Every Twelve Seconds

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 foodThis 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.
Every Twelve Seconds 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 slaughterhou

  • Title: Every Twelve Seconds
  • Author: Timothy Pachirat
  • ISBN: 9781283321549
  • Page: 436
  • Format: ebook
  • 1 thought on “Every Twelve Seconds”

    1. It’s been quite a while since Gail Eisnitz ventured into the jungle of the meatpacking industry for her book Slaughterhouse, and in this world of massive meat recalls and ag–gag laws, it’s clearly once again time for someone to take a critical eye to the places where live animals are turned into tomorrow’s dinner. Pachirat obtained employment at an enormous beef slaughterhouse in order to write this book, a time-tested reporting tactic which may be on thin ice if the ag-gag bills continu [...]

    2. Every Twelve Seconds will be of interest to anyone concerned about food safety, the exploitation of workers in modern industrialized society, and the abuse and mistreatment of animals.Every Twelve Seconds is a first-hand account of the gruesome operations of an Omaha slaughterhouse. The author, Timothy Pachirat, is a professor in the Department of Politics at The New School University, and he obtained an entry level position at the slaughterhouse in order to see and document exactly how cattle a [...]

    3. For some of us, upon reading the synopsis of this book I’m sure the question arises, why read it? If you don’t want to know the truth, don’t read it. If you want to remain blissfully unaware of where some of your food comes from, definitely Do. Not. Read. It. It is horrific, and should make you think twice before you go through the drive-thru and absentmindedly get yourself or your kids a burger. It's an excellent, well-written account of the actual slaughterhouse where the author Timothy [...]

    4. There are two things that are extremely valuable in this book: Pachirat's incredibly meticulous recounting of every single aspect of killing and production that goes on in the slaughterhouse, and what I think is a very good (albeit too brief) discussion of the "politics of sight." The former is crucial if for no other reason than that most of us have little idea what goes on in slaughterhouses. The work of killing animals may be the worst work in our entire society: it does real violence to work [...]

    5. “Every 12 Seconds” is a damning depiction of the dynamics in a typical cattle slaughterhouse, where management, labor and USDA inspectors operate in a state of perpetual conflict and cross-purposes.Pachirat, who was undercover in the slaughterhouse for several months, demonstrates how plant managers routinely falsify documents to hide violations of food-safety and animal-welfare standards, while line workers routinely ignore sanitation and hygiene rules.What makes this book so powerful and s [...]

    6. Reads incredibly well - often find myself wishing I could write like this. Story is engaging. Read in one sitting, but not before a large meal at a steakhouse. Well reported and great voice. Ends in solid political theory.

    7. I could probably write a whole 'nother book detailing my thoughts on this book. Instead I'll just keep it succinct.Yes there are big problems with industrialized ANYTHING and big corporate EVERYTHING. However that people choose to focus on sensationalistist topics without looking at the whole picture really grinds my gears. At least Tim makes his thesis and point very clear from the begining and anyone intelligent, educated, and able to clearly evaluate academic arguments can easily see it. That [...]

    8. This immensely informative and wonderfully written book is part sociological analysis of the physical, class, racial, and power structures that define the modern-day slaughterhouse and part memoir of the author's six months working in a Omaha slaughterhouse, as both worker and "management." Pachirat (whom I know socially) is a conscientious and meticulous recorder of what he sees and experiences, and I found his station-by-station description of what it takes to turn a living, breathing being in [...]

    9. This book is two things.1) Every Twelve Seconds is an excellent, very readable, absorbing personal account of Pachirat's experience, documenting the conditions and the lived reality for both human workers and non-human victims in the slaughterhouse. His perspective is written both with a novelesque personal flair and the objectivity and detail of a researcher, which makes for a book that is both gripping and intellectually stimulating.2) This book is also a fascinating work of political theory. [...]

    10. Wow, that was an intense, fascinating read! Timothy Pachirat is a Yale-educated PhD and Poli-Sci professor at UMass. As part of his research on violence and power, he rolled up his sleeves and performed grueling work at an Omaha slaughterhouse for 5+ months. He (quite objectively) shows what it is like to work in various stages of the slaughter process, and sheds light on the real people who show up to do this work in an industry with a 100%+ turnover rate (***the majority are immigrants and ref [...]

