summary of the most dangerous job

“The Most Dangerous Job,” an excerpt from the book Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, is a narrative on the dangerous events that take place behind close doors in a slaughterhouse. In this narrative, Eric Schlosser discusses his trip to a slaughterhouse in the High Plains. Schlosser describes in vivid details his experience there. When entering the building, an upset worker at the slaughterhouse takes the author on a tour. He hands him a chain-mail apron and gloves to wear when they first enter. The chain-mail aprons are worn to protect workers from being cut by themselves or their coworkers. He then hands him a pair of knee-high rubber boots and tells him to wear them because they would be “walking through some blood.” Schlosser starts his tour from the end of the line, the fabricating room.

The fab room is a cool 40 degrees and the majority of workers in the room are young Latinos half are women. Most work is done manually with hooks, knives and power saws. In the fab room everyone is busy, too busy to smile or chat. Next on the tour is the kill floor. This is the room where cattle is sliced in half with power saws by workers. The kill room is where most people get sick because it is hot and smells of manure. Schlosser expresses that workers have to dodge the swinging cattle and watch their step; otherwise they will be slammed onto the bloody concrete floor. He also notices that there are men ripping out the kidneys of cattle with their bare hands.

Then Schlosser meets the “sticker” the job of the “sticker” is to stand in a “river of blood” and constantly kill steers by severing their carotid arteries. The next worker on Schlosser tour is the “Knocker.” His job is to greet the cattle in by shooting them with an air gun that propels a steel bolt. After the production line, Schlosser has seen enough. He walks outside and he can still hear the “pop,pop,pop” sound from the entrance of the slaughterhouse. As he walks out he sees steers walking around calmly but as he looks up he notices a small red window. Inside he sees dead cattle.

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