Modern-Day Slavery: Powerful Documentary Spotlights Human Trafficking in the Egg Industry

A new documentary from Frontline and the investigative reporting program at U.C. Berkeley details egregious forced labor and human trafficking—commonly regarded as modern-day slavery—of Guatemalan teens at an egg farm in Ohio.

The documentary explores the situations of teens forced to work off “debts under the threat of violence against their families. In 2015 federal authorities indicted four people on charges of labor-trafficking conspiracy, forced labor, harboring illegal aliens, witness tampering, and giving false information.

At that time, authorities found a total of 10 people, including at least eight teenagers as young as 14, who were forced to live in dilapidated trailers without heat, beds, or working toilets and to work grueling physical jobs up to 12 hours a day, six to seven days a week at Trillium Farms, formerly known as Ohio Fresh Eggs.

That’s just the beginning. As the documentary explains, the subcommittee that investigates the government’s handling of unaccompanied minors found that the case at Trillium Farms wasn’t an isolated incident. And to make matters worse, the committee has no clue how many other victims are in similar situations.

You can watch the trailer here:

Unfortunately, this is far from the first time factory farmers have been busted for using slave labor. The Indonesian fishing industry is notorious for its blatant disregard for human life. Tricked into slavery with the promise of good wages, countless men are forced to work long hours, often with very little food and no clean drinking water.

And humans aren’t the only ones abused by the meat industry. Farmed animals are subjected to horrific conditions and denied nearly everything that comes naturally to them.

Think slavery and animal cruelty are unethical? We can take a stand for workers and animals suffering at farms by ditching meat and other animal products for good. Click here for delicious vegan recipes, easy meal ideas, and tips on making the switch.