Monday, October 11, 2010

From the Driver's Mouth

I had an occasion to be in a small group of people Saturday night. In this group there was a man whom I had not met before but found rather easy to talk to. Over the course of the conversation it came out that I'm a vegetarian. I can't remember the way it all came out, but he responded that he was a driver for one of our local poultry plants, but that he did not eat the birds himself. I asked him if he drove chickens or turkeys and learned that he hauls turkeys. I couldn't resist and had to ask him if his job was the reason that he didn't eat turkey. He told me that he wasn't a big turkey eater before taking this job, but he didn't eat them at all now. I of course wanted to know why and he said something along the lines of "If you've seen what I have, you wouldn't be able to eat them". I haven't seen what he has, only heard about it, and I can't eat them. I can't even begin to imagine what he has seen...nor do I want to.

But if this doesn't tell us something about the conditions of the meat processing facilities in our country then what will? And at what point will those who work at these places stand up and say something? I understand that in this economy you can't jeopardize your job, but there are lots of ways to report things anonymously. If things are so bad that it changes how you eat, what else should you be doing?

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