The Nightmare Job

Daily Post….In honor of Labor Day in North America, tell us what’s the one job you could never imagine yourself doing.

I am fairly certain that there are some truly horrible jobs out in the work world that I can not even imagine. And someone is doing that job.  When I saw this question posted on the Daily Prompt my immediate (and I do mean I didn’t think more than a nano second) thought was “Slaughter House/Meat Packing Plant”. <gag, gag, gag>

Mind you I grew up with ranchers as relatives. Dairy cows, with a few regular cows/steers, (whatevs) and about every year or so my parents would make the long drive from Seattle to Omak WA where my uncle’s dairy farm occupied a vast number of acres on the Omak River. There, some poor beef soul would be freed from it’s earthly body. It would then be tussled up and hung from the rafters, while draining body fluids into the ground. (I heard the shot and thank God I never actually saw the act of killing that animal…that would have haunted me for eternity.) I am not sure if my uncle butchered it or it was sent to town, but we would load up the trunk of whatever Mercury model car we owned and drive home to move white square packages into the basement freezer. We would then feast on this for the ensuing months…until the next time.

Years go by and I leave home. During my mid-twenties I became aware of the “meat” industry practice of feeding cattle (and chickens, etc) hormones to ‘improve’ their ability to fatten up and thus get to the supermarket meat display case even faster than Mother Nature had designed.

I stopped eating meat.

I would like to say that it was because I just couldn’t eat anything with a face. Or, that I was this really animal loving individual that couldn’t see myself as a cannibal. But the truth is: I just wasn’t sure that pumping animals with hormones and then consuming them was really a good idea. I was 25 and had not yet gone to college. I don’t recall anyone telling me it was bad or wrong or immoral. I just had this notion that it wasn’t going to end well for me. My body has blessed me well for that decision.

Fast forward 25 years and I am now into college. Taking science courses and peace studies. I am also taking quite a few sociology classes and it was during one of those classes that I found myself watching a video about meat packing plants. And what workers do in those places. Now the film was more about wages/labor practices/immigration than about the actual cattle…they were using the meat packing industry as an example of ‘who’ was actually working in those types of jobs/working conditions and how Americans no longer were willing to work at those jobs.

In case you have never seen one, meat packing jobs and the plants themselves are disgusting environments.

You  could not pay me enough money and benefits to even consider taking a position in one. Since I don’t consume meat products I don’t have any investment in saving or condemning the plants. However,  I would be fine if the need for the plants simply disappeared. For now it is just a nightmare job that I don’t have to do. Thank you Universe!


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