Oprah sent an “investigative” reporter into a Cargill slaughterhouse, and the resulting video is, frankly, amazing. If you’re the least curious about how cows make the journey from feedlot to your plate, it’s worth watching the whole thing.
But why would ag giant Cargill, a company with a record nearly as tainted as the nearly million pounds of beef it was recently forced to recall, allow a reporter into one of its slaughterhouses?
Watch the video and you’ll find out. From the almost-quaint feed lot at the beginning of the clip — which is nothing like the truly gigantic feedlots that are typical of such operations — to the conscientious Cargill employees interviewed during the segment, it’s clear that this is a highly orchestrated visit with a Cargill-friendly moral.
The meat-industry approved “investigative” “report” “uncovers” that unless you’ve got a problem with mechanization or the ethics of meat eating itself, there’s nothing wrong with how the overwhelming majority of America’s beef is produced.
It’s not like they put bows on the cows, but this is obviously as good as a slaughterhouse gets.
The problem, as Tom Philpott and countless other Grist writers have amply documented, is that Cargill itself, and the food system it represents, is in some respects inherently anathema to sanitary, sustainable farming:
- Antibiotic-resistant salmonella, school lunches, and Cargill’s dodgy California beef plant
- Cargill, the National School Lunch Program, and antibiotic-resistant salmonella
- What the financial collapse can teach us about the food system