    11. I found this book surprisingly good. It's a very readable account of one person's employment in a cattle slaughterhouse for several months. The author, Timothy Pachirat, got the job specifically so he could then write about the experience and tell the readers what it was like. He's been very successsful. But this book is more than just a witness report. It also raises questions about why we slaughter animals for food and even more, it reminds us that most of us, even those who eat meat and work [...]

    12. What I appreciated about this book the most was that it brought to the discussion table the HUMAN oppression that coincides with animal oppression in slaughterhouses. Disturbing, graphic and very efficient at portraying the monotony and numbness of slaughterhouse work, Pachirat also talks about the little rebellions, communities and friendships that form working under such horrific conditions.I thought the idea of a lottery system that would have every person that participates in this system (if [...]

    13. clearly & explicitly demonstrates how industrialized slaughter came to be so obscured from the public's vision. I'm very impressed by pachirat's methodology & his commitment to bringing the horrors that are usually hidden to light. I honestly don't understand how anyone with the proper means could ever eat meat after reading this. unapologetically forces you to see what you are supporting if you choose to consume such products. HIGHLY important read.

    14. Highly recommended. Describes in detail the operation of an industrialized slaughterhouse, from the front office to the delivery of cattle and back again. While it is clear the process is inhumane and unsanitary, the working conditions of the employees are the focus. Even if the ethics of killing animals for food is not an issue for you, a system that has one person kill 2,500 cattle, every work day, in order to put meat on your plate has qualities reminiscent of the hypothetical posed in Le Gui [...]

    15. ~ Let us now imagine, as an alternative, a world in which distance and concealment failed to operate, in which walls and checkpoints did not block sightrhaps the citizen would have to leave the seminar room discussions of immigration and spend the day laboring beside undocumented workers planting flowers on the manicured campus lawnbuying a pair of jeans would require the purchaser to touch the hands that sewed the seamsd to eat meat would be to know the killers, the killing, and the animals the [...]

    16. Summary: Assistant Professor of Politics and Yale PhD went undercover to work 5.5 months in an Omaha slaughterhouseFirst impression: The first 15 pages provide background and explains his motivation for the book. The reader is treated with his academic writing, along with a healthy dose of his robust politics (at least he is honest and upfront). Fatigue with conspiracy theories aside, learning that Monsanto successfully lobbied for a class D felony into law Vs trespassers of slaughterhouses shou [...]

    17. The Politics of Sight: this is Pachirat's posit. He spent some months working 3 different jobs in a slaughterhouse, to gain research for his dissertation. His observation that even in plain sight, humans will seek to obscure and deny what is facing them, when it is a subject of moral and ethical repugnance. So, even if slaughterhouses had glass walls, it would not serve to stop the current torture of animals eaten for food, but would, on the contrary, find more ugliness in humans, I.e. there wou [...]

    18. I liked this book, but I found myself disappointed that the author didn't include more analysis or, in the end, offer a real conclusion--I would have even forgiven the former had he achieved the latter (he was getting there; I feel like he just needed to go about one page further in his final section). Overall though, worth the read. For better or for worse, from the description offered in this book, I was able to imagine in great detail every single job on a slaughterhouse floor. Interesting fa [...]

    19. “Every Twelve Seconds” is an incredible book that goes into depth about what goes on in an industrialized slaughter house. Pachirat goes undercover for five months in an industrialized slaughter house that kills about 2,500 animals every day. It is a book about first hand slaughter and the things he encounters everyday. He creates a map that takes you through the slaughterhouse without actually being there. Pachirat describes the everyday work that the employees do and the differences betwee [...]

    20. This is an exceptional look at the industrial model of meat production. The author worked for 6 months undercover in the slaughter facility at jobs on the floor, herding cattle in for killing, and in QA/QC. This leads to a broad understanding of the processes and issues for the industrial meat business. This is a must read if you are interested in the current state of the art in industrial meat production and the many social costs that accrue to those who slaughter and process our food every day [...]

