Slaughterhouse Terror: Diary, 2/10/22

A dream; disgusting other post gets 8 likes; my “throbs” listed; Eisnitz: Slaughterhouse notes and quotes; update of some stats on E. coli, with links.

Photo by Lukas on

Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved


Woke early and spent the next hour obsessing over last night’s movie [The Bee-eaters, review not posted–it was awful], thinking of how the protagonist should have handled the situation.  Finally I got up around 5:00 am, intending to stay up, turned on all the lights, peed, checked my weight (very disappointing), decided it was too early to stay up, went back to bed, and had the following dream:

I was in a parklike area with about a dozen people I knew.  We were sitting around a large table, eating and talking, I guess.  One woman, attractive, but not as attractive as she thought, was drawing attention.  Someone said something about a pill to make one a whore; I wanted to say that she made them herself, but I put a pill in my mouth and tried to mumble the joke out around the pill, making a complete mess of it.  Only one person heard what I was saying, and didn’t laugh.  Embarrassed, I wandered off away from the group.  I’ve forgotten much of this, but I wanted to rejoin the group. I started uphill, leaving the grass to follow a dirt path, when an animal the size of a medium dog bounded up to me and landed on my shoulder.  I pried it off me and continued along the path.  At one point I knelt or sat next to some vines and found several bugs on my knees (I was wearing shorts).  I brushed them away, but they were replaced by many others.  I looked among the vines and saw swarms of ants varying sizes, plus other bugs and such.  I continued to brush the bugs, ants, and flies from my knees, and finally stood up again, disgusted, when I saw a large beetle among the leaves, with a long, transparent yellow body and very long antennae.  That’s all I can remember.  It was 7:20.

My “Disgusting Old Age” diary post has gotten eight “likes,” which is the highest number I’ve seen for my blog.  It’s dated 5/14/2021.  I reread it—it’s an exploration of my masturbation habits, crotch rot, tooth rot, and so on, with much other material including a picture of two stars of the Disney show Jesse.  Debby Ryan is the “throb,” as I call her there.  Haven’t seen Jesse in a long time; these days I tune in to The Thundermans to see Kyra something.  She, like Ryan, has a rather low-pitched voice and is otherwise an attractive (gorgeous, dark-eyed, non-blonde) young woman.

Olivia Cooke in Bates Motel

Olivia Cooke is another favorite that I’ve seen in a number of movies and the five-season DVDs of Bates Motel, which I think is where I first saw (and was smitten by) her.  Her movie Ouija is pretty run-of-the-mill horror, but I watch it over and over because she’s the star.  I think this is a great face at expressing distress, which is how I think of Bette Davis, too.

But now hunger is getting the better of my mood to free-associate.

After seeing Gail A. Eisnitz on Chris Hedges: On Contact, I became a vegetarian.  That was described here on 1/23, a little over two weeks ago.  Since then I’ve read Eisnitz’s book, Slaughterhouse:  The Shocking Story of Greed, Neglect, and Inhumane Treatment Inside the U.S. Meat Industry.  Here’s a link to a review from the U.K.  It’s everything that the subtitle promises, and then some.  It’s the most shocking and sickening thing I’ve ever read in my seventy-year career as a “voracious reader.”  Regrettably, it’s twenty-five years old; a subsequent edition adds an afterword, updating to 2006, available at Amazon.  The publisher of the copy I have is from Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY, 1997.

Some quotes (I omit the more sickening descriptions of slaughterhouse activities and results):

The worst result of the practices she describes is that people get sickened and die; Escherichia coli (more familiar as “E. coli”), the bacteria that is common in human intestines, has a strain called 0157:H7, which produces truly terrifying results, mostly in children and old people.  “This germ, which can bring on varying degrees of abdominal cramping and diarrhea, can also cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), an extremely painful disease which sends toxins coursing throughout the body and destroys the blood’s ability to clot.  HUS, now the leading cause of kidney failure in children in the United States, kills between 5 and 10 percent of its victims and leaves many others disabled.”  p. 37.

“I obtained statistics from various government sources. The slaughter figures were staggering.  Ninety-three million pigs are slaughtered each year in the United States.  Thirty-seven million cattle.  Two million calves.  Six million horses, goats, and sheep. And eight billion chickens and turkeys. In all, annually in the United States farmers produce 43 billion pounds of pork and beef, 43 billion pounds of poultry, and 76 billion eggs.” p. 61.

Quoting USDA meat inspector David Carney:

  • “We used to trim the shit off the meat.
    “Then we washed the shit off the meat.
    “Now the consumer eats the shit off the meat.”  p. 155.

“‘The Humane Slaughter Act is a regulation on paper only,’ he reiterated. ‘It’s not being enforced.’” p. 191.

“The controversial nature of [JoAnn] Smith’s appointment at the USDA wasn’t limited to the assistant secretary alone. ‘Congress has assigned USDA two radically opposing missions,’ explained GAP’s Tom Devine over the phone. ‘The very same officials who are charged with promoting the sale of agricultural products are also supposed to protect the consumers from filth and unscrupulous practices.’ As a result of the USDA’s duplicitous mandate and its primary focus on marketing, the department’s ranks have long been filled with industry leaders who have demonstrated their abilities at increasing industry profits.

“‘USDA is unsurpassed as a historical example of the regulated industry formally policing itself from inside the government,’ Devine said. ‘The department has the crudest revolving door in the executive branch.’” p. 243.

“‘Basically, they’re saying that the whole problem lies with the consumer?’ I asked Carney. ‘It’s up to him to cook the germs off his food?’

“‘You got it,’ replied Carney. ‘It’s literally come to the point that yeah, shit, pus, scabs, feathers, pieces of inedible internal organs, it doesn’t matter. As long as you cook it well enough, it’s fine.’” p. 289-290.

In case you’re thinking, “That’s all in the past, I’m sure they’ve taken care of the problems,” the California Department of Public Health currently lists eight food products being recalled for the month of February (i.e., over the last ten days).  CNN reports in 2021, “The CDC estimates that 265,000 STEC infections occur each year in the United States. E. coli O157:H7 causes more than 36% of these infections.”  That’s more than 95,400 infections from the bad strain of E. coli, though deaths recently have been few. My cursory reading of the CNN report suggests that the treatment of meat with radiation has reduced the severity of the problem, but I’m in no position to offer recommendations.  Of course, that’s, um, “chicken feed” compared to COVID.

Copyright 2022 (text only) by Alan Carl Nicoll
All Rights Reserved

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