A video in its own image and likeness

Terminator JBS

The largest meat producer in the world has launched a video to promote a meatpacking plant that is completely robotized, with no workers whatsoever, and, therefore, with no unions.

Carlos Amorín

29 | 5 | 2024

Image: Allan McDonald | Rel UITA

JBS is genetically anti-union, hyper-exploitative of its workers, a promoter of the destruction of Amazonia and the environment in general through its cattle raising policies, and a quintessential example of cruelty, imposing harmful labor conditions to satisfy its insatiable thirst for profit.

According to the company’s own financial reports, its earnings in the first quarter of 2024 amounted to 312 million dollars, which suggests that by the end of the year it will have lined its coffers with more than 1.2 billion dollars.

Its promotional video transports us to the “JBS Paradise,” a factory without human beings, and therefore without unions, at least until artificial intelligence figures out how to join one.

That paradise is the golden dream of the shareholders and managers of JBS. One can almost picture their beaming faces among robot arms and conveyor belts.

It is not hard to imagine that part of those huge gains are already being invested in researching some form of fully automated, robotized, and computerized cattle raising system. We can only hope that those poor animals are not forced to listen all day to that horrible heavy metal sound that is the video’s background music.

What we do know for sure is that JBS invested 41 million US dollars in a Spanish factory in San Sebastián, which it intends to operate as a “lab-grown meat plantwith a projected yearly production of around 1,000 metric tons of synthetic meat, and the capacity to expand that production to 4,000 metric tons.

JBS announced it would also invest 60 million US dollars to set up a research institute in southern Brazil to develop technology to produce protein from animal cells.

Perhaps in its dreams, Terminator JBS fantasizes with a world of zombie consumers standing in long lines waiting to receive their rations of prefabricated meat.

While these nightmares are not yet realized, JBS is creating the conditions in its plants to make them come true.