    21. This book has all the benefits and many of the deficits of a participant-observer study. Tim Pachirat gives an in-depth look at how one large slaughterhouse works in Omaha, NE. He surreptitiously gains employment and spends several months working there, moving between various jobs in the plant. The best analysis he gives is of the effect the work has on the people working in the plant. He makes sharp observations about the floor workers and management, and the way that mass, routinized killing h [...]

    22. i don't know what else to think about my carnivorous consumption. i feel ashamed and not worthy of all the steaks i eat on a weekly basis. i have come to a conclusion that these walls have been set there for a reason. a reason for capitalist america to move on without any humane obstacles. it is contra-effective to be ethical. an average joe is put in a troubled situation to choose either the right way or the effective way with some ethical values in jeopardy. a QC would ask himself, "should i s [...]

    23. A very in-depth study and inside look of an industrial slaughterhouse. It is a very informative read, in an awful, but important sort of way. He posits some complex ideas about power and how both surveillance and invisibility work to make horrors palatable, both within the slaughterhouse and in society in general. In the introductory and concluding chapters, the academic tone can get a bit bogging down, if that's not something you're used to. The book is what it claims to be, and again, is extre [...]

    24. Read for vegan book club -This is a good book to read , because it tells you exactly how the slaughterhouse for cattle runs. The author went undercover and worked 3 jobs in a slaughterhouse - hanging up livers, prodding the cattle into the chutes heading into the stun /kill box, and then in quality control. He worked there for about 6 months so he was an actual participant in the process.He talks about how we as a society try to distance ourselves from doing things that are disgusting to us. If [...]

    25. I'm on the fence between giving this book a 3.5 or a 4. For one thing, it was really interesting and well written. On the other hand, I was bored at times, especially when the author went into details. Although this book was all about the details and aspects of a slaughterhouse, at times it kind made me lose interest. But still, it was an interesting read that opened my mind about factors I have never thought about. Like what do people working in a slaughterhouse feel? What do they think of thei [...]

    26. Welp, I guess you can probably guess my opinion of this book. It is written by an author who went under cover working in a meat packing factory. Dry reading, perhaps. But this book is not intended to be the "To Kill a Mockingbird" of our time. Those of you with consciences will not be able to eat beef or feed it to your families after reading this book, for various reasons, spanning from disgust related to contamination to abject horror regarding the torture of animals in our care. Those of you [...]

    27. If you are a curious person, read this book. I don't have a lot of 5-star books, but this is one of them.It is incredibly informative, both in how slaughterhouses actually operate--which is documented in great technical detail--and also, on a broader scale, how societies and each person is allowed to take part in actions they would otherwise object to because of physical, social, linguistic, and methodological barriers. This book was not intended as an animal rights book; its message extends bey [...]

    28. Fascinating account of the workings of a slaughterhouse. I think the more important contribution to the literature is documenting how the distinct division of tasks helps to ensure that the workers themselves are able to feel disconnected from the actual slaughtering of the animals. He concludes the book with a great discussion of sight and repugnance how they are connected. Too often the idea of a slaughterhouse with glass walls is thrown out as a solution for modern animal ag. Pachirat raises [...]

    29. I read this book after attending a mind-glowingly wonderful workshop on ethnographic research on power and violence taught by the author. The best sentence about this project, in my mind, wasn't in the book, but came from this:We—the ‘we’ of the relatively affluent and powerful—live in a time and a spatial order in which the ‘normalcy’ of our lives requires our active complicity in forms of exploitation and violence that we would decry and disavow were the physical, social, and lingu [...]

    30. Pachirat was my advisor during grad school, so some bias at work here. He wasn't a particularly great one (though not bad by any stretch), but I really liked the guy. Most of my appreciation is for the heavy stones he has to do this work. I wish he would have spent more time on the psychological drain of it, but it's an academic account (though accessible), so I get it. He does a noble job of objectively accounting for how our red meat is killed and makes a strong point for it's correlation to s [...]

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