WIUM Tristates Public Radio

slaughterhouse

Dozens of congressional Democrats are opposing a recently proposed federal rule that would change hog-slaughterhouse inspections and the number of hogs that can be processed daily.

Wearing a heavy smock and rubber boots, Amadedin Eganwa stands over a large conveyor belt that’s carrying unconscious lambs. He faces east, towards Mecca, gently lifts the animal’s head in the same direction and under his breath he quickly says a prayer — bismillahi allahu akbar, or “in God’s name” — before swiftly cutting the lamb’s throat.

Earl Dotter / Oxfam

Pushed by worker advocates and growing consumer awareness, Tyson Foods on Wednesday promised better conditions for workers at its meat processing plants.

Stephanie Paige Ogburn/KUNC

Slaughterhouses and meat packing plants throughout the country employ a lot of people. About a quarter of a million workers in the U.S. stun, kill, and eviscerate the animals we eat. Most of those jobs are physically demanding and require few skills.

Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

In a dimly-lit lab on the Des Moines, Iowa, public schools’ agricultural science campus, students in aprons, safety goggles and plastic gloves poke and probe chicken wings.

Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media

Immigrants have always been the backbone of America’s meat packing plants, offering upward mobility for its newcomers.