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Slaughterhouse: The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, And Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry

4.33 of 5 stars 4.33  ·  rating details  ·  869 ratings  ·  117 reviews
With a New Afterword by the Author

Slaughterhouse is the first book of its kind to explore the impact that unprecedented changes in the meatpacking industry over the last twenty-five years—particularly industry consolidation, increased line speeds, and deregulation—have had on workers, animals, and consumers. It is also the first time ever that workers have spoken publicly...more
Paperback, 328 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Prometheus Books (first published 1997)
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pinktheory  Ⓥ
Mar 08, 2008 pinktheory Ⓥ rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: EVERYBODY!!!!! except maybe little kids due to its graphic nature
Shelves: vegan, non-fiction
If everyone read this book, they would go vegan or at least vegetarian. But of course, many won't read this book. Why? I don't know. Because they like steak, because ignorance is bliss, or because they just don't care. This book chronicles the author's altruistic efforts to expose the inhumane treatment in slaughterhouses across the country. Her book covers 3 main aspects of slaughterhouses: (1) the inhumane treatment of animals (2) the terrible working conditions for slaughterhouse workers and...more
Lisa Vegan
I highly recommend it but this is a very disturbing book. One would have to have no ability to empathize with humans or animals to not feel devastated after reading this book. It’s about the completely horrible conditions for both the farm animals who are killed and for the slaughterhouse workers also.
So painful to read...but also so necessary. Go vegan and quit making excuses!!!!
This one's a life changer. If it were required reading in highschool I'm fairly certain we'd have a nation of vegetarians. I tend to read a lot of books dealing with animal welfare, and many of them are dry and factual. This one reads like a thriller while simultaneously informing.
Andrew Collins
For anyone who does not know anything about what happens in slaughterhouses (spoiler: animals are slaughtered) this book would represent a strong and much needed dose of reality. Reading this book would be a good start, but should not be the last one a sincere, thinking and moral human being should read.

For anyone who already has some notion of what happens in slaughterhouses (spoiler: it really is worse than you thought) this book will most likely end up being avoided. Willful ignorance is mora...more
Slaughterhouse is AMAZING!!! I have never cried while reading a book until I picked this one up. My Environmental Ethics professor gave me his copy in college in 2002. I started to read it and finished it in a matter of days. This book is approachable because it is easy to read and understand. Eisnitz doesn’t get bogged down in Philosophical arguments, but simply presents information. If you want to know about slaughterhouse conditions then you HAVE to read this book. If I wasn’t vegetarian befo...more
Lindsey Benage
Yet another life changer on this topic...

I can say that for me I didn't really learn anything new about the torturous ways we treat animals many call food but that is solely due to the fact that I have read numerous books on this topic. For many who haven't they will find numerous examples they likely were not aware of in regards to the treatment of animals in factory farms.

For me, because of the numerous books I have read about the treatment of animals, the most interesting part of this book wa...more
May 24, 2007 Elizabeth rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who is interested in animal rights or government corruption
I had a rude awakening very recently concerning the health hazards as well as the immorality of eating meat, and as a result, i've been seeking out information on the meat industry and animal rights. This book is more or less the top of the stack as far as I'm concerned, being a new convert to vegetarianism. It exposes the gross crimes committed against animals every day by the thousands as they're drug through the slaughterhouse, being skinned, mutilated, tortured, beaten, shocked, and scalded...more
If you read only one book about the meat industry, make it this one. Slaughterhouse is a book about the other reality behind our demand for cheap meat, and lots of it: horrifically abused animals, permanently disabled workers, and dangerously dirty product. While animals are a point of focus of this book, I wouldn’t call Slaughterhouse an animal rights or vegan work. Rather, it’s an overall study of the modern day meat-processing factory—but don’t be surprised if the animal rights and vegan argu...more
I read an earlier version of this book, back in 2004 I think. I believe it is one of the most important books that anyone will ever read and something everyone should read. Every person I have ever loaned it to has come back with the same feelings. It is a disgusting, disturbing industry. I couldn't eat chicken for 2 weeks after reading this book and still cry when I see a pig truck pass me on the highway. I am not a vegetarian (though I will NEVER eat veal), and never will be, but I feel that t...more
Nov 28, 2008 Lauri rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone -- especially carnivores!
Seriously, I don't know how to say this any plainer: every adult needs to read this book. Putting your head in the sand when it comes to how your food animals are raised and killed puts you in grave danger and keeps ensuring the outrageous torment of MILLIONS of animals, annually. This book is not some animal rights story blown out of proportion. It is the most compelling and important expose on food to have been written since Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle". Even if you don't care about the anima...more
i gave this title a lower rating only because the narrative is sensational and it isn't as skillfully written as it could have been. that said, there are not many books written about this subject, so the investigative work that eisnitz has done is immensely valuable. it is a fast-paced, gory read that will likely leave you feeling indignant and insulted by yet another instance of a federal agency witholding information from the public and surreptitiously covering up mistakes. another thing that...more
This was a fantastic book. Gail Eisnitz has produced an outstanding and irrefutable account of the truth behind America's meatpacking industry. One can only wonder what, if anything, has changed since her book was published; an updated edition would be much appreciated. Gail Eisnitz has done a terrific job of balancing what some might regard as an agenda (she was employed by the Humane Farming Association during her research for this book) with the reporting of meticulously documented facts. Any...more
Aaron the Pink Donut
A very hard book to read but very informative and well researched. I am reasonably knowledgeable about the litany of Auschwitz like horrors that permeate the modern, industrial farm factory, but this book enlighten me to a few practices I wasn’t aware of. The edition I read was a slightly revised version from 2006 that included a new afterword. The use of Horse meat for human consumption and the classifying of Rabbits as poultry were news to me. Every one really should read this book. Yet anothe...more
Todd Myers
Modern day look into slaughterhouses, not only what is done to the animals, but how the workers are treated as well. This modern day true to life version of The Jungle is a must read, for those that truly wish to be informed of what is going on and where their food comes from and how animals are treated in factory farms and slaughterhouses. Think the USDA and government has your best interests in mind? This book will change that for you, it's all about production and profit, screw the consumer,...more
This is not an easy read. Although it is on my top 5 list of books that have touched me the most, it is also the book that changed my life. I do not recommend it unless you're truly prepared for what the book is about. When I think about the day I finished reading it, I realize how much I appreciate the hardships Gail A. Eisnitz had to go through to make this book happen. Although it is a hard read, it was a necessary read for me to understand what really goes behind the doors of the U.S. Meat I...more
It isn't an easy read because it's repetitious. Perhaps because the author visited so many factories and documented similar inhumane treatments everywhere. I didn't know abt. how the animals died on their trip to the factories - how they froze to the sides of the metal trucks in the winter and were ripped off even though they were still alive. Conditions have changed just a teeny bit for the better. We still have much work to improve this whole industry.
This is a very good book if you are a meat eater. This book made me almost want to go vegan. I am not going to be a vegan after this book but it does make me want to change my diet. It's graphic and can be a hard read for those who either have a weak stomach or can not stand details of animals being abused and killed.

