Friday, April 26, 2013

Journalist goes undercover as a meat inspector at slaughterhouse, writes first-person account

Ted Hanover
Writer Ted Hanover, whose quest for material for stories and novels led him to spend time crossing the border with Mexican nationals, and to work as a prison guard at Sing Sing in New York, recently spent two months going undercover in a slaughterhouse as a Department of Agriculture inspector. He gives his first-person account in an article in the May issue of Harper's magazine.

In “The Way of All Flesh: Undercover in an Industrial Slaughterhouse,” Hanover says he didn't go undercover to expose anyone, but out of curiosity on how meat is made. His story details his "learning curve wielding a knife and inspecting beef products and his interactions with coworkers and workers," Rita Jane Gabbett reports for Meatingplace, a multimedia information source for the meat industry.

Hanover likes to employ a first-person account of his investigations, and writes about his personal experiences "as he learned the job and the process of cattle slaughter and meat processing," Gabbett writes, noting that some disagree with Hanover's conclusions and interpretations. (Read more)

Harper's is available by subscription only, but an excerpt from Hanover's story can be read here. It reads in part: "When their time comes, the cattle will be urged by workers toward the curving ramp that leads up into the building. The ramp has a roof and no sharp turns. It was designed by the livestock expert Temple Grandin, and the curves and penumbral light are believed to soothe the animals in their final moments. But the soothing goes only so far."

No comments: