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Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the US Meat Industry [Paperback]

Gail A. Eisnitz
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.99
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Book Description

1 Nov 2006
Slaughterhouse is the first book of its kind to explore the impact that unprecedented changes in the meatpacking industry over the last twenty-five years — particularly industry consolidation, increased line speeds, and deregulation — have had on workers, animals, and consumers. It is also the first time ever that workers have spoken publicly about what’s really taking place behind the closed doors of America’s slaughterhouses.
In this new paperback edition, author Gail A. Eisnitz brings the story up to date since the book’s original publication. She describes the ongoing efforts by the Humane Farming Association to improve conditions in the meatpacking industry, media exposés that have prompted reforms resulting in multimillion dollar appropriations by Congress to try to enforce federal inspection laws, and a favorable decision by the Supreme Court to block construction of what was slated to be one of the largest hog factory farms in the country.
Nonetheless, Eisnitz makes it clear that abuses continue and much work still needs to be done

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Product details

  • Paperback: 329 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (1 Nov 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591024501
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591024507
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.4 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 372,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I must add my praise for Ms. Eisnitz's excellent book. It is exceptionally well-documented and researched. As an academic, it is a pleasure to read a book that combines journalistic zeal with painstaking research and attention to detail and yet remains thoroughly readable. Eisnitz's ability to remain dispassionate when confronted by such daily horrors is a tribute to her professionalism. The fact that she conducted a large proportion of her research whilst battling cancer is a tribute to her as a human being. This is a book that everybody should make time to read, for their own sake, even if they have no regard for animal suffering. A magnificent achievement.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars powerful expose of meat industry 17 Jan 1998
By A Customer
This powerful, gut-wrenching, horrifying indictment of the U.S. meat industry will hopefully do at the end of the 20th century what Upton Sinclair's THE JUNGLE did at the beginning--serve as a wake-up call to the nation to take a closer look at the food it eats. Eisnitz's gripping, horrifying page-turner of a book is based on her tenacious investigation that includes extensive interviews with current and former slaughterhouse workers and disgusted USDA inspectors. She tells a story of unbelievable cruelty and corruption that begins with her investigation of a single meatpacking plant in Florida where somebody informs her about animals bled, skinned, and dismembered alive (a common industry practice, as the book demonstrates). As her investigation proceeds and more people come forward to testify, she traces the ever-widening circles of cruelty, corruption, and contempt for animals, workers, and the public that extend to the highest levels of government. Very readable (with lots of dialogue) and truly unforgettable.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Devastating indictment of US meat industry 3 Aug 2011
Slaughterhouse is a devastating indictment of influence and power in the American meat industry, revealing the abject ethical bankruptcy of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the federal government organisation whose responsibility is to monitor and oversee all facets of American agriculture, including livestock. The book shows the USDA to be riddled with conflicts of interest and an active campaigner against the Humane Slaughter Act - which requires humane handling for all animals prior to being shackled, hoisted and bled at a slaughterhouse - and simply a tool in the pocket of the large meat producers. Its dereliction of duty has had disastrous results for consumers, meat processing industry workers, and unsurprisingly the animals, whose horrendous suffering is the result of an industry that is effectively out of control.

The book shows modern slaughterhouses to be cesspits of disease, which comes as a result of the USDA providing approximately six thousand federal meat inspectors to examine the insides and outsides of more than eight billion animals a year. The worst case of food poisoning until the publication of this book occurred in December 1998, when 35 million pounds of contaminated hot dogs and lunch meat manufactured by a Sara Lee plant in Michigan were recalled from 22 states, but not before 15 people had died, six women had miscarried and another 100 people had become seriously ill. That this occurs is of little surprise to the people who process meat:

"There were lots of rats, snakes, cockroaches and maggots in the plant," one worker said. "I saw maggots in boxes which contained bags that the chicken would be wrapped in." A worker at another plant described the chicken processed at the plant as "not safe to eat.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A necessary read for every meat-eating American 23 July 1999
By A Customer
This well-researched, well-written book is the most appalling expose I've ever read. Even if the author is biased (and how could she NOT be?), if half of what she reports is true, then we truly have a crisis on our hands. As a meat-eater and a parent, the information contained has convinced me that I need to either eat Kosher meats or stop eating meat all together!
The information in Slaughterhouse should be made widely public, and there needs to be reform before more people die. She did a remarkable job covering all applicable areas of meat-packing: the inhumane treatment of animals, the dangers posed to the employees of the packing industry, the unsanitary...FILTHY...conditions, as well as the political mess surrounding the meat industry. Well done!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Put simply, you'll never look at meat the same way after reading this disturbing, though superb, book. With impeccable reseach and excellent, insightful writing, Ms.Eisnitz lays bare the unthinkable cruelty, greed and corruption behind one of the strongest and most influential of political voices - the American meat industry. Think your Congressman or your local farmers are going to share this kind of information with you? Think again.
Cheers to Gail Eisnitz for having the courage to take on and expose this "Goliath!"
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is a well written unemotional account of conditions and atrocities happening at several, if not all, slaughterhouses. Since USDA seems unable to conduct surprise inspections, one must assume that USDA is in cahoots with the meat industry, surprise surprise. The filthy conditions and working environment in the chicken slaughterhouse is unbelievable, but the information came from so many different sources I DO believe it. I was not a meat eater before reading this book, now I have earmarked pages to show to carnivorous friends when they come to my house. The filthy conditions alone are enough to turn anybody off eating meat, but add to that the incredible cruelty to the animals, specially those described at the hog slaughterhouse, makes one believe the workers at the plants have absolutely no feelings at all. This is so shameful and slaughterhouses should be investigated by somebody other than the USDA.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative, frightening and shocking....but worth a read
Sometimes it's hard to turn the page, the information can be so distressing, but given the subject it's a book I think everyone, particularly meat eaters should read. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Ms. Jennifer Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read for meat eaters and veggies, vegans
Loved the book. Enlightening, shocking facts about farm animal abuse, human abuse, health risks and corruption in authorities, government and the industry, author Gail is an... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Niki
5.0 out of 5 stars Shocking. A necessary if harrowing read
Heartbreaking and terrifying. I read this because of my love of animals and dislike of the meat industry. Read more
Published on 9 April 2011 by Dharma Cat
5.0 out of 5 stars No Kill it cook it eat
This book really messed with my head,I've always been aware of the full slaughter process but I never realised the greed of some people in high up places in america,the stories... Read more
Published on 11 Jan 2011 by BRIAN CRONIN
2.0 out of 5 stars It's not that simple.
I give the book a couple of stars because I believe that free speech no matter how misguided allow better debate in a free society. Ms. Read more
Published on 23 Jun 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A real eye-opener
I'm a college student who had the privledge of being able to see the Gail Eisnitz speak at my university. Her lecture was amazing. Read more
Published on 25 April 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars This book will open your eyes!
If you're a meat-eater now, you won't be after reading this book. Gail Eisnitz reveals the whole disturbing truth behind the horrifying effects the nation's slaughterhouses have... Read more
Published on 4 Mar 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST read and MUST share book
I found Slaughterhouse a very emotionally difficult book to read, but oh so important. Ms. Eisnitz wrote what needed to be written. Read more
Published on 5 Feb 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Not optional reading.
Every person who prides him/herself on being educated needs to read this book. It is hard-hitting, beautifully researched, and unfortunately 100% accurate.
Published on 17 Jan 1999
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