It's very well written and one of the few books that explore this issue (other than "The Jungle").
Lucy White
I read this about a year after I went vegan.. it shocked me, and I cried through a large proportion of it. Shocking, but everyone must read it. Great account of untold horrors in the animal agricultural industry. Go vegan, please.
Mar 28, 2008 Jess rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: any who are ready to know the facts!
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in maintaining and improving the health of their family! The filth is shocking and has forever guaranteed me of a meat-free diet!!! (Don't trust the FDA or USDA!!!)
i learned the ugliness and real side of slaughterhouses and honestly makes me sick that these companies get away with this. now we know, its up to us to do something about the injustice.
This was a horrific tale of what is really going on in our country's slaugherhouses. I recommend that everyone read this, and to bu farm-raised beef and poultry only!
Didn't want to read it, but glad I did. Can't eat meat without thinking of this book, and eat considerably less meat since reading. Made me cry.
Michelle Leplattenier
Hard to read, but eye opening and bizarre.
This book was ok.. I am glad that I read it. This book went into detail about the cruelty animals face at the slaughterhouse, torture, brutatlity..and in some instances just down right pure evil! I just don't know how people could think of such horrible things to do to animals. Ms. Eisnitz goes on to also discuss (in detail) the high level of conatmination our meat is packed and shipped with, pus, maggots, feces (human, rodent and animal) just to name a few. Ms. Eisnitz goes on to say that not o...more
This is one of the most important books I've ever read. Whether you eat meat or not, everyone in America should read this book. Nothing has changed since Upton Sinclair wrote "The Jungle." In fact, things are worse than they've ever been. Animals are routinely tortured to death in American meat packing facilities. In this book you'll learn about cows being skinned alive, pigs drowning in the blood of those who died before them, chickens with 100% contamination rates of campylobacter, and more. T...more
Incredible journalism, excellent writing, compelling evidence, horrifying truths. One of the most important consumer advocate books ever written. The spiritual sequel to The Jungle, in which everything gets worse than it was. It is difficult to believe nearly everything inside - but all of the evidence is so widely available, that it is harder to deny.

An awesome book, in the biblical sense - this story of greed and disregard for human welfare is truly awful.
After reading this book, I truly cannot wrap my brain around how anyone still eats animals. This should be required reading for all omnivores. Forget the violence inherent in breeding sentient beings so you can kill them, forget the horrifying conditions of factory farms, forget every other reason to go vegan: the things that slaughterhouse workers do to animals' bodies every single day are unthinkable, and read like a script for something out of the Saw franchise.
David Meyer
This is a great book! I highly recommend everyone reads it and learns about the sickening conditions in slaughter houses. My favorite vegan dish to eat is a variation on the Jack Lalanne casserole where I mix red lentils and a pound of frozen organic broccoli in my Vita-mix blender. This dish is simple, easy, cheap, and delicious and it was not made in a slaughterhouse! It was made from the earth. Eat real food and little or no animals!

This book is informative, but on an interesting level. The author tells descriptive interviews from people working in slaughterhouses around the U.S. She describes everything from the people, the settings, and of course their comments and complaints. The book seemed to repeat itself with the "same ol" thing, which did get old, and pretty sickening to read over and over. However, the author made a clear point that animals and workers in the slaughterhouses are not being treated well, especially t...more
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“One time I took my knife and sliced off the end of a hog’s nose, just like a piece of salami. The hog went crazy for a few seconds. Then it sat there looking kind of stupid. So I took a handful of salt and rubbed it on the wound. Now that hog really went nuts. It was my way of taking out frustration. Another time, there was a live hog in the pit. It hadn’t done anything wrong, wasn’t even running around. It was just alive. I took a three-foot chunk of pipe and I literally beat that hog to death. It was like I started hitting the hog and I couldn’t stop. And when I finally did stop, I’d expended all this energy and frustration, and I’m thinking what in God’s sweet name did I do.” 3 likes
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