IMPACTS OF MEAT PACKING INDUSTRY ON EMPLOYEES
The production of meat’s impact on communities can be detrimental as well. More than 60% of the people employed in the animal slaughtering industry are Black or Latino. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, meat packing is considered one of the most hazardous industries in the United States (McLaughlin, Pendergrass, 1988). Common injuries include knife cuts, strains, and sprains, though more serious injuries may occur while workers attempt to hold still a moving animal (McLaughlin, Pendergrass, 1988). Due to the overrepresentation of Black and Latinx people in this industry, these communities are disproportionately affected by these workplace hazards.
LOCAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF MEAT PRODUCTION
Additionally, the meat packing industry is a significant source of environmental pollution. The most notorious of these is the Contained Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). In CAFOs, large numbers of animals are kept in confined spaces, and their waste is drained and stored in open air pits. When the waste is partially decomposed, it is released into the surrounding environment, which means it can spread into and pollute the air and water supply (Mirabelli et al., 2006, p. 593). CAFO waste is likely to contain pathogens, ammonia, cleaning agents, and hormones, all of which can be dangerous to people exposed to this pollution (cite Sierra Club). CAFOs and their waste pits have to go somewhere, and are often placed in underserved communities. As such, CAFOS are more likely to be found near communities of color and impoverished communities. Those exposed to these waste pits report a number of health problems, from burning eyes, to trouble breathing, to higher rates of depression and other mental health issues (Mirabelli et al., 2006, p. 593).
WORKING FOR THE BETTER
We want to push for something better. Something Better Foods’ plant-based products are a much cleaner alternative than meat in terms of production. There is no need for CAFO waste pits. Additionally, we believe that employees at Something Better Foods should have safe, well-paying jobs, as opposed to the hazards faced by meat packing employees. We want team members at Something Better Foods to have not just fair-wage jobs, but great-paying jobs that have a positive impact on the local economy and community. Something Better Foods especially wants to improve the lives of underserved communities with health and economic opportunities. We know our products are a proven success with minority groups, specifically the African American and Latin communities who consume more meat than other ethnic groups in the U.S. On these premises, we work to forward a movement towards healthier people, and healthier local and global environments.