Food industry in America has obscured high level of fraudulent ethics as revealed in the works of Eric Schlosser “Fast Food Nation” and Upton Sinclair’s work “The Jungle”. On the one hand, Eric Schlosser’s research brings to awareness an in-depth coverage of the contributing sources, history, establishment and the repercussions brought about by America’s fast food consumption. On the other hand, Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” also involves an extensive look into the distressing reality and the horrific results emanating from America’s food demand. Although the story of Sinclair narrates of a story of toll the meat packing industry which took a family nearly a century ago, the insight he offers is sufficient enough to offer realization and awareness that will ultimately benefit an individual in making better decisions in their daily lives. It offers thought-provoking discussions that will ultimately engage the mind of the readers into making rational decisions in their everyday lives.
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There is a description of the slaughterhouses in both books. It is sufficiently enough to send shivers down the spine of everyone who reads them. “The Jungle”, on the one hand, opens with the crude tactics. “Fast food Nation” does not make a mention of the slaughterhouses until almost the middle of the narration. Authors, Upton Sinclair and Eric Schlosser inform the reader of the happenings of the last century. The factory farming is responsible for controlling meat market in America. They use unfair and unsafe practices. While “The Jungle” culminated in the passage of meat inspection act of 1907, Eric Schlosser still held that most of the problems remained. They are still evident in the society.
“Fast Food Nation” does not touch on the meat industry until chapter 6. The chapter opens with Eric Schlosser’s words about how the big co operations took a lead in trying to diminish the independent cattle ranchers. He also says that they had almost taken over the meat market. This is similar to the times described by Upton Sinclair’s work “The Jungle”. The beef is trusted to the owned factory where Jurgis worked in. This is very painful especially to the farmers because the factory owners set the prices of the cattle far cheaper than the ranchers could expect. Eric Schlosser describes a tour of one of the factories that slaughters more than five thousand cattle in a single day. When he enters the factory, he sees many factory workers close together with huge knives speeding through their work. They chop the meat away using all their strengths. Generally the place looks totally different. Men are straining to cut more meat.
Both books are nearly one hundred years apart. Most of the world within the duration has changed but the situation seems to have remained the same. In both books, it becomes clear that the food that we eat everyday might not be safe as we may think it is. Jurgis begins to wonder to what extent the meat industry tries to deliver its products so that they are safe to the people. The inspectors from the government are corrupt, the companies themselves appointed their own inspectors and there are very many loopholes regarding the way services are carried out in the companies.
Both of the books deal with how meat is packed in the industries. Capitalism is widely explored in the two works. The condition under which the food is slaughtered and packed is highly questionable though the owners ensure that this does not leak to the public. There is a shocking insight on the reality behind the scenes and which is hidden from the community. “The Jungle” revolves around the story of a family who migrates to America from Lithuania. Housefather is forced to work in one of the meat factories in Chicago so that he can meet the daily expenses of the family. In the factory, the workers are paid less wages. They are also overworked and exposed to conditions which are not fair. The working conditions are generally very dangerous. The neighboring areas of the slaughterhouses are also dirty and characterized by poverty. Sewages are not properly treated; boarding houses are filled with rats and a blazing garbage dump is on one of the ends. All the members of the plant have an advantage of witnessing how the shocking dirt where the meat is being processed and the discouraging secrets behind the process involved in packing of the meat. The cattle which are being processed for human consumption have various diseases though they are still processed for eating. The pregnant cows are also slaughtered and the fetuses are also used for consuming. Any mess picked up from the floor is used to make hotdogs and sausages. In one of the extreme incidences, a man ends up falling into a container and ends up being grounded into fat .Workers are also sometimes required to report to work every day even when there is no work and they are not paid for it .
On the other hand, Eric Schlosser discusses about the meat packing conditions but the main discussion concerns the fast food industry. There is no improvement in the meat industries over a period of 100 years. There is no guarantee for the safety and health of the workers. There are no reasonable wages given and there is the danger of food poisoning. The companies attempt to oppose the government involvement in regulating the incidences with microbial testing as part of the inspection. They feared that this would reveal the truth thus reducing the profits that were accrued from their inhumane practices. There are a lot of researches done on different fast food chains such as Carl’s and McDonald’s.
Scholars’ book “Fast Food Nation” brings to the reader a sense of sorrow and emotion very effectively. The right amount of emotion is cooperated into his work. This is achieved in his personal accounts as well as the experiences of characters such as Kenny and Hunky. The complement of facts as well as the emotion allows him effectively portray his purpose. On the other hand, Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” is told from the perspective of one dominant character, Jurgis and the working group. It, however, appeals extensively to the reader’s emotions. However, as the novel progresses, the misfortunes of Jurgis continue to skyrocket and they even become unbelievable at a point. When Sinclair introduces the idea of socialism later, as the story develops, the appeal to emotion ceases. As a result of this, his purpose, which is to perpetuate a spirit of socialist revolution to the public, is not effectively shown to the reader. The reader in this case, remembers the emotions that were planted by the author through narrating the story of the poor working conditions and the unsanitary factories. Although, Upton Sinclair hopes to plant to his reader the evils brought about by capitalism, their attention is diverted to something which is of more concern of their lives, quality of their food. His work does not therefore achieve the intended purpose which is in contrast to the work of Eric Schlosser “Fast Food Nation”, achieves its objectives.
The two stories narrate real life stories. In the written depiction of “Fast Food Nation”, Eric Schlosser unearths ills brought about by capitalistic meat-packing industries. “The Jungle” is also a notable relation to the same kind of terror. Unlike Schlosser, Upton Sinclair writes his work in a fictional storyline. He incorporates great models of imagery and figurative language that are aimed at capturing the readers and putting them in a world of belief and sympathy. In achieving this, he uses Rudkis Jurgis to depict the conditions prevalent in the meat-packing industries in the United States. He was used to reveal the hidden and harsh lives of individuals who are working in the companies in packing town. In addition, he also used Jurgis as a convincing avenue for his strongly held belief that capitalism is corrosive. Therefore, both works seem to contend that capitalism had planted a lot of ills in the society.
“Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser analyzed the effects that fast food has on the users. There are a lot of effects associated with the fast foods. The culture has expanded in the United States and all over the world in general. The details of the culture have also been captured including the workers in the companies, the foods, manufacture and supply, and the effects on people. Although fast food is highly appreciated by many people, there are dark sides associated with it. The business began in California. The cooperation and businesses indulging in the business continued to swell until they started to reach all other places of the nation. The human culture was really distorted as a result. The lifestyle that was designed is also accountable to the modern way of living of the people. Eric Schlosser notes that people are overweight or obese. Fast food is very fattening and usually sells in bulks. The fast- food industries are mainly involved in marketing their products especially to the young individuals. Most of the food tastes good, although on the other end, tasting good does not necessarily mean that they are good. The companies have a tremendous impact on the lives of the people. They pay low salaries especially to the young people, misusing adolescents, immigrants and class minorities are also manifested in the process. The companies are one of the founders of globalization and the spread of culture in the United States to the whole world.
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