I joke that the reason I became a vegetarian is not because I love animals, it’s because I hate plants. In fact, it is the horrendous environmental cost of factory farming that made me adopt this dietary lifestyle.
And now, in addition to razing the world’s rain forests to raise cattle (that produce tons of methane), hectares-wide ponds of polluted slurry from pig farms, and runoff from poultry farms into rivers and aquifers, we have this atrocious treatment of the people who process those beasts.
Deborah Berkowitz, a former OSHA official wrote in an op-ed published in Quartz that what workers described to Oxfam was consistent with what she witnessed during her time at OSHA. “I witnessed the dangers. Poultry workers stand shoulder to shoulder on both sides of long conveyor belts, most using scissors or knives, in cold, damp, loud conditions, making the same forceful movements thousands upon thousands of times a day, as they skin, pull, cut, debone and pack the chickens. The typical plant processes 180,000 birds a day. A typical worker handles 40 birds a minute.”