The founder of a plant-meat company has described slaughterhouses as 'feces-ridden public health hazards', according to Forbes.
Patrick Brown is the CEO of Impossible Foods, the makers of the high-tech plant-based Impossible Burger.
Forbes reports that Brown was speaking during a recent webinar, hosted by the University of Chicago’s Rustandy Center for Social Sector Innovation, when he made the comments.
Brown, who wants to displace the meat industry by replacing animal flesh with plant-based meat by 2035, described the meat industry as a 'sitting duck' for disruption, said a lot of the equipment and resources used by the meat industry could be repurposed and used to make plant-based meat.
'Public health hazard'
According to the outlet: "Impossible CEO Patrick Brown described the slaughter-room as a feces-ridden public health hazard, but he said the rest of the machinery and labor that produces meat can be repurposed."
Speaking about repurposing, he added: "If you work at an animal-based meat counter, and what goes into that counter is plant-based, we still need you. If you’re a trucker who’s transporting food from farm to distributors or something like that - and currently it’s animals, and in the future it's plant-based products - that job doesn’t go away," he said.
“Jobs will change. Many jobs will change, but workers will still be required...Most of the ingredients in our products come from farms, so those jobs, we are going to need farmers no matter what the products are."
The health risks of slaughterhouses have been making headlines recently, as the facilities have been described as COVID-19 hotspots. Ian Shepherdson, the chief economist at the Pantheon Macroeconomics in the U.K., noted data showing that infection rates in slaughterhouses in the U.S. are outpacing the rest of the country.
According to the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, which has been compiling data of the positive cases and deaths, as of May 18, there have been at least 14,900 reported positive cases tied to meatpacking facilities in at least 191 plants in 32 states, and at least 62 reported worker deaths at 30 plants in 18 states.