Slaughter houses and increased crime rates

Maneka Gandhi

When my father was posted as an army officer to Bangalore , we lived on Pottery Road near a large slaughterhouse . The smell was infernal. There were fights all the time. We moved very quickly and for many years I completely blocked it from my memory.
When Swami Vivekananda went to America , as he neared Chicago , he is said to have commented that he could see a large black miasma over the city. It was then the largest stockyard and slaughterhouse in the country. It was also the main centre of crime and run by gangs.
Which are the most dangerous cities in India ?  I would put Rampur on top of my list. The police and armed forces are wary of it too : recently, a fullscale attack by terrorists  on a para military division took place there. Murders and other forms of violent crime are common. It also has the last number of illegal slaughterhouses killing cows and buffaloes by the thousands every day.  The Mewat region of Haryana , where police refuse to go, is the largest illegal slaughter centre in North India , and the centre of the wildlife parts smuggling trade as well. In Delhi it is the walled city Jama Masjid  where cow skinning takes place in every lane.
Which is the most dangerous part of your city ? Is it not the place where the slaughter of animals takes place ? You don’t have to be a vegetarian to feel scared. You know instinctively that anyone who can kill an animal is immune to the morality of killing his fellow man.
In Bareilly recently, A Superintendant of Police tried to stop a truck carrying cows to Rampur . The people on the truck whipped out guns and shot at him. This is not an unusual occurrence. Every overloaded slaughter bound truck carries guns. Many of my people have been shot at. Certainly the first attempt of the driver is to run over the vehicle that is trying to stop it.
In 2009 , an interesting study was published after 9 years of research: Slaughterhouses and Increased Crime Rates: An Empirical Analysis of the Spillover From “The Jungle” Into the Surrounding Community  by Amy J. Fitzgerald, University of Windsor , Linda Kalof, Michigan State University, and Thomas Dietz, Michigan State University . It was published in Organization & Environment, June 2009
One hundred years ago the famous author Upton Sinclair wrote a book entitled The Jungle which detailed the working and living conditions of workers in and around the stockyard slaughterhouses in Chicago . In explaining the numerous fights instigated by slaughterhouse workers after hours , Sinclair noted a connection between these fights and the killing and dismembering of animals all day at work. According to Sinclair,  “these two-o’clock-in- the-morning fights, are like a forest fire.. men who have to crack the heads of animals all day seem to get into the habit, and practice on their friends, and even on their families, betweentimes. “ The book  denounced the massive slaughterhouse complex in Chicago as a “jungle,” and said that all crime and criminals in America were born out of it.
The purpose of this study was to prove/disprove the Sinclair contention. The authors write : “Contemporary studies conducted by social scientists documenting the negative effects of slaughterhouses on communities have not attended to the possibility (which Sinclair alludes to ) that the type of work undertaken in slaughterhouses is a contributing factor to increased crime rates in slaughterhouse communities.
The meatpacking industry’s effect on physical environment and human health and on the high rate of injuries to workers has been carefully documented by scholars. This study analyzes population/jobs/crime data of 1994-2002 in 581 nonmetropolitan counties to analyze the effect of slaughterhouses on the surrounding communities .
The findings indicate that slaughterhouse employment increases total arrest rates, arrests for violent crimes, rape, other sex offenses, vandalism, arson, robbery ,assault and disorderly conduct in comparison with other industries. Research demonstrates that in communities where slaughterhouses open there is an increase in crime. For instance, documented crime increases include a 130% increase in violent crimes in Finney County , Kansas and a 63% increase in Lexington , Nebraska . The Canadian town of Brooks, Alberta witnessed a 70% increase in reported crime .Particularly telling is the fact that the arrests in counties with 7,500 slaughterhouse employees are more than double  than in those where there are no slaughterhouse employees. This proves the existence of a “Sinclair effect” unique to the violent workplace of the slaughterhouse, a factor ignored previously in the sociology of violence.
Various explanations for these increases in crime have been proposed. The objective of this study is (1) to test the theories that explain the crime increases and (2) to compare the effects of slaughterhouse employment on crime rates to the effects of similar industries, to see if the effects of slaughterhouses are unique.
These were the theories that existed and this is what they found:
a.                              “The workers were mainly immigrants and more likely to be involved in criminal activities . “A link between immigrant populations and crime rates, however, has not been found. On the contrary, studies have found that typical immigration does not result in crime increases.
b.                               “The much increased violence in these communities is not because of the slaughterhouses but because the workers are lower middle class , usually uneducated hard drinking people who are mainly young males.” Studies have found that age does not have a significant effect on some types of crimes, such as burglary and homicide
c.                               “Crime increases are the result of population booms and social disorganization. “In simple terms that means that the population is poor with a great tendency to shift jobs and migrate both in and out of the towns resulting in social disorganization and consequent increases in crime. But these explanations do not hold water because people in identical low paid, filthy, dangerous , blue collar towns with high unemployment  and heavy alcohol habits have not got the same spike in violence. The study took similar towns with comparative industries : "Iron and steel forging, truck trailer manufacturing, motor vehicle metal stamping, sign manufacturing, and industrial laundering. These industries are categorized as manufacturing, have high immigrant worker concentrations, low pay, routinized labor, repetitive, and dangerous conditions. These were not associated with a rise in crime at all. In fact crime rates were on their way down. No connection was found between high unemployment rates and violent crime.
The researchers concluded that :” the industrialization of slaughter has the strongest adverse effects”.The unique work of killing and dismembering animals in slaughterhouses  has resulted in the types of crime which Upton Sinclair referred to as ‘the jungle’ in the community. Fitzgerald says at the end "We believe that this is another of a growing list of social problems that need explicit attention ."

