By crowding animals in confined and unsanitary conditions for slaughter – mixing blood, viscera and excrement – slaughterhouses create an environment that is conducive to the multiplication of pathogens. Slaughterhouses become factories for “viruses” that can rapidly infect humans.
Slaughterhouses and meat packing plants are important clusters in Covid 19. Some of the largest outbreaks in North America have occurred in meat packing plants. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the virus spreads rapidly in these facilities because the physical distance is difficult to maintain. In the United States more than 3% of workers in 115 meat and poultry processing facilities tested positive for coronavirus.
Investors are not mistaken. Goldman Sachs recently announced that livestock products “seem as precarious as oil”. They are pulling their money out of the livestock and packing industry. Diseases of animal origin, such as SARS, avian flu, swine flu and coronavirus are increasingly common, costly and unmanageable. In addition, there are two other factors that explain the decline in returns from the livestock industry: the growing disaffection of consumers for meat (see the fashion for vegetable meats) and the exorbitant cost of sanitary upgrading of slaughterhouses.