Today at church a man kissed my head. I was not okay with that.
It has recently been announced that Waco is getting a chicken processing plant and a hatchery. Between the two facilities, 1300 people will be employed and millions of dollars will be brought into the area. Also, production employees, after a year of work, will be making $10.10/hour, which is a really good wage for these parts. (Much better than what Baylor pays, but I won't go into that right now.)
This all sounds great. But is it really?
First of all, I'm currently reading a book about slaughterhouses entitled Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment inside the U.S. Meat Industry (Thanks Cecilia!). The book is about just that, how horrible slaughterhouses really are. Now I'm not an animal rights person by any means. Heck, I don't even really care about animals at all. I don't get the big deal. But what strikes me from this book is how dirty and gross slaughterhouses really are. They are filthy and the meat can be contaminated in so many ways. It's actually quite sick. I don't think I want to eat meat that has been in vats of water that also have feces in it. Call me crazy, but that just doesn't sound very appetizing.
The workers at the slaughterhouses in the book are treated very poorly. Their jobs are extremely dangerous and many of them have been severly injured while on the job. Many of the people interviewed for the book have quit for fear of their lives. They had too many close calls and just couldn't work there anymore.
I'm not saying that the chicken places that are coming to Waco will be like those in the book I'm reading. The company that's coming could be very humane to the animals and treat their workers with the respect they deserve. Their facilities could very well be extremely clean so that they don't cross contiminate their meat. I don't know. We'll have to see. But what I do know is that they said that they will be exporting most of their dark meat. Since Americans generally prefer the white meat, they have to do something with the dark meat so they'll probably be dumping it on developing countries. Which means that people in those countries will not be able to sell their poultry as easily since there is an abundance of cheap chicken from the United States.
All this to say that I do not know if its good or bad that Waco is getting chicken plants. Maybe it's both.