Dear Barack Obama, our elected President,
I have major concerns based on a book I read titled Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of an All-American Meal, written by Eric Schlosser. These concerns are focused on the topic of slaughterhouses. The things I am very concerned about are the slaughter machines, how they are run, how dangerous they are, and how slaughterhouses are cleaned. Another concern of mine is the way the employees are treated, and the last concern is how the meat is inspected. These are three concerns of mine that I would like for you Mr.Obama to really think about and take seriously.
To begin with, my opening concern would be the way machines are run in the slaughterhouses, and the way slaughterhouses are cleaned. The machines are very dangerous and employees have to take a lot of caution, the speed of the line is absolutely ridiculous it is way too fast. Therefore employees don’t even have enough time to put the right parts of meat on the line. Also sometimes due to the speed of the line cow manure gets into the meat. This is really sickening, and consequently this means that there is cow manure in our food that we buy from deli markets and fast food restaurants like Mc Donald’s, Burger King and many more restaurants and stores for the simple fact that the line is too fast. Moving on, the way slaughterhouses are cleaned is a very dangerous process, as well as ALL the machinery in slaughterhouses and safety is not strictly enforced. The bleach that is used to clean with is shot through a pressure sprayer at a tremendous speed and it is very hot. The chlorine is heated to a temperature of 180 degrees; employees could be seriously injured or killed working with this machine. In this book it was expressed that the machines take time to completely shut off and employees have been injured or killed because they didn’t know this kind of information. In any case safety rules should be strictly enforced and the line shouldn’t be so fast, because honestly who wants to eat cow manure. And the employees surely don’t look forward to loosing their lives to machines.
Not only are machines and safety concerns of mine but also way the employees are treated. In slaughterhouses employees are treated with no respect. The main reason for this is because a large amount of them are illegal immigrants and they basically have no rights. When the manager knows that an employee is illegal, the manager takes complete control of them specifically the women, especially if the manager is a male. The women who work in slaughterhouses are sexually harassed and are violated throughout their day at work. Also not only women but men as well are treated poorly, they earn minimum wage no matter how hard or long they work. In addition to how employees are treated many of them are killed or injured, on an every day basis, whether it’s just a cut or something serious. Employees loose arms, legs, fingers, even their lives working in slaughterhouses and considering their pay and the fact that they are illegal they cant get any medical attention. Women and men working in slaughterhouse should be entitled to all their rights, and should be treated with respect.
The last concern of mine is the inspecting of meat; the meat that comes from slaughterhouses should be tested before it is shipped out. However from what I read in Fast Food Nation it is not, and when it is its not done properly. America already knows that raw meat carries all kinds of germs and bacteria without the fact that the meat is not being tested properly is a huge problem. In Fast Food Nation it is mentioned that E.Coli 0157:h7 was found in the meat several times, and with peoples lives at stake that is a couple times too many. Tainted meat has caused thousands to be hospitalized and hundreds to die because meat wasn’t tested properly or not tested at all. Innocent lives were taken and or ruined because of meat that should have been tested. Also elaborated in this book, there’s a statement by Upton Sinclair, in 1906 he wrote in his book The Jungle, “the meat would be shoveled into carts and the man who did the shoveling would not even trouble to lift out a rat if he saw one.” That statement to me says it all, it tells you how much workers and or employees care about the meat. I personally do not want to eat tainted meat and die or get sick. As of today I rarely eat fast food burgers or anything with beef because of the way I know they handle meat at slaughterhouses. With that being said I really don’t want any more Americans to die because of tainted meat.
To sum up all my worries and concerns dear Mr.Obama, based on what I read from Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of An All-American Meal I have learned that slaughter machines are very dangerous, and run improperly and safety is not a big issue. The employees are worked and treated like dogs, and the meat has a variety of germs and bacteria that is not tested. It was a shock when I first discovered what is done in slaughterhouses and what I could have and probably have eaten in the past. I and thousands of other Americans who eat meat. With this in mind I hope that you will take this all in to consideration. All workers, even illegal immigrants must be treated with respect and all Americans should have properly inspected meat, without fear of disease. So please take my concerns seriously
A very concerned individual