The meat processing conglomerates that currently control the majority of the market share in the meatpacking industry are responsible for its most systemic animal abuses. Increased concentration has enabled these larger processors to dictate animal treatment standards maintained by meat producers, most of whom have caved to economic pressure and moved their animals from small farms into Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Animal welfare proponents have failed to adequately challenge the concentration of the meat industry and in 2012 have yet to fully explore strategies made available by the Packers & Stockyards Act of 1921 (PSA). This Article proposes that a coalition between animal welfare activists and small meat producers, who have yet to be absorbed or driven out of business by the meatpacking giants, could effectively attack the concentration of the meat industry. First, animal welfare activists should work with small producers to expose to the public the negative human externalities associated with market concentration, such as intensive farming techniques that directly compromise consumer health. Second, the animal welfare movement should harness its legal experience to encourage small meat producers to pursue PSA-based civil suits aimed at challenging the power of the meatpacking conglomerates.
Coalitions in the Jungle: Advancing Animal Welfare through Challenges to Concentration in the Meat Industry,
Animal L. Rev.
Available at: https://lawcommons.lclark.edu/alr/vol19/iss1/4