The American Meat Institute’s Human Shields

In a pouty, spiteful, and unwittingly delightful letter, the American Meat Institute’s J. Patrick Boyle writes:

Congratulations, ABC World News. Your relentless coverage and uninformed criticism of a safe and wholesome beef product has now delivered a hook for yet another nightly news broadcast.

Today, a three-week war waged on a beef product called lean finely textured beef came to a painful head as hundreds of people lost their jobs when one of the primary processors shuttered three plants. While lean finely texture beef was given a catchy and clever nickname in ‘pink slime,’ the impact of alarming broadcasts about this safe and wholesome beef product by Jamie Oliver, ABC News and others are no joke to those families that are now out of work.

Oh, come on. Can any informed person honestly believe the meat industry cares even slightly about its workers’ families? If you’re wanting details of how the industry burns through its workers, families, and entire communities alike, well then today’s your lucky day: the excellent 2004 book Slaughterhouse Blues has recently been released in an updated and expanded second edition.

Some free advice to the American Meat Institute. You just saw what happened when the public became aware of how pink slime is produced. If you bring up the hardships facing your workers, don’t be surprised if the public starts paying attention to the misdeeds revealed in Slaughterhouse Blues. You won’t like where that conversation leads either.