The findings seem so obvious to me: When a person removes a non-human animal from moral consideration, he removes humans from moral consideration as well.This is seen in historical examples where colonialism or genocide used the idea of the victims as 'animals' to justify murder or oppression.
Someone who has the ability to rip thousands of animals throats is not a gentle and law abiding person. People who have made documentaries about slaughterhouses show workers kicking animals, playing football with chickens, throwing cow eyeballs at each other, urinating on bodies and masturbating on dying animals , a state of desensitization so extreme that it could only spill over into general violence.

The rise of factory-style slaughter has inured our whole civilization to mass killing of animals and humans and enabled us to wreak havoc on each other, each war surpassing the previous one in its acceptance of mass murder of humans as a feature of conflict among nations. We are not shocked by the slaughter in Iraq or Afghanistan or even angry with the country that is doing it as mindlessly as they kill animals. In killing animals we kill the better part of ourselves, and pay the price in the form of wars, crime, obesity and poor health.

Go to a large factory slaughterhouse in your town. it is a terrifying experience, enough to make you cry and vomit.

Suppose all the abbatoirs are changed into soybean processing plants. Doesn’t even thinking about it make you feel better ?

To join the animal welfare movement contact gandhim@nic.in


previous articles...

Slaughter houses and increased crime rates

Breeds of dog in India

Cruelty to animals on the occasion of festivals

Real foods spoil very quickly, fast foods not

 The Myth of Swine & Avian Flu in India

Fish eating causes health hazard

Animal sacrifice in Pauri Garhwal area of Uttarakhand  

Difference between Veg and Non-veg

Virgin Mary among Lizards

Nature-the most inspiring model for our Ecosystems

Role of denial in eating of Meat

The Technology of Synthetic Milk

Honeybee-the insect for human food chain

 Why do dogs bark

Characteristics of varieties of caterpillars

Emotional Complexity of Animals

Meat eating causes diseases

Rat in Hindu mythology

Which animal you are

Man’s alter ego-an Animal

Career in management of welfare of Animals

Profession of  Pet grooming

What you Eat When you Eat Processed Meat

How to train a dog to make it useful

The Purpose of Minor Beings in Our Ecosystem

Cruelty to Bears in Pakistan

How  Onion Drives Away Viruses

How to save an animal from burn injury

Production of Honey is cruelty to Bee

Meat eating causes Global warming

Hazards of fish factories

Growth of a bird till it flies

Creatures of the world live and help live

Killing a snake brings bad luck

Effects of the startle Reflex on Animals

Awaken Your Soul by Loving Animals

Feeling of grief in Animals

Talking Plants

Altruism in Animals

Music Soothes Animals

How Animals recognize their Kins

Animals teach their offspring like human moms

Cruelty to Animals in Slaughter houses

What is the secret to a perfect life and happiness?

