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US meat worker says he was following orders in slaughterhouse cattle abuse case

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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:11 AM
Original message
US meat worker says he was following orders in slaughterhouse cattle abuse case
Source: AP

ADELANTO, California (AP) - A former slaughterhouse worker who was videotaped abusing ailing cattle in a case that led to the largest beef recall in U.S. history said in a jailhouse interview that he was only following orders.

Luis Sanchez said he felt bad when he saw how the cows were treated at Chino-based Westland/Hallmark Meat Co., and insisted his boss taught him to use a forklift to move so-called downer cows along the slaughter line.

. . .

Sanchez said he learned the company was handling the cows differently than other slaughterhouses from truck drivers who brought the animals to the plant. He said his supervisor told the workers to use care when federal inspectors were around.
Sanchez, who first came to the slaughterhouse about 10 years ago, said he doesn't understand why he's in jail.

I think it's unjust that I'm here. Where are the people in charge? he told the newspaper.

Read more:

Where are the people in charge? Sanchez is an immigrant defended by a public defender, the people in charge have highly paid lawyers. Does that answer the question.
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Sam Ervin jret Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
1. Good question Mr. Sanchez. Where are the people in charge?
Of this entire mess.

Where are the defenders of the entire deregulation mess.

Where are the defenders of the "less government in business is better" mess.

Where are the people who are in charge of this whole company's workers and it's CEO?

The buck stops where?

Oh ya?
At the little guys feet.
Now that's leadership.
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saigon68 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. They are Drinking Champagne as I type
Those fuckers are above and beyond the law.
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humus Donating Member (130 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 09:47 AM
Response to Original message
2. desecration
Until we end our violence against the earth- a matter ignored by most pacifists, as the issue of military violence is ignored by most conservationists-how can we hope to end our violence against each other? The earth, which we all have in common, is our deepest bond, and our behavior toward it cannot help but be an earnest of our consideration for each other and for our descendants.

"a people who are entirely lacking in economic self-determination,
either personal or local, and who are therefore entirely passive in
dealing with the suppliers of all their goods and services, including
political goods and services, cannot be governed democratically--or
not for long."
Wendell Berry

"We assume that we can have an exploitive, ruthlessly competitive,
profit-for-profit's-sake economy, and yet remain a God-fearing and a
democratic nation, as we still apparently think of ourselves. This
simply means that our highest principles and standards have no
practical force or influence, and are reduced merely to talk."

"...our country is not being destroyed by
bad politics, it is being destroyed by a bad way
of life. Bad politics is merely another result."
-- Wendell Berry ( )

"A change of heart or of values without a practice is only another
pointless luxury of a passively consumptive way of life."
-- Wendell Berry in "The Idea of a Local Economy"

It is, in every way, in the best interest of urban consumers to be
surrounded by productive land, well farmed and well maintained by
thriving farm families in thriving farm communities.
Wendell Berry

Our national political leaders do not know what we are talking about,
and they are without the local affections and allegiances that would
permit them to learn what we are talking about.
Wendell Berry

The message is plain enough, and we have ignored it for too long:
the great, centralized economic entities of our time do not come into
rural places in order to improve them by "creating jobs." They come
to take as much of value as they can take, as cheaply and as quickly
as they can take it. They are interested in "job creation" only so
long as the jobs can be done more cheaply by humans than by
machines. They are not interested in good health--economic or
natural or human--of any place on this earth.
Wendell Berry

...if you should undertake to appeal or complain to one of these great
corporations on behalf of your community, you would discover something
most remarkable: you would find that these organizations are organized
expressly for the evasion of responsibility. They are structures in
which, as my brother says, "the buck never stops." The buck is
processed up the hierarchy until finally it is passed to "the
shareholders," who characteristically are too widely dispersed, too
poorly informed, and too unconcerned to be responsible for anything.
The ideal of the modern corporation is to be (in terms of its own
advantage) anywhere and (in terms of local accountability) nowehere.
Wendell Berry

We are now pretty obviously facing the possibility of a world that the
supranational corporations, and the governments and educational
systems that serve them, will control entirely for their own
enrichment--and, incidentally and inescapably, for the impoverishment
of all the rest of us.
Wendell Berry

We can't go on too much longer, maybe, without considering the
likelihood that we humans are not intelligent enough to work on the
scale to which we have been tempted by our technological abilities.
Wendell Berry

To put the bounty and the health of our land,
our only commonwealth, into the hands of people
who do not live on it and share its fate
will always be an error.
For whatever determines the fortune of the land
determines also the fortune of the people.
If history teaches anything, it teaches that.
--Wendell Berry

Nothing is more pleasing or heartening than a plate of nourishing,
tasty, beautiful food artfully and lovingly prepared. Anything less
is unhealthy, as well as a desecration.
Wendell Berry

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Tumbulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
3. Yes, where are the people in charge?
And where are all the people who want meat at less than $5/lb?

You raise an animal in a healthy way on pasture (not a feed lot) and then have it slaughtered humanely and then pay to have it butchered at a real local butcher being paid a decent wage. Do the math and see what it costs. If you demand meat cheaper than that you are participating in the system of torture and exploitation of animal and workers at every level.

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Robbien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Excuse me
You are blaming the slave wage laborers for trying to find affordable food?

Where is all the outrage at shareholders who are demanding a 30 percent return on their trust fund dollars? In order to obtain such, companies hire slave wage laborers at below minimum wage.

Then the free marketers and unregulated government supporters get on their high horses and turn a blind eye to the robber barons and blame the slave wage laborers who are scrambling about trying to feed their families.
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Tumbulu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Very good points
Thanks for bringing them up. I do think that the shareholders have more responsibility than the laborers. Way more. But everyone who demands cheap meat participates as well, whether they realize it or not. The agri-business folks often justify the mistreatment of animals on the need to provide cheap food for lower income people.

When I was gathering signatures for a ballot proposition to make it illegal to put chickens, calves and sows into tiny cages here in California, do you know what some regular people said? They said- "but the price of meat will go up". So, this is fresh on my mind. Anyone who thinks this way is part of the problem. These people did not care about the animals at all. Only what it cost them. Now, thank goodness this was not what the majority of folks had to say. But it shocked me really.

Meat is not a necessity. It is a luxury and it is not possible to produce meat cheaply unless the animals are tortured and the human laborers involved underpaid. I do not think that you can get around this fact. Everyone who participates in the cheap meat system is somewhat to blame.

But I agree with you that the stockholders and lack of government regulations are to blame more.

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flvegan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 11:20 AM
Response to Original message
4. Hope Mr. Sanchez turns state's witness
and they DO charge the bosses. Animal abuser might as well go stoolie. He can't go much lower.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-09-08 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
8. I Believe Him...... Only Poor People Get Busted
the rich, unless it's beneficial to others, get a pass.
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