The folks at the Food & Environment Network (FERN) have taken on the grim task of monitoring the COIVD-19 situation in industrial slaughterhouses.
The numbers aren’t pretty.
As of June 29, FERN reports that at least 36,561 meatpacking, food processing and farmworkers have tested positive for Covid-19—and at least 116 workers of those have died.
Meanwhile four of the “Big Meat” companies responsible for these numbers—Tyson, JBS, Cargill and Smithfield—are being investigated for using the pandemic to needlessly endanger workers, and to deceive consumers about meat shortages so they could jack up prices, all while exporting massive amounts of meat to China.
Never have we needed to shut down factory farms more than now.
And never has the opportunity been more within our reach—if we can marshal the resources to get the job done.
We need to transition exploited factory farm workers to safer, better paying jobs, either in organic regenerative meat production or some other green industry.
But that’s just one of many reasons to end factory farming.
Industrial factory farms produce pesticide- and drug-contaminated meat.
Industrial factory farms are leading polluters of water and air.
Industrial factory farms are notorious for their cruel treatment of animals.
And let’s not forget this: Without factory farms, Monsanto would have a hard time pushing farmers to grow millions of acres of pesticide-saturated GMO grains for animal feed.
Now, more than ever, it’s time to demand an organic regenerative food and farming system.
Now, more than ever, we need a food system that improves public health, ensures worker rights, protects family farmers, ends animal abuse and protects the environment, including climate stability.
Safely ensconced in their high-rise executive offices, “Big Meat” corporation executives care nothing about the communities they exploit, and from which they extract wealth.
We can do better. And there’s no time like the present.