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Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry Paperback – November 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591024501
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591024507
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (180 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #358,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"As Eisnitz convincingly shows, the meat industry is indifferent to animal suffering, exploitative of its workers, and liable to produce a product that is riddled with dangerous bacteria. Whether you eat meat or not — if you care about humans or animals — this book is a must read."
Peter Singer, Princeton University
Author of In Defense of Animals and Animal Liberation

"This book penetrates the veil of psychic numbing that keeps us oblivious to the real truth behind modern meat. If you want to remain a prisoner of your own ignorance, don't read it. It will make you aware. It will wake you up. It will change your life." ."
John Robbins, Founder of the EarthSave Foundation
Author of Diet for a New America

About the Author

Gail A. Eisnitz (San Rafael, CA), winner of the Albert Schweitzer Medal for outstanding achievement in animal welfare, is the chief investigator for the Humane Farming Association. Her work has resulted in exposés by ABC’s Good Morning America, PrimeTime Live, and Dateline NBC, and her interviews have been heard on more than 1,000 radio stations. Her work has been featured in such newspapers as The New York Times, Miami Herald, Detroit Free Press, Texas Monthly, Denver Business Journal, Los Angeles Times, and US News & World Report. Eisnitz was the driving force behind a front-page exposé in The Washington Post documenting slaughterhouse atrocities. The Washington Post reporter later described Eisnitz as "the most courageous investigator I’ve ever seen." The story was one of the highest reader-response pieces ever run by The Washington Post.

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Customer Reviews

Do yourself a favor, read this book.
J. Qualls
Ms. Eisnitz does an amazing job documenting the horrendous conditions of these slaughterhouses for both the animals and workers.
JennB
Even then the result of reading the book is that I will never eat meat again.
Andrew Armstrong

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

349 of 357 people found the following review helpful By Schtinky VINE VOICE on August 18, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is for everyone to read, not just animal activists or vegetarians. This is a book about corporate greed and government ineffectiveness, and how absolutely everyone in the room refuses to see the Pink Elephant at the table, stuffing itself at the expense of your health and hard earned money.

Pay Attention! Virtually every piece of meat you purchase from your supermarket with the "USDA Inspected" safety stamp on it HAS NEVER BEEN INSPECTED AT ALL. USDA inspectors are no longer responsible for "Contamination Control", which amounts to debris coating the carcass such as feces, urine, mucus, pus, hair, dirt, grease, rat droppings, blood clots, etc. Their only responsibility is to examine the organs and head for gross malformations, and the inspectors are severely reprimanded or even fired for stopping the line, so virtually every filthy and disease ridden corpse makes its way to your table anyway.

A) Taking the butchering of animals away from the smaller, pride-of-ownership slaughterhouses and moving virtually all of the animal product production to high-speed, high profit corporations was a deadly move, and it is up to the working-class people to stop it.

B) The US is the only industrialized country that cools their chicken carcasses in water instead of air cooling, creating a virtual disease pool filthier than a public toilet next to a crack house. Why? Because water adds weight, so you get the privilege of actually paying increased poundage for the putrid and infected water your chicken soaked in.

C) Going against the National Academy of Science recommendations, the USDA relaxed standards and cut back on inspections while allowing production to increase over 40%.
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243 of 248 people found the following review helpful By "blackhorseranch" on June 7, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Eisnitz is frank and candid in her exposure of the uglier side of factory farming. Slaughter of live animals is never pretty, but in many of the USDA supervised plants, the conditions are unbelievably cruel and digustingly filthy. The workers are exploited, placed in harm's way, and are treated little better than the animals they have to process. The animals themselves meet terribly slow deaths when stun bolts fail and stick pit knives don't cut deep enough to allow them to bleed to death before skinning and gutting. And if the cruelty isn't enough to grab you, wait until you read about the offal blocked drains that flood slaughterhouse floors with blood and fecal material. Wait until you read about manure being classified as a "cosmetic defect" that can simply be rinsed off and the meat passed off as USDA select to an unsuspecting public. This book will turn your stomach and make you angry.
You have probably already read many of the reviews and a majority of them come from vegans and vegetarians. Well, I'm not one of them. I raise meat animals and I eat meat. This book is important to me because I believe that Americans have a right to eat meat and not worry about it killing them with E. coli or Clostridia infections. I believe Americans should be able to believe that the USDA seal means the meat is safe and was killed in a humane fashion. Right now the American meat eating public is being betrayed by the USDA and "Slaughterhouse" details this with painstaking research and first-hand accounts.
"Slaughterhouse" is graphic and readers should expect it to be disturbing. But it is also very, very accurate. I've toured several slaughterhouses myself and found conditions similar to what Ms. Eisnitz has described.
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146 of 150 people found the following review helpful By J. Marone on August 2, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The format was easy to read, short concise stories, but the material was hard to stomach. Gail is a wonderful author and has brought to light all sides of the meat industry. Including the impact to the animals, children, workers, inspectors and vets. It shows that there is no one guilty party, there is a guilty industry in need of radical change, and an uninformed public - (one that in my limited experience would rather stay blind to these issues).

On a personal note, I never understood what my decision to eat meat meant for the meat I was eating. I could never have comprehended how horrible their deaths are, I was already aware their lives were not pleasant, but I was not prepared for the suffering that awaits them after a life of strife. Cows, pigs and chickens are taken through the slaughter house alive. Cow's are often alive all the way through the line, this includes while they are getting their legs chopped off with cutters - imagine that... They do not stop the line for these inconveniences. The workers shove electric prods in their rectums and eyes - deep into the sockets occasionally pulling out the eye to get them moving to the slaughter line.

After reading this I will never eat another piece of meat again. It is not my decision to make any other living thing suffer. But I find it amazing that when you go to share this book, people don't want to know. They would rather stay ignorant and that in itself has shocked me tremendously.
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42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By J. Qualls on December 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Do yourself a favor, read this book.

I just finished Slaughterhouse...all I can say is wow. I feel like I've been living under a rock not to have known this stuff, but then how could I, the average consumer, know? To tell you the truth, I'm angry, outraged. The things I learned about the USDA are more than shocking. Nightmarishly shocking doesn't even begin to cover it.

There are far too many things I could list in this book that shocked me to my foundation. And I considered myself informed.

If I consider just the conditions in the slaughterhouses, I'm revolted, disgusted and my stomach is still churning. Animals aside, those poor people who are forced, because of circumstances, to work in those places...I'll say it again, I was shocked. I had no idea. Torturing those animals not by choice or indifference but because their only option is unemployment is, well, shocking. As Ms. Eisnitz pointed out through example, as have many behavior studies, cruelty to animals, despite the reason, effects people, changes them, into something less than human.

I truly believe that future generations will look back at this time, right now, of great leaps in technology and vast increases in understanding of animals, and yet complete and unmitigated disregard of animal, and human, rights and safety, and in most cases increased safety risk and cruelty due to 'demand' and 'modernization', with revulsion, shame and contempt.
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