Today’s readings bring to light two major issues occurring in the United States. One, being immigration and the regulations shrouding this issue; and two, highlights the increase greed and de-familiarization of humanity in large corporate owners, especially those companies who practice vertical integration. I would have to say immigration plays a heavy role in today’s meatpacking conditions, as once mentioned, the meatpacking industry used to be a “skill”. A “skill” comparable to other industry’s who rely heavily on “manual” labor, i.e. tomato pickers. In retrospect, although both forms of “manual” labor is one that this college student would care to not participate; I believe the tomato pickers are in a far better condition, in comparison to their meat brethren.
The second issue of the decrease in humanity with regards to these food conglomerates. In order for them to remain “competitive”, they essentially base their bottom line by exploiting the impoverished or near-by immigrant. An insinuation in Fast Food Nation was the fact that their were several meat packing processing plants throughout the US, but with expansion comes a inevitable monopoly and also the reduction of available meat packing processing plants. Now, the few processing plants are located in prime territories, areas in which there is a high influx of impoverished persons and also a possible intake of illegal immigrants. This source of ever growing manpower, leads to these vial conditions and disrupts the previously “skilled” employee from their once respected position.
Unfortunately, I do not believe the meat packing industry will reach its formative years; it will be a steady decrease, in which the consumer will inevitably bare the costs. There will never be mechanization in this field, because other than the fact that cattle’s range in sizes, I do not see conglomerates willing to pay the initial expense burdens, in sacrifice of their “cash cows”.