Probing the link between slaughterhouses and violent crime

In a recent study, a University of Windsor criminology professor found that abattoirs consistently mean higher crime rates.

Cross-posted excerpts from The Star


    “To author Upton Sinclair, the hellish world of factory slaughterhouses was as dangerous to human beings as it was to pigs. He filled his 1906 novel The Jungle with meat-packing images that seem ripped from a slasher movie . . .

    “Sinclair’s abattoir labourers get so desensitized to violence that rates of murder, rape and brawls among them rise. The book cemented the link between slaughterhouses and crime for decades to come — long before pig farmer and serial killer Robert Pickton haunted headlines.

    “More than a hundred years later, a University of Windsor researcher may have proven the literary classic right. Criminology professor Amy Fitzgerald says statistics show the link between slaughterhouses and brutal crime is empirical fact.

    “In a recent study, Fitzgerald crunched numbers from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report database, census data, and arrest and offence reports from 581 U.S. counties from 1994 to 2002.

    “‘I have a graph that shows that as the number of slaughterhouse workers in a community increases, the crime rate also increases,’ she says. Fitzgerald says she was inspired by The Jungle to study crime records in U.S. communities where slaughterhouses are located.

    She became fascinated by studies of the environmental effects of slaughterhouses that mentioned crime rates, without explanation, seemed to go up when the factories opened in communities. Read full report article here >>

9 thoughts on “Probing the link between slaughterhouses and violent crime”

  1. All the writer of the article has to do is read Gail Eisnitz’s book “Slaughterhouse”. She met with many, many slaughterhouse workers and her findings are not encouraging.


  2. I know this doesn’t directly address this specific topic, but I find it interesting. Back in the ’70s a friend of mine worked as a prison administrator in Kansas. Somehow he convinced his superiors to drastically cut back on meat, especially red meat, and processed (white) sugar in the prisoner’s meals. At the same time they increased the veggies, including products from a garden voluntarily planted and maintained by prisoners. The result was a substantial decrease in violence within the facility.


  3. Thank you for a very good report. I remember reading about the Texas slaughterhouse and crime. A employee interview. (believe it was the Nash info website) discussed truckfulls of stolen horses slaughtered at night hours. There are 50,000 horses a year stolen in america and never seen again. Horse slaughter industry seems very full of longtime criminals.
    Other horse groups like the BLM hire contractors who have criminal records. Records like poaching wild horses and sending them to slaughter. The BLM knowing this and yet hiring the same contractor to round-up the wild horses on our public lands. The BLM has wild horse training programs in some prisons and even hires some of these same criminals, plus these ex-cons go on to work in the general horse industry. Prison rodeos have extreme cruelty to animals, I don’t think it does any prisoner any good to be allowed to abuse animals while serving his time.

    Those in charge of slaughtering animals, especially those trying to start killing companion animals such as a horse. Seem to take a sadistic pleasure in how upset people become when end of life for a horse could be slaughterhouse. They seem to frequently call regular people ‘nut cases’ and other such insults and smile when saying so.
    I think we as a society need to never hire anyone with a violent criminal record/animal abuse record of any type to work with ANY animal or person ever.

    Thank you again for these articles.


  4. Wow, If for no other reason , 70 % is enough for me, This says it all for me………. There is no question in my mind, would anybody want this in their community, ???? This is a no brainer !!!!! Simple !


  5. Good article.

    I have always been interested in the correlation of violence of people who work in slaughterhouses and the violence associated with the act of slaughter. I also think the frenzy involved with large abattoirs and the requirement of workers to “keep up” breeds anger and frustration compared to the smaller community-type facilities that tend to be limited to slaughtering local livestock

    On the other hand, the idea of desensitization and perhaps the inherent insensitivity of some people to participate in the death of animals is an interesting one and the two may be intricately linked to each other in a most disconcerting way.


  6. I think this is excellent , only i didnt see any exact figures on the actual crimes commited by people who work in slaughter houses. wow this would really be interesting, a great tool for opposition to Slaughter Houses in any community……………………I would believe these figures would be incredibly high I wouldnt be surprised! But to see on paper wow, what a great tool to use………………………..


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