Cover Photo: Michel Temer cuts into some high-quality beef.
Michel Temer cuts into some high-quality beef.

Gut Check

Pleased to meat you.

Gut Check

The captive bolt pistol looks a lot like the modern power-drill. Applied properly, a firing pin expels pressurized gas into the barrel of the device, leveraging forward an enormous amount of energy. As a result, an in-house, bolt-like contraption propels outward with lethal force - only to retract again for re-application. Although there are several instances wherein the captive bolt pistol has been used to puncture into the face and chest of men and women in heinous acts of homicide, the device primarily preys on fatted cattle arriving to their final destination.

Well, their final conscious destination. Once the cranium is struck, the cerebellum is compromised – exploded from within the head itself. Despite the massive trauma, the beasts are still very much considered living. In fact, a pumping heart is necessary to help exsanguinate the proximately-produced patties. This is the first step of beef processing that is succeeded by several, more-extinguishing procedures.

Next is the cool drain of death on the slaughterhouse floor. Quite surgically, a butchering blade exacts the belly of the most recently retarded, supported now by suspended hooks. At this stage, the risk for contamination increases greatly; and, as muscle tissues relieve themselves from their lifelong functions, the animal begins to defecate profusely. Besides the ruptured brain matter that is exposed to the bloodstream from our aforementioned pistol, inadvertent slicing of the intestines during further processing slathers consumable meat in fecal matter – rendering it unsafe for human intake until properly cooked.

Finally, the beasts are hanged head down – disgraced from the very first moments of the afterlife. It’s lights out for Betsy and the rest of her bovine companions.

***

Brazil is the world’s second largest producer of meat products, outpaced only by the United States. Of 170 countries recognized and assessed for economic freedom, as defined by their propensity to endorse corruption in both the private and public sectors, the International Monetary Fund rates Brazil below Kenya, Russia, and Kuwait – well within the bottom quintile of evaluated nations. Understand that, for meat producers to successfully compete against firms associated with high levels of corruption, simple game theory dictates that all individual firms who wish to prosper in the long-term must behave in a similar fashion; if they decide to take the moral high-ground, they’ll need to be sure to follow all regulatory procedure – resulting in higher cost for the same product.

But the dirty pigs know their cow business. Some of the most charitable firms are never burdened with inspections from federal officials. In such an environment, there is little need to examine the final product, sanitize the hanging hooks, or spray the filth-ridden kill-floors; especially for firms expecting to deliver their products domestically, the odds of negative repercussions for distributing tainted meat practically vanish. The atrocity somehow persists beyond this point, as well. In recent probes into the Brazilian meat-packing industry, rotten meat was found to present itself grinded into the contents of fresher units meant for regular consumption.

Of course, there exists the occasional crusader who will attempt to expose foul operations. As of just last month, federal authorities looking into less than one percent of beef and poultry firms discovered and contained surprising levels of regulatory misguidance and selective oversight. In total, more than 30 officials charged with overseeing just 21 firms were detained for turning their heads in exchange for cash.

In a twist of events, it is likely that the inspectors will practice a separate variety of meat-packing during their jail-time residency.

***

As the country’s largest importer of beef product, China announces that it will suspend the continuance of trade with Brazil until it cleans up its meat. The amount of tainted beef already exposed to more than a billion constituents in the Orient remains unknown. Just like in the United States, foreign imports of foodstuff were previously inspected at a rate of only one percent total volume – allowing for massive streams of rancid and otherwise inedible product to fly under the radar of squinting customs officials.

Following the discovery of the repulsive practice, Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, suggested that future rates of inspection will be multiplied over fifteen times – creating an enormous increase in the price of beef that is supposedly expected to result in a spike of demand for alley cat. This, of course, is only after the Brazilian government is able to prove to its major trading partner that it is well-qualified to resume exchange in the first place.

Until then, other nations seeking to expand their international economic development are filling the void created by the Brazilian meat scandal. In response to potentially long-lasting loss of commerce, Michel Temer, President of Brazil, has made it a personal objective to restore relations between the two nations, while attempting to avoid further sanctions from less-critical partners of trade. Spotlighted by the incredible fiasco, the most diplomatic maneuver the heads-of-state were able to concoct for the immediate horizon involved the hosting of a steak dinner intended to reassure global powers of the exceptional flavor that Brazilian meat is able to deliver at the table.

***

Unbelievably, some 18 separate ambassadors from nations spanning six of seven continents agreed to meet in Brazil’s capital, where a steak dinner was inevitably served to surely-hesitant guests. Amongst the attendees were representatives from Egypt, the United States, China, Australia, and India. Presumably, none of the meat was served rare.

After the meal, it is reported that several foreign ambassadors were struck by the generous feast and subsequent discussions with President Temer. Upon thanking their host for the gracious meal, amidst rich cultural displays, a light-hearted banter allegedly ensued between the parties which is yet to be officially confirmed.

“Ain’t no thang but a chicken wang,” an unreliable source quoted Temer.

“Your use of slang is absolutely spot-on,” the same source credited the American ambassador.

As several Brazilian security staff were rumored to exchange glances, the president broke into a fit of laughter. “You’ll have to excuse me,” he is unofficially reported to cackle, “but I mean to say that you all just consumed a local delicacy: penis de gallo!”

So far, the ban on Brazilian meat is expected to continue into the unforeseeable future.

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