September 9, 2008

Underage Children Slaving In Meat Packing Plant

Apparently, all was not kosher at this large-scale kosher meat packing plant/slaughterhouse. Agriprocessors, a huge kosher meat packing/slaughterhouse in Iowa, has been indicted for employing underage workers in their plant. Children younger than 16 were charged with operating heavy duty machinery, saws, and various other dangerous equipment utilized in the slaughtering process.

The meat packing corporations across the country have finally been the focus of investigations and charges for unsafe, hazardous and public endangerment. Now, add illegal hiring practices of minors. Of course, the inhumane treatment of the animals to be slaughtered always manages to slip lower and lower down the list of priorities for investigators.

This raid on Agriprocessors is one of the largest in the meat industry's history for employing either illegal aliens and/or underage children. Working conditions were not only hazardous, but overall salaries for all employees (including no pay for overtime), was deplorable. Remember, these children were responsible for safe handling and processing of meat to the meat-eating public. Children. It's bad enough most of these slaughterhouses are using downed, ill animals, overworking illegal alien employees and paying by the pound - so the more and faster they kill and process, the more they're paid - but having children working at that breakneck speed doesn't require rocket science to calculate there's more than an even chance tainted meat reaches the supermarket shelves on a regular basis. Most of which goes unreported.

It's only when enough people become significantly ill and/or die, and a connection can be made between, is the meat packer circumspect. By then, for those poor unfortunates, it's a bit too late. Which also goes to point a guilty finger at the sham that is supposed to be regular quality-controlled inspections by the USDA. Agriprocessors was just one that was caught. This time.

I know it doesn't help the animals or the children, but this is yet another reason I'm glad I'm a vegetarian.