House of Representatives.” (History, Art and Archives) This federal law provided federal inspection of meat products and stopped the manufacture, sale, or transportation poisonous patent medicines. “Muckraking journalists had long reported on the appallingly unsanitary conditions of the country’s manufacturing plants, especially those in Chicago’s meat-packing industry.”( History, Art and Archives).
Schlosser describes the environment of the meat packing plants serving fast food companies in a startling straightforward narrative of his visit through a meat packing plant. He describes a brutal, and sometimes unsanitary environment. The rights of animals are a very broad and complex subject, but Schlosser touches on this as he describes the slaughterhouse floor. He describes animals in various states of disembowelment. Sometimes the animals were dead or stunned; sometimes they were thrashing about wildly in the last throws of death. The slaughter room floor was described as being covered with blood and feces. Employees worked at a furious pace to meet the day's quota. What bothered me most was the fact that this meat is not only prepared for fast food companies but also contracted out to serve our children's schools.
Back in the 1900s, the meat treatment was almost the worst it could get. The workers treated the meat like it was garbage. In Sinclair's book The Jungle he talks about how the meat was handled very vividly. He explains in his book how the meat packing business was a scam. The meat packing business was a scam because, like the farmers, only cared about the money they make. The meat taken out of the pickle was often sour. To take away the odor of the meat, they would run it with soda, then sell the sour, disgusting piece of meat to the free-lunch counters to be given away (Sinclair, 134). Sinclair stated in book that they sold their soiled meat just to make a quick buck and not caring about other people's health issues. Back then there was also a “Number Grade” on all meats. The lower the grade the more expensive and better treated that meat was. “...after the hams had been smoked, there would be found some that had gone to the bad. Formerly these had been sold as "Number Three Grade," but later on some ingenious person had hit upon a new device, and now they would extract the bone, about which the bad part generally lay, and insert in the hole a white-hot iron. After this invention there was no longer Number One, Two, and Three Grade--there was only Number One Grade” (Sinclair, 134). This quote is telling us that the entire meat industry was a scam because all they wanted to do was make money, even if it meant selling spoiled hams to its customers. The “Number Grades” made sure people knew that they were not going to buy and eat a spoiled ham. Without the “Number Grades” people were buying hams they may not have agreed to eat because they were spoiled and could harm their
This endeavor lead to the creation of the FDA and also the requirement that companies list what is going in the food that they are purchasing. Document B states the ill conditions meat was placed in prior to the chopping of the meat: “Meat scraps were also found being shoveled into receptacles from dirty floors where they were left to lie until again shoveled into barrels or into machines for chopping. These floors, it must be noted, were in most cases damp and soggy, in dark ill-ventilated rooms…”(Neill-Reynolds Report,
It is hard to imagine that there was once a time when meat and meat-like products were butchered and processed in unsanitary conditions, but there was such a time and it was so bad that Congress had to pass the Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906 to stop these unsanitary conditions. In this paper I will argue why the passage of the Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906 was such a good idea.
While some citizens of the United States, between 1825 and 1850, believed that reform was foolish and that the nation should stick to its old conduct, reformists in this time period still sought to make the United States a more ideally democratic nation. This was an age of nationalism and pride, and where there was pride in one’s country, there was the aspiration to improve one’s country even further. Many new reformist and abolitionist groups began to form, all attempting to change aspects of the United States that the respective groups thought to be unfair or unjust. Some groups, such as lower and middle class women and immigrants, sought to improve rights within the county, while other reformers aspired to change the American education
Factories did not have to meet any safety guidelines, causing the United States to have the worst working conditions out of any other country. Also the factories were definitely not the cleanest places to work. Since there was no one inspecting the meat at the time, low skilled laborers were forced to package meat that was spoiled or contaminated. This did not go well with human consumption.
Amidst all of this controversy, journalists began to express their opinions in their articles. They played a major role in spreading new information to the public. Journalists criticized the work of “Beef Trust” businesses, which were a group of five large meatpacking companies. Journalists would also talk about the unsanitary conditions in which the meat was being produced and how these companies would try to avoid inspection. This helped spread awareness to this issue that was continuing to grow as each day passed by.
There were no toilets, so human and rat excrement wound up in the meat, along with the rats themselves. These unsanitary details moved readers far more than the injustices inflicted on the workers. Other examples include the rechurning of rancid butter, the cutting of ice from polluted water and the doctoring of milk with formaldehyde. The average consumer was shocked to know that the “pure beef” was in fact contaminated and unfit for human consumption. Imagine
In chapter four, it is said that from colonial times to the 1950’s when it was overtaken by beef, pork was the major source of meat for Americans. Pioneers kept hogs as free-range animals that foraged for their food. Corn-fed pigs grew faster and bigger, so it was common practice to round up surplus hogs and corn-feed them in the weeks before they went to market (value is weight-based). In 1818, the first meatpacking plant in Cincinnati was opened and became the dominating entity in pork production until the civil war,
In the early twentieth century, at the height of the progressive movement, “Muckrakers” had uncovered many scandals and wrong doings in America, but none as big the scandals of Americas meatpacking industry. Rights and responsibilities were blatantly ignored by the industry in an attempt to turn out as much profit as possible. The meat packers did not care if poor working conditions led to sickness and death. They also did not care if the spoiled meat they sold was killing people. The following paper will discuss the many ways that rights and responsibilities were not being fulfilled by the meat packing industry.
In the cover story, “Loving Animals to Death” by James McWilliams, it discusses how important it is to know where you get your meats from. For example, Bob Comis of Stony Brook Farm is a different type of a professional pig farmer, in fact, the good kind. He believes it's important that the animals he has should be raised with dignity and not unfairly and crudely. Although Comis' believes what he does for a living is wrong, he does it because it's what we all enjoy eating regardless of how much we truly know about it. What's most important when it comes to food is where it's coming from and how it will be prepared. If a person loves pork, that's fine, as long as the pork comes from a local humane farm. The food movement is basically more constructural rather than nutritional. Eating anything you want is fine as long as it comes from a place that is nonindustrial.
The government’s role in the food industry seems as if it is to protect the reputations of these companies instead of the well-being of its workers and consumers. This statement is made clear in the “What’s In Meat” chapter
Virgil Butlers testimony from his time working for Tyson Foods is painstakingly detailed to articulate his point of how well-thought out the killing process was within this factory. Along with his traumatic experience, he emphasizes how the methods used were meant for the quickest murder of chickens, one which is not morally justified. Butler’s depiction of these factories made me want to investigate myself, especially because I never truly looked into how these animals are kept. After further investigation, I came to realize that regardless of the “humane” upbringing, once animals are mature they are slaughtered by the masses whether it is painless or not, is insensitive thus immoral. Those that argue that the machines are built for painless mass killings disregard the fact that these are human operated, not only do humans make mistakes but they are desensitized themselves from their occupation. The daunting feeling for industry workers eating processed meat in their day to day lives is depicted by Butler when he states, “But you don’t want chicken. You have to be really hungry to eat that” (Gruen 77). It seems difficult because one is associated with the pain and anguish of other beings, by the masses.