Mercy For Animals, as part of a coalition of social justice organizations, is calling on meat companies to end some of the worst animal cruelty in their operations while adequately protecting vulnerable workers. The coalition, which includes the biggest and oldest Latino civil rights organization in the country—the League of United Latin American Citizens, is asking its friends and supporters to go #MeatFreeInSolidarity with animals and the workers whose lives are at stake.
Slaughterhouses are COVID-19 hotspots, and workers are sick and dying. According to Food & Environment Reporting Network, at least 37,197 reported cases of COVID-19 are tied to meatpacking facilities, and at least 168 workers have died. This disproportionately affects people of color, immigrants, and those in low-income families, as they make up the vast majority of meatpacking workers.
Worker illnesses have even led to forced closure of more than 20 slaughterhouses across the country. As facilities shut down, countless animals are killed at farms in ways even more horrific than the slaughter line. Approved killing methods include covering animals in foam until they suffocate and slamming them headfirst into concrete—a common pork industry practice. Another method is ventilation shutdown, where farmers turn off the ventilation systems and water supplies in their barns and wait for birds to slowly suffocate or overheat.
The coalition is calling on meat companies to meet a set of demands that includes slowing down slaughter lines and implementing systems and policies to protect workers from retaliation when they miss work due to illness. To the powerful meat industry, animals’ and workers’ lives are expendable.
Join us in telling the meat industry that lives are more important than profits. Whether you go #MeatFreeInSolidarity for a day, for a week, or for good, you will make a difference. Take the pledge today.