How is Ghee being adulterated ?

Difference between a man & an animal

Homosexuality Is Not Against Nature In Animal Kingdom

Programmes for improving Animal Welfare

Promiscuity in mating behaviour of Birds

Uses for slaughtered Animals accelerate killing of Animals

Slingshots & Catapults Destroy Wild Life

Human Intelligibility of Animals

Animal grooming of offspring is worth emulating

Illegal Trade of Killing Cattle

Eating Cattle Meat Causes E Coli Infection

Some tips on making  Puppies’ life comfortable

Some tips on keeping kittens clean

Snake skin trade dangerous for eco system

Dog shows are not for dog lovers but for moneymakers and charlatans

Political agenda for Animal welfare needed

How foolish it is to kill Sea creatures for Ornaments

Infectious diseases from Animals to Humans

How pitiable is Rabbit farming?

Remedies for Animal ailments

Infected Pig Meat Risks Your Life

Animals spread dangerous Ebola virus to humans

Animals Have More Sense

Municipal Policy on hazards of pet shops

Mutualism  makes Species of the nature flourish

Adoption Fair for Puppies

How Animals behave in packs

Why People prefer dogs and cats to human beings

Positive effects of spaying and neutering on pets

Mammals & Birds cry like human beings

Biomemetics Provides solution to human problems

Chinese food products- the greatest killer

Pets make better partners than humans

How harmful is the Packaged Meat

Stop Slaughter of Cows for Bone Trade

How cruel it is to dump pet animals ? view comments...

Don’t hurt animals on festive occasions

Let the earth beings survive

Glues are made of animal remains

Meat increases risk of cancer

Birds provide springboard to song composers

Is it not an act of Cannibalism?

How many animals do you have to eat before you become man ?

To eat or not to eat Meat

Insulin from Animals 

Is It Healthy Decision to Promote Rat Eating in Bihar

Use of Animal bones in Porcelain

Infection of Tick disease in Dogs and its cure

Vegetarian diet is the best diet for human beings

Non-Veg  Diet causes  Dementia

Excuses for being non-vegetarians

Body odour of Non-vegetarians

Feeling Good

MEAT threatens Planet’s Survival

Am I smarter than you ? Yes, if you are a meat eater.

Need to  orient educational system to deal with animals

How to Avoid Cruelty to Gold Fish?

How To Make Everyday An Animal day

Are Eggs Vegetarian?

Are You One of these People ?

Use of Animal Fats in Cosmetics Industries

Killing of endangered Species for Perfume Industries

Missionary Campaign to Control Cruelty to Animals- needed

Drink Milk, Get Sick

Parents Create Monsters

The Business of Murder:Factory Farming and the Meat Industry in India

Effect of landscaping of birds on environment

Dangers of killing deep Sea-Sharks for  Cosmetic Products

Use of dog in diagnosis of diseases

Sacred Nature of Neelkanth

Cruelty to Polo Ponies comments...

Self-Regulation of Population by Animals

Dangers of Animal meat eating

Arsenic poison in chicken feed

Cruelty to Animals by Govt. Vets

Worship of God with Blood and Suffering of Animals and Birds

Consequences of Chloramphenicol in Shrimp Industry

Hazards of Trade in Peacocks’ Feather

Supreme Court Ban on cruelty to Animals

Are you a Bad Pet Owner?

The Goat That Laughed and Wept

Animal Owners’ personality traits resemble their Pets’

Human Propensities of Goat

Animal sacrifice at the altar of religion

Animal as foster parent

Animal feed from rendering plant

Trade in WildLife

Human Intelligence of Birds

Human Propensities of Cow