Rabbit Advocacy Animal Matters
Nov. 2011 Timothy Pachirat
This is an account of industrialized killing from a participant’s point of view. The author, political scientist Timothy Pachirat, was employed undercover for five months in a Great Plains slaughterhouse where 2,500 cattle were killed per day—one every twelve seconds. Working in the cooler as a liver hanger, in the chutes as a cattle driver, and on the kill floor as a food-safety quality-control worker, Pachirat experienced firsthand the realities of the work of killing in modern society. He uses those experiences to explore not only the slaughter industry but also how, as a society, we facilitate violent labor and hide away that which is too repugnant to contemplate.
Through his vivid narrative and ethnographic approach, Pachirat brings to life massive, routine killing from the perspective of those who take part in it. He shows how surveillance and sequestration operate within the slaughterhouse and in its interactions with the community at large. He also considers how society is organized to distance and hide uncomfortable realities from view. With much to say about issues ranging from the sociology of violence and modern food production to animal rights and welfare, Every Twelve Seconds is an important and disturbing work.
Timothy Pachirat is assistant professor, Department of Politics, The New School. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
“As Eisnitz convincingly shows, the meat industry is indifferent to animal suffering, exploitative of its workers, and liable to produce a product that is riddled with dangerous bacteria. Whether you eat meat or not — if you care about humans or animals — this book is a must read.” Peter Singer, Princeton University, Author of In Defense of Animals and Animal Liberation