What Does It Profit #3 Dangerous Business: The Human Cost of The Meat We Eat

Posted in Solidarity Economy Workshop

In this episode, we head to Crete, Nebraska, America’s heartland, in our quest to gain insight into the human cost of the meat we eat. We tell the extraordinary story of the “Children of Smithfield,” the adult children of meatpacking workers at Smithfield Foods who stood up to Big Meat, the governor, and others in positions of power and authority to proclaim that their parents were not “expendable.” These brave children stood up to meat producers whose callus and irresponsible response to COVID-19 was unacceptable. We then introduce you to the exploitive use of child labor in these same plants.

This is a story that at first is sad, but then it is a source of frustration and anger. The meat industry in the US and around the world is extremely powerful and stands to continue to profit from the labor of some of the most vulnerable. Meatpacking is one of the most dangerous jobs in our economy, and the true cost of meat is not the price printed on the label.

What Does It Profit is powered by the Solidarity Economy Workshop (new window) at Georgetown University.