rural communities. It degrades human workers to objects. And it murder billions of feeling, sentient animals for no other reason than to placate a stomach's growl. Stopping the maelstrom is as simple as making compassionate food choices. Don't support an industry that abuses its workers, destroys the environment and reduces intelligent animals to body parts and "prime" cuts. That is the only way to stop the existence of the Agriprocessor's of the world.