Rights and responsibilities in the meatpacking industry
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.
At the turn of the twentieth century "Muckraking" had become a very popular practice. This was where "muckrakers" would bring major problems to the publics attention. One of the most powerful pieces done by a muckraker was the book "The Jungle", by Upton Sinclair. The book was written to show the horrible working and living conditions in the packing towns of Chicago, but what caused a major controversy was the filth that was going into Americas meat. As Sinclair later said in an interview about the book "I aimed at the publics heart and by accident hit them in the stomach."# The meat packing industry took no responsibility for producing safe and sanitary meat.
One reason for this problem was that there was no real inspection of the meat. A quote from "The Jungle" tells of a government inspector checking the hogs for Tuberculosis, "This government inspector did not have a manner of a man who was worked to death; he was apparently not haunted by a fear that the hog might get by before he had finished his testing. If you were a sociable person, he was quite willing to enter into conversation with you and to explain the deadly nature of the ptomaines which are found in tubercular pork; and while he was talking with you you could hardly be so ungrateful to notice that a dozen...
Bibliography: 1. Corey, Lewis, Meat and Men: A study of Monopoly, Unionism and Food Policy (New York: The Viking Press, 1985).
2. Sinclair, Upton, The Jungle, (New York: Bantam Books,1906).
3. Divine, Breen, Fredrickson, Williams, eds., America Past and Present Volume II: since 1865 sixth edition (New York: Longman 2002).
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