My grandfather retired from Tyson in the late 1980s. He worked in a chicken hatchery for many years before developing respiratory complications. This occurred by inhaling the down feathers, the chickens would molt.
Today he spends his time tending to his small herd of cattle, that graze his conjoining pastures. The cows are his hobby and he enjoys taking care of them. Over the years the cows may come and go, but he isn’t in it for the money. When he returns inside after a day with the herd, his agitated lungs cause him to cough excessively.
When we think of factory farms, like those owned by Tyson, an overcrowded building full of animals may come to mind. One aspect about factory farms, sometimes overlooked, is the poor conditions the workers are exposed to.
Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, said that Tyson foods is now the largest meat packing business in the world. Since my grandfathers retirement, the Tyson hatchery has replaced its workforce with immigrant labor. These hispanic workers are susceptible to being exploited by companies like Tyson. They are not earning the same salary or retirement benefits that my grandfather made. Furthermore they are being exposed to the same health and safety issues that can cause permanent health problems.
Food quality and health concerns from these factory farms do not end with the food they sell. The livelihood and well being of their workers are also in jeopardy.
Image from www.deovolentefarm.com
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