Correlation of Slaughterhouses and Violent Crime

A criminologist crunches the numbers:

The larger the abattoir, the worse the local crime problem. She controlled for factors such as the influx of new residents when slaughterhouses open, high numbers of young men — even the number of immigrants. These were not associated with a rise in crime at all, she says. In some cases, they seemed to bring the crime rate down. “The unique thing about (abattoirs) is that (workers are) not dealing with inanimate objects, but instead dealing with live animals coming in and then killing them, and processing what’s left of them.” More studies are needed to determine if crimes were being committed by factory workers or by others in the community, she says, and how exactly that kind of work could cause crime to go up. But the numbers leave few other explanations other than the slaughterhouses being somehow to blame. It’s a case of science catching up to what has been folk knowledge since industrialized slaughterhouses began to appear in the 19th century: workers exposed to the killing of large numbers of animals on a regular basis become disturbed and appear to lose empathy. … Do slaughterhouses desensitize workers to killing? Or, could the work attract people who are less sensitive to begin with? … “It seems like there’s something about the industrialization process,” says Fitzgerald. “you have people who are actually responsible for slaughtering thousands of animals a day.”

via Probing the link between slaughterhouses and violent crime






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