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Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the US Meat Industry Paperback – 1 Nov 2006

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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: 15.4 x 1.8 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 216,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Roland Boland on 3 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 4 Aug. 1999
Format: Hardcover
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 July 1999
Format: Hardcover
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 on 14 Jun. 1998
Format: Hardcover
In the midst of our high-tech, ostentatious, hedonistic lifestyle, among the dazzling monuments to history, art, religion, and commerce, are the 'black boxes' -- faceless compounds where society conducts its dirty business of abusing and killing innocent, feeling beings. Among these are biomedical research laboratories, factory farms, and slaughterhouses. These are our Dachaus, our Buchenwalds, our Birkenaus. Like the good German burgers, we have a fair idea of what goes on there, but we don't want any reality checks. We rationalize that the killing has to be done and that it's done humanely. We fear that the truth would offend our sensibilities and perhaps force us to do something. It may even change our life. Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz of the Humane Farming Association is a gut-wrenching, chilling, yet carefully documented, expose of unspeakable torture and death in America's slaughterhouses. It explodes their popular image of efficient factories that turn dumb 'livestock' into sterile, cellophane-wrapped 'food' in the meat display case. The testimony of dozens of slaughterhouse workers and USDA inspectors pulls the curtain on abominable hellholes, where the last minutes of innocent, feeling, intelligent horses, cows, calves, pigs, and chickens are turned into unspeakable terror and agony. And, yes, the book may well change your life. It starts when the animals are hauled long distances under extreme crowding and harsh temperatures. Here is an account from a worker assigned to unloading pigs: "In the winter, some hogs come in all froze to the sides of the trucks. They tie a chain around them and jerk them off the walls of the truck, leave a chunk of hide and flesh behind. They might have a little bit of life left in them, but workers just throw them on the piles of dead ones.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Jan. 1998
Format: Hardcover
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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