The Meat Industry In Upton Sinclair's The Jungle

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Millions of Americans view “hard and laborious” work as mowing the lawn or going to an office job eight hours a day. Young teenagers regard these duties as “chores”, miserable and tedious tasks; however, most of these people are oblivious to the mistreatment and overworking the meat industry workers experience daily. Since the 20th century, these employees have been exploited and taken advantage of by the large corporations in the food industry. In the novel The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, revelations are made about the evil ways of the meat factories in the early 1900s. Although the working conditions have improved in several ways, today’s industry is not much better, and food investigators Eric Schlosser and Michael Pollan expose the realities…show more content…
For example, one of the key points that is constantly brought up in Sinclair’s novel is how these companies view their workers, and how that leads them to atrociously use them. The protagonist, Jurgis Rudkus, states how he was, “… the victim of ravenous vultures that had torn into his vitals and devoured him; of fiends that had racked and tortured him, … and they could do nothing...the law was against them, the whole machinery of society was at their oppressors' command!”(p.184-185) Originally, Jurgis had moved to America with his family with hopes and dreams for a happy life. However, working in the factories has torn him apart at the seams and took everything he had away from him, including his reasons to live. Once they had drained his strength, they tossed him aside like a rag doll, and left him to fend for himself without a job. Wistfully, the same exact thing is happening today. In Food, Inc., one of the workers describes the maltreatment very similarly to Jurgis Rudkus. “They have the same mentality towards workers as they do towards the hogs… the hog, they don't really have to worry about their comfort because they're temporary. They're gonna be killed. And they have the same viewpoint to the worker. You're not worried about the longevity of the worker because, to them, everything has an end.” By comparing these two statements from two different time periods, it is confirmed…show more content…
It is difficult to say if the conditions were better then or now, simply because both good and bad changes have occurred in the past century, which causes the pros and cons to balance out. Sadly, the working and living circumstances are nearly too horrendous to exist. In fact, it is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Despite the amount of changes in the industry, working in the meat packing factories proved to be a repulsive job, both in the 1900s and today. Thankfully, these works have inspired millions of citizens to stand up and promote change in this gruesome and cruel
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