Anyone who’s read Breakfast at Cannibal Joe’s will recognize a reference in this news item on the indignities suffered by workers in poultry processing plants in the USA.

A report from Oxfam America recently released reveals that in many factory farms, workers are denied bathroom breaks. The report cited several major producers of poultry including Tyson Foods Inc., Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., Perdue Farms Inc. and Sanderson Farms Inc.. Workers in these factories report inhumane conditions and a lack of fair treatment by managers and supervisors.

Workers’ needs are regularly mocked, laughed at, ignored, and sometimes even used as a means for firing. As a result, many workers dangerously restrict their intake of foods and fluids to make their shifts more bearable while others have been forced to urinate and defecate on themselves. Many, in order to bypass the need to use a restroom wear adult diapers to work regularly.

For those of you who haven’t read it, here’s the relevant passage:


It’s tempting to regard Cannibal Joe’s as just a surreal absurdist dystopia that “could never happen here,” but that was never my intention. The world of Cannibal Joe’s is neoliberalism taken to its logical conclusions. The longer neoliberalism lasts, the more it will resemble the book. You have been warned.

Incidentally, and not entirely uncoincidentally, Novel No. 3, Fowl Play, is itself set in a poultry processing plant. You have been warned again!