"The coronavirus pandemic is forcing livestock farms and grocery stores to consider whether the meat industry is primed for a new way of doing business.
Critics of industrial-scale livestock farming say the evidence has rarely been clearer. Pork processing plants have temporarily closed after workers tested positive for COVID-19. Federal meat inspectors have fallen ill by the dozens, disrupting the operations of plants that remain open. Farmers are suddenly forced to feed — or kill — tens of thousands of animals that can't find a way to market.
'This is all being laid bare right now,' said Garrett Graddy-Lovelace, an associate professor at American University's School of International Service specializing in global environmental and agriculture policy.
Consolidation into fewer, bigger companies is a long-running trend across food production, Graddy-Lovelace said, but 'the meat industry is where it's at its most extreme.'"