Well. Let me tell you about late-stage capitalism then because we are bringing back slaves, and not just to work in governors' mansions for the benevolent wealthy, oh no! We are maiming people and stealing their money! See, the Constitution outlawed slavery but they left a couple explicit loopholes, specifically the Thirteenth Amendment:

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

I fucking hate chickens. I will never become a vegetarian specifically because the chickens and I have been in a war since my neighbor's hen got into my bedroom and shat over everything I loved. Have you ever seen a chicken run or a coop that's not been cleaned in a couple days? It is hell. Hell, mayhem and smelly destruction. If you don't clean a chicken coop for a week you have to burn the square acre containing it and build a new one. They are squawky stinky messy birds and I hate them all which is why I try to eat as many of them as I can, to help control the population. YOU'RE WELCOME, AMERICA.

What people think working with chickens is like

That said, have you ever *butchered* a chicken? It is even worse than dealing with the live version! I will assume that nobody who is reading this has worked in an abattoir, and I will tell you that out of all the nightmarish things in a slaughterhouse the very very worst is the smell. I made it two weeks at a pig farm, and two months in the chicken barns, and that was over a decade ago and I just got nauseous even remembering it. During that few months I injured my shoulder from heavy repetitive motion, sustained chemical burns, got a huge gory slash in my thigh and contracted some kind of airborne bacteria that meatpackers are at higher risk for. (And I know the owner of the farms; they ran a remarkably cruelty-free outfit but there's only so many ways to kill and process a chicken. They can't make it easy or pleasant for the workers even if the chickens never felt any pain.)

This is a far more accurate depiction.

Point is, that was by far the best paycheck in the county and I'm a tough girl and I lasted a couple months. I have a whole career based on telling entitled people they should try getting real jobs and see how THEY like it and I've never once wished a slaughterhouse on anyone, not even that time when I was lecturing at Yale and a student asked me if I thought that maybe poor people were being a bit unfair to their bosses because they just didn't understand how stressful it was to be in the white-collar class. EVEN THAT GUY I DID NOT WISH THE BARNS ON.

So. What do you, the chicken company, do when the only jobs you have to offer are completely shitty both literally and figuratively? GET YOU SOME SLAVES, OF COURSE! And it's completely legal in America to enslave convicts! Problem, meet solution. You think I'm kidding, but:

It was started in 2007 by chicken company executives struggling to find workers. By forming a Christian rehab, they could supply plants with a cheap and captive labor force while helping men overcome their addictions.

Now. I have flirted with substance addiction myself, and I can tell you one thing: There is nothing in this whole wide world that would make me want to chuck sobriety right out the fucking window than finding myself back in the barns. I write about Donald Trump every day and I've not killed myself yet but if I got busted for a dime bag or something and found myself back on the processing line I might invent entirely new drugs to start doing!

But wait, would this not be possibly morally okay if we were making like rapists and serial killers process carcasses for the homeless? Possibly! Only this isn't that. This is a "drug treatment program." It's called Christian Alcoholics and Addicts In Recovery, which is about as honest a name as the PATRIOT Act, or Clear Skies, or Healthy Forests. It is pure fucking evil and possibly blasphemy to boot because when the assholes who run it get to see Jesus they're gonna find that he wasn't too thrilled.

See, because addicts need to learn the value of an honest day's work, never mind that plenty of people pick up their addictions when they're injured and physically can't do that manual labor thing. And because we know that there's no such fucking thing as an employed addict, right, which explains half of Wall Street and every PhD program I've ever visited?

So you know how to really teach someone the value of a dollar? Make them work seven days a week and then keep all their dollars! That's right! People in this drug program never got paychecks! The "rehab," CAIRR, sent all its court-mandated "clients" to Simmon Foods (Simmons Foods, Inc, valued at $1.4 billion-with-a-b), which realllly needed the workers, and then just kept whatever wages they would have earned. Which, pretty evil, right? AHAHAHAHA I AM JUST STARTING HERE!

