4 June 2013
Fast Food Nation
The fast food industry has been growing in America rapidly in the past decades. In “Fast Food Nation”, Eric Schlosser talks about the dangers of the fast food industry. Schlosser also explains the “distinctively American way” Americans view the world because of the fast food industry. I think the “distinctively American way” people view the world that Schlosser is trying to explain is that Americans care about money and power. Due to the growth and success of the fast food industry, the owners of these big fast food companies are starting to care more about power and they’re willing to use their power to control over Congress and their employees. Schlosser also feels that fast food companies are willing to have harsh working conditions, use cheap labor, and misuse government subsidies just for capitalism. He feels that fast food companies’ main goal is to gain profit and they’re willing to harm their employees and consumers just for the profit. Another “distinctively American way” people view the world due to fast food is that they’re starting to value convenience, speed, and cheapness. The fast food industry uses these attributes to help gain more profit because they know this will attract customers. Americans are starting to learn a new philosophy: bigger is better. Inhumane Working Conditions:
Schlosser argues that the fast food industry has many inhumane working conditions. In “Fast Food Nation”, Schlosser explains all the inhumane working conditions in the slaughterhouses and the effects of these working conditions. He explains the inhumane working conditions by showing his experience as he visits a slaughterhouse. As he visits the slaughterhouse, he sees the meat cutters working and how horrendous their job is. Schlosser explains the process of cutting the meat, “They stand at a table that’s chest high, grab meat off a conveyer belt, trim away fat, throw meat back on the belt, toss the scraps onto a conveyer belt above them, and then grab more meat, all in a matter of seconds,”(170) The workers in the slaughterhouse do the same task repetitively throughout the day. Not only are the workers doing the same task repetitively, they’re working in extreme temperatures and with disgusting smells of blood and manure. The workers are also working with sharp knives that give them injuries such as lacerations. Repeating the same motion continuously also gives the workers back problems, shoulder problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, and “trigger finger”(a syndrome in which a finger becomes frozen in a curler position). The worst slaughterhouse job is cleaning the slaughterhouse at night. These workers deal with heat, fog, and fumes. The fumes make the workers throw up and they feel the fumes inside their bodies. Industry Defense-
The fast food industry might defend themselves from these attacks about their inhumane working conditions by saying that they have these working conditions so production can be fast. Workers must perform the same task repetitively so that the meat could be cut as fast as possible. If production were to be slow, this will lead to less beef for the fast food industry and this will eventually harm the fast food industry. If the fast food industry is harmed this may lead to the rise of unemployment because the fast food industry will slow down and might not need as much employees working at branches. The fast food industry is one of the biggest industries and it provides the most jobs for young adults and people in the lower economic class. We need the fast food industry so there could be enough jobs for people and this will overall benefit our economy. My Argument-
I agree with Schlosser about how the fast food industry does have inhumane working conditions. People are getting injuries and dying because of these horrible working conditions and that shouldn’t be acceptable. Even though production will be slower...
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