LettersLetter from Virgil Butler Concerning the Connection Between Slaughterhouse Worker and Domestic Violence - 9 Feb 2005
Letters From All-Creatures.org and The Mary T. and Frank L. Hoffman Family Foundation

Letter from Virgil Butler Concerning the Connection Between Slaughterhouse Worker and Domestic Violence - 9 Feb 2005

I have been asked for the research that proves this link. As I saw you refer to it in an interview (Purdue and FBI?), I was hoping that you had the info handy. It seems that no matter how much I try to explain this link to this person, they are unwilling to acknowledge it, stating that it is a violent person who is attracted to slaughterhouse work and not that the work makes a person more likely to commit violent acts against humans. I know this to be true (I lived it myself) and have seen much evidence to support this myself in other workers at that Tyson plant in Grannis that I worked at, but there are always those that have to hear it from a scientist/researcher that isn't "biased." Please send me whatever facts you have on this. Thanks.

Virgil Butler

[Ed. Note] Virgil Butler is a former slaughterhouse worker.

Reply from Frank and Mary Hoffman

Dear Virgil:

It's nice to hear from you.

I believe we also touched a little on this subject at the UPC conference in Norfolk last year.

We don't have the research behind the FBI profiling of serial killers, but it should be available from them or in a police studies library.

We have a copy of the Purdue University Press book:

Cruelty to Animals and Interpersonal
Violence Readings in Research and Application
Edited by Randall Lockwood and Frank R. Ascione

We also read a report on the increase in domestic violence being higher among all people who work in violent jobs, factory farming, slaughterhouses, police, corrections, and military, but at the moment, can't remember the title.

For a period of about six years, I was a ministry volunteer at two New York State Correctional Facilities, and had a chance to council about 500 inmates, either individually or in groups, and there definitely was a valid connection.

However, we've seen no truly convincing evidence that says which comes first. There are many that seek to express their violent natures through brutalizing and killing animals before moving on to humans, but we've encountered even more people who have had their hearts hardened, or hardened their own hearts to the suffering of others.

We believe you know Jim Mason. His family tried to harden his heart, but he "revolted" against it. We have also studied some 4H and FFA children and have seen the tears and hardening. Teaching children the joys of killing animals through the "sports" of hunting and fishing also hardens their hearts. People take jobs on factory farms and in slaughterhouses because they can't get other work, and because of the horror and frustration, they take it out on their families. You obviously have first hand knowledge of this.

We hope this helps. If you need anything else, please let us know.

Keep up the good work.

In the Love of the Lord,

Frank and Mary

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