There were usually no restrooms for the workers, so a corner or the floor were utilized as substitutes. The rooms were dark and musty, from a lack of windows. The machines had sharp parts made for crushing meat, which caused fingers and other body parts of workers to be severed and grinded into the meat. Rat infestations lead to rat droppings, rat poison, and rat corpses finding their way into the meat as well. Many of these factors caused food poisoning to reach its highest peak in United States history in the early 1900s.
In The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, he describes the painful and vigorous work in the meat-packing industry, saying, “The hands of these men would be criss-crossed with cuts, until you could no longer pretend to count them...They would have no nails, they had worn them off pulling hides; their knuckles were swollen so that their fingers spread out like a fan. There were men who worked in the cooking-rooms...in these rooms the germs of tuberculosis might live for two years.” These suffering Americans appealed to the government and labor unions for help, but they did not receive it due to lack of union organization, big business ties, and laissez-faire economic ideals. During the Gilded Age, the U.S. government suppressed the average industrial worker, and labor unions, though created for laborers’ aid, accomplished little and were futile when facing big business and government. The government consistently took action that was detrimental to U.S. industrial workers by passing legislation that
In early 1900, specifically, 1906, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair was written. This novel told the story of a Lithuanian immigrant who worked in a filthy Chicago meatpacking plant. It exposed the meatpacking industry by stating their vile practices not only towards their meat but their workers as well. This was a result of the combination of many immigrants in the United States to pursue a better life, and the fact that many big industries were looking for ways to maximize their profit. The Jungle exposed the way workers were treated in the meatpacking industry.
Meat packing industries were becoming more unsafe everyday. This led for more people to become sick and die from diseases because of the rotten, diseased, and contaminated foods they were ingesting. Many people were disturbed by the fact that these meat-packing industries were getting away with all the infections they had in the meat. They were so disturbed that they wanted to expose them and show what their company was actually like. These people became known as the muckrakers.
Animals that go to slaughter houses see misery long before arriving. Animals lay in their own manure while on the farm and are vulnerable to many diseases due to the lack of health care they receive. Many of these animals are not properly cleaned before being slaughtered. One former slaughterhouse employee states, “One of the real problems is that animals have spent their lives lying in their manure, are smeared and caked with the stuff, and they’re entering the food plant” (Pollan). One other slaughterhouse worker also said, “During the evisceration of the animal, the manure can get on the meat.
In the novel were references to rats and workers falling into tubs of meats, which inspired disgust and helped to bring the Meat Inspection of 1906 to life. Since then the public has come to assume that meat is inspected according to government standards to protect consumers, but much evidence indicates that throughout the time bribery of government meat inspectors and deception has resulted in the imposing of much unhealthy meat on the American public. In the end of the 20th century, reports of unclean conditions in meatpacking plants, marketing of unsafe mat, and paid-off inspectors were still imminent, and millions of Americans were suffering from food poisoning as a result of such
Jurgis started off firmly believing on his American dream of having a better life where he would work hard and earn lots of money. He took up work in a meatpacking plant where he had to sweep blood and body parts of slaughtered cattle. The job was unsafe and the conditions were bitter but he continued working a he was happy to get a job so fast. In the packinghouses the condition were deplorable, every part of the animal was used to make profit. Even spoiled meat was marked as good and sold out to public.
Jurgis’s dad, Dede Antanas, succumbs to the cold and his damp, dangerous working conditions and dies while working in the pickling rooms at a meat factory. The time for the wedding mentioned in the beginning has arrived, and the outcome leaves the poor family with more than one hundred dollars in debt. Afraid of the consequences of not being able to pay it off, more of the family works harder than ever, including Ona in a ham sewing factory, and eventually the young boys of the family as newsboys. Despite this rising debt, Marija’s factory closes and Jurgis is cut back on his hours. Outraged at this unfairness, Jurgis, as well as the rest of the eligible family members, join the Union and start to participate passionately.
Jews are put into cattle wagons by the SS, which is kind of a humiliation to those Jews. “An infinitely long train, composed of cattle wagons, with no roofs. The SS pushed us in, a hundred to a carriage, we were so thin” (Wiesel 92). Thus, the Jews are put into cattle wagons where those animals are supposed to be put in, which reveals the SS treat the Jews as unfairly as subhuman. In general, those Jews treat others inhumanity because they are treated unfairly as subhuman so they thought they don’t need to act as humans
The livestock was another group that was affected in the dust bowl. When the AAA demanded the farmers to plow over there land they killed 6 million young pigs were slaughtered. Many of those pigs just starved because the farmers were no longer working so they could not feed them. When the dust bowl came money farmers and ranchers livestock were killed and when they cut them open there was only dust in there lungs and guts. The cattle grazing was reduced and millions of more acres were plowed and planted.
Uptown Sinclair’s book The Jungle was originally written to expose the working conditions within the meat packing industry. Sinclair shocked millions as he bore what it was really like behind the scenes. Employees worked with contaminated and rotting meat, which was not a health violation at the time. This eventually led to new food and federal safety laws. Most of the labor force was an immigrant, who moved to the United States with hopes of the “American Dream.” Most would say that they did not find what they were looking for.