Wanted: Animal Renderer

posted: 04/11/12

Wanted: Animal Renderer to take unwanted parts from dead animals, grind them up and turn them into something useful.

Position Description: When animals die of natural causes on farms or ranches, something needs to be done with the bodies - and rather quickly, since animal decay can easily spread disease and pollute the ground or water sources. And burying them would be time consuming and costly.

Farmers need a place to send dead livestock -- deadstock, as it's sometimes referred to -- to animal rendering plants. And that's where you, the animal renderer come in, to convert entire carcasses into a wide variety of useful goods. These materials are sold to manufacturers, who use them to create all sorts of things, from pet food and soap to plastics, crayons and lipstick.

Although there are different rendering processes used in the trade, most start with removing animal hides from the carcasses and grinding them up into one big, uniform mess of parts. The mass of ground-up animal parts is then transferred to a cooker and the renderers begin the job of separating the two main by-products of rendering: the liquid fat and the solid protein of bones. The fat form gets thrown into tanks and can be used to make tallow, lard or yellow grease, while the protein is pressed into cake-like forms for poultry and other types of animal feed.

Animal plants also accept also unwanted slaughterhouse parts and sometimes even euthanized dogs and cats. And if all of this isn't weird and gross enough for you, rendering plants also process blood sent from slaughterhouses, from which they extract more protein solids and restaurant grease, which is also used as yellow grease and added to animal feed.

Still sure you have the stomach for the gig? Read on.

Be prepared to show up to your first interview with a rendering plant license in hand. Most states require any person handling or disposing of animal carcasses to have one. And after submitting an application, and while state agricultural and health services investigate to make sure you meet all the necessary safety requirements, wait for your call back to see if you get one of the dirtiest animal jobs out there.

Although it manages to out-gross even slaughterhouse workers, animal rendering puts an otherwise nasty problem to good use (as long as it's done safely).

As if a place full of dead animals weren't strange enough, what about Body Farms: research facilities that study dead human bodies and the process of decay? And if all this talk of inedible, ground-up animal parts has you thinking of fat, learn more about How Fats Work.

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