Remember how I told you I got sick and scarred from mere weeks? Well! So do the slaves at the chicken barns! And even though they don't get paid, they are technically workers and eligible for worker's compensation if they get injured! Obviously, there is a potential to help someone here, and those people are Janet and Don Wilkerson, who run this hellhole of a "recovery program" and apply for workers' comp for injured slaves all the time! And then keep any money the slaves are entitled to for their medical bills, because it's actually a program rule that slaves aren't allowed to have money! AND LOL THEY MAKE THE SLAVES SIGN FORMS THAT SAY THEY'RE CLIENTS AND NOT EMPLOYEES SO THEY CAN'T GET WORKERS COMP, BUT THEN THE LAW SAYS THEY CAN SO THEN THE COMPANY JUST KEEPS THE MONEY AND THE SLAVES ARE MAIMED FOR LIFE GOD AIN'T THE CAPITALISM JUST GONNA SAVE US ALL! (It's okay, if your hand gets crushed someone will find you a doctor to just splint that up for you but remember, you're in rehab so no painkillers for you even if you've crushed three bones!)

So are you a little uncomfortable about this whole slavery thing yet because we're not even done! See, the Wilkersons think that things like "helping the Wilkersons move" or "renovating the Wilkersons' house" are what we call community service. So they have slaves for that too. And we, the taxpayers, are helping pay their $168k yearly combined salary! (For y'all city dwellers that doesn't sound like a lot but in a region where the median income might be $30K they're basically Cruella de Vil and Scrooge McDuck in an unholy alliance.)

ANYWAY. So since this is a recovery program you might think they'd have things like drug counselors and shrinks and whatnot, but you would be wrong! This program isn't certified! It's not even legal to send people to this program! And whole states do it anyway! OH AND THEY PROHIBIT PSYCHIATRY. Not even shitting you. They have aspirational YAY WORK posters on the walls and mandatory church.

Now, I was raised a fundamentalist and I am pretty damn familiar with the Bible. If you want to know why I don't go to church anymore it's because people do things like run fucking slave camps and force their slaves to read the Bible, which is pretty famously a book with a story about an angry deity who sent like whole plagues of frogs and blood and whatnot SPECIFICALLY TO FUCK UP THE SLAVEOWNERS. And that was back in the early chapters, before that Jesus guy showed up to specifically outlaw slavery! You know, the one they called the Christ and based a whole religion off of? The religion that people are now using to justify the enslavement of people WHO HAVE NOT EVEN BEEN CONVICTED OF A CRIME AND ARE THEREFORE NOT EVEN LEGALLY ALLOWED TO BE MADE SLAVES.

Yeah, this fuckery just keeps descending into madness. It doesn't get better than this, nor more sensical. The initial article everyone's reading now is full of quotes from people saying flat-out that this ain't right, that it's definitely not legal. But then there's the quotes like this, which really make you wonder whether we shouldn't just let North Korea nuke us anyway, because how you're gonna be a court official and say this:

“The referral is to assist the participants in developing good job skills, life skills, work ethics and personal care skills,” said Vicki Cox, court administrator. “Participants are not sent to CAAIR for drug or alcohol treatment.”


I have just been talking to Jesus (I was from one of those sects that believed you could just mentally ring the guy up for a chat when you needed to) and he told me to tell you that he is Not. Happy. In fact, his direct quote was "if these motherfuckers don't stop taking my name in vain I'm going to come down there and just wreck ALL OF YOU. Dad's been trying to talk me into floods and fires for millennia now and I have to say I'm starting to see his point."

In closing: Fuck chickens, and fuck processing chickens, and the only people who should ever be made to work in an abattoir are people who think that enslaving and brutalizing the poor will instill a "good work ethic."

Because, according to Mrs. Wilkerson, that fine Christian woman, "money is an obstacle for so many of these men."

Eat the rich and feed their bones to the chickens.


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