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Inside the Slaughterhouse

Inside the Slaughterhouse

Most Americans never see the inside of the factories where beef cattle are slaughtered and processed. FRONTLINE asked Bill Haw, CEO of one of the country's biggest cattle feedlot operations, and journalists Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser to describe what it's like -- for the cows and the people who butcher them -- inside the slaughterhouse. Here are excerpts from their interviews.

The Chain Never Stops

In this article for Mother Jones magazine, Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, details the often brutal economics of working in today's meatpacking plants. "Over the past four years," Schlosser writes, "I've met scores of meatpacking workers in Nebraska, Colorado, and Texas who tell stories of being injured and then discarded by their employers." Schlosser explains why the current system -- in which some plants slaughter cattle at a rate of 400 per hour -- is less secure for the workers, both physically and economically. "A lack of public awareness, a lack of outrage, have allowed these abuses to continue, one after another, with a machine-like efficiency. This chain must be stopped." (Mother Jones, July/August 2001)

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