The emerging literature on the psychological effects of slaughterhouse work on humans is substantive (1,2,3).
We already know that farming animals for food is harmful to animals, the environment and human health. Now we are seeing that the animal industries may cause wider harms. The desensitisation to suffering is causally linked to a higher propensity for committing violent crimes, particularly domestic abuse, which is a great concern to Australians. An industry that institutionalises and normalises violence makes an ethical system within it impossible to apply.
Therefore, we believe the majority of the industry is beyond reform and detrimental to those who work within and pass through it. Due to the multiple harms caused by the slaughterhouse industry, we recommend closing it down and transitioning workers to kinder, meaningful employment.
- To establish a Federal Government inquiry into the connection between slaughterhouse work and family and social violence.
- To ensure that workers compensation schemes cater for the unique physical and psychological risks faced by slaughterhouse workers.
- To conduct regular psychological examinations of workers for signs of stress and psychological harm that could raise the risk of family or social violence.
- To provide assistance to enable animal farmers and slaugherhouse workers to transition to plant based industries.
(1) Gullone, Eleonora (2012), “Animal Cruelty, Antisocial Behaviour, and Aggression: More than a Link” Palgrave Macmillan.
(2) Flynn, Clifton P. (2012) Understanding Animal Abuse: A Sociological Analysis” New York: Lantern Books.
(3) Eisnitz, Gail A. (2009) Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, And Inhumane Treatment”