The Jungle of our Fast Food Nation

The truth in behind the bacon burgers

All these things have something in common... PROBLEMS

In chapter 7 of fast food nation we are introduced to problems in the meatpacking plants of Colorado. We see that there are different situations with each of the employees, severe medical injuries, and an extremely high turnover rate. Then, in chapter 8, we learn that there are even more problems and liabilities in the slaughter houses pertaining to the employees and workers, than in the meat packing plants. Lastly, in the Jungle, we see the problems of slaughter houses in general. It shows the affects they pose on the environment. Bubbly creeks due to chemical reactions, and stenches that reach for miles and miles, something is just not right with the way that slaughter houses and meat packing plants work, and how the meats are treated. Throughout each of these pieces of literature we unveil the gruesome and graphic truth about how meats come to become that savory and juicy perfection made behind the counter at your local fast food joint.

One of these things is not like the other

Chapter 7 and 8 of Fast Food nation, and The Jungle, although they may seem similar, are actually quite different. In The Jungle for instance, we go in-depth with all of the details of meats, and the process of slaughtering the cows in various slaughter houses. It also tells environmental threats these slaughter houses pose. In contrast, Chapter 8 goes more in depth on the grotesque lives of the workers rather than the process. We learn all of the health risks and hardships of life as a slaughterhouse employee. In chapter 7, we learn about the awful health coverage (or non coverage) of the workers in meat packing plants. Even though they all talk about the horrible problems our meat- making system has, they are each different because they specify in separate areas.

Quotes for Chapter 7

  • " The working conditions in these meatpacking plants were brutal... severe back and shoulder injuries, lacerations, amputations, exposure to dangerous chemicals..." (125)
  • "Holman and Anderson designed a production system for their slaughter house in Denison, Iowa, that eliminated the need for skilled workers." (153)
  • " Far from being a liability, a high turnover rate in the meatpacking industry--- as in the fast food nation--- also helps maintain a workforce that is harder to unionize and much easier to control." (161)
  • " There was little reason to worry about the 'type of people' the plant might attract of the potential for increased crime... 'they work them so hard at IBP that they're tired and they go home and go to bed,'"( 166)
  • "You can smell Greenly, Colorado long before you can see it. The smell is hard to forget but not easy to describe.... The smell is worst during the summer months, blanketing Greenly day and night like an invisible fog..." (149)

Quotes for chapter 8

  • "Workers on the line wear about eight pounds of chain mail beneath their white coats, shiny steel armor that covers their hands, wrists, stomach, and back. The chain mail is designed to protect workers from cutting themselves and from being cut by other workers." (169)
  • " My host stops and asks how I feel, if I want to go any farther. This is where some people get sick." (170)
  • " For eight and a half hours, a worker called a 'sticker' does nothing but stand in a river of blood, being drenched in blood, slitting the neck of a steer every ten seconds of so..." (170)
  • "... roughly forty thousand men and women-- suffer an injury or a work- related illness that required medical attention beyond first aid." (172)\
  • " Lacerations are the most common injuries suffered by meat packers, who often stab themselves or stab someone working nearby." (173)

Quotes from the Jungle

  • " When they had speared out all they could reach, they emptied the vat on the floor, and then with shovels scraped up the balance and dumped it into the truck. This floor was filthy..."
  • "But for the saving of time.... they butchered them for meat, and used even the skins of them."
  • " The grease and chemicals that are poured into it undergo all sorts of strange transformations.... The packers used to leave the creek that way, till every now and then the surface would catch on fire and burn furiously..."
  • "... the meat that was taken out of pickle would often be found sour, and they would rub it up with soda to take away the smell, and sell it to be eaten on free-lunch counters; also of all the miracles of chemistry which they performed, giving to any sort of meat, fresh or salted, whole or chopped, any color and any flavor and any odor they chose.... The packers were always originating such schemes."
  • " This is no fairy story and no joke; the meat would be shoveled into carts, and the man who did the shoveling would not trouble to lift out a rat even when he saw one-- there were things that went into the sausage in comparison with which a poisoned rat was a tidbit."