Meatpacking America: How Migration, Work, and Faith Unite and Divide the Heartland

Meatpacking America

By Kristy Nabhan-Warren. Based on years of interviewing Iowans who work in the meatpacking industry, both native-born residents and recent migrants from Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Goes the beyond the stereotypes and reveals the grit and grace of the heartland that is a major global hub of migration and food production—as well as religion.

On the floors of meatpacking plants, in places of worship, and in family homes, longtime and newly arrived Iowans — Protestants, Catholics, and Muslims — speak about their faith and desire to work hard for their families. Their stories expose how faith-based aspirations for mutual understanding blend uneasily with rampant economic exploitation and racial biases. Still, these new and old Midwesterners say that a mutual language of faith and morals brings them together more than any of them would have ever expected. Read more.