Meat Blog by Kaylee

Ted Conover’s “The Way of all Flesh” shares his experience as a new USDA meat inspector at the Cargill’s Schuler, Nebraska plant. He describes the cow slaughtering process he witnessed on the kill floor and the inspection of their organs, livers, and hearts to ensure there are no abnormalities and up to standards. Conover shares different experiences of learning the basics of the job from knife cuts to identifying what should be stamped as well as their work atmosphere and the interactions between colleagues. Towards the end of the author’s story, the author starts to feel conflicted with ethical concerns of continuing to eat beef after everything they had witnessed. If I were in their situation, I could never have eaten beef and I started to tear up, feeling nauseated from just imagining the description of the cow slaughter process. It was surprising that the author was capable of enjoying eating beef after describing the death of each cow with their possible final thoughts. I do think the meat processing industry is more trustworthy with their inspections, making sure everything meets USDA standards unlike before the legislation mandating inspection but is still ethically wrong. Lately, I have been trying to switch to vegetarianism or pescetarianism due to a personal preference for diet but after reading this, I feel more strongly to switch immediately without hesitation.

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