Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and the Meat-Packing Industry Today

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Meatpacking pertains to the raising, slaughtering, packaging and processing of livestock such as pigs, cows, and chickens. Prior to slaughter, animals are grown and fed. Food borne illness and pathogens still plague the meatpacking industry since the creation of meatpacking. The government plays a huge role in providing legislation and ensuring the safety of meat products and business. Although the government is meant to inspect and guarantee safety, many unlawful practices appear overlooked pertaining to the safety of meat for consumers. Meatpacking commenced thousands of years ago, and the safety of the meatpacking industry has been evaluated greatly since the industrial revolution in America. The history of the meatpacking…show more content…
The acres that consisted of stockyards, feedlots, slaughterhouses, and meat-processing plants, as well as the close housing area for workers became known as “Packingtown”. Meatpackers created an industrial assembly line, requiring about 80 separate jobs from the slaughtering of an animal to processing the meat for sales ("BRIA 24 1 B Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle: Muckraking the Meat-Packing Industry"). The scraps of an animal ended up in lard, soap, and fertilizer. Unskilled immigrants executed all the hazardous work, in dark and extremely hot rooms. Workers stood on floors covered with blood, meat scraps, and foul water ("BRIA 24 1 B Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle: Muckraking the Meat-Packing Industry"). Women and children over 14 were given specific jobs such as sausage making and canning. Salaries consisted of pennies per hour, and work consisted of 10 hours per day, 6 days a week. “Pacesetters”, or skilled workers that sped up the assembly line earned as much as fifty cents an hour, but caused turmoil among the other less paid workers. Immigrants overflowed into tenement apartments in Packingtown, Chicago, next to stockyards and huge city dumps. In 1904, the Chicago meat packers union went on a strike, demanding higher wages and safer working conditions. The big four companies suppressed the strike and replaced the strikers, causing poverty among the strikers. An editor from appeal to reason, a popular newspaper at the
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