Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Upton Sinclair, Eco-Terrorist

I'll never forget the putrid filth portrayed in Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle." Even 30-plus years after reading the book, I recall the description of a digit (or was it a limb?) going into the meat grinder and coming out as sausage.

Thank God this is all in the past, I thought when I read the book in high school in the 1970s.

Or not. The Jungle is making a comeback. Eggs that make you sick, hamburger made of pink slime, chicken unfit for human consumption, we read about it every day. If some state legislators have their way, we won't read about it any more. And anyone who exposes those conditions will be arrested and branded a criminal.

The New York Times today reports in an editorial that lawmakers in several agricultural states want to outlaw undercover video of abusive and unsanitary farm practices. Some have even gone so far as to call those who make such videos "eco-terrorists."

So if we know the truth about factory farming, the terrorists win.

I mean really. Is this what we've come to? Do we want to eviscerate the First Amendment to protect agribusinesses' right to poison us? As the editorial rightly points out, the only purpose of these bills is hide production of putrid and unwholesome food.

I guess Upton Sinclair had it all wrong. He was really just an eco-terrorist. Creation of FDA, laws prohibiting adulterated food, government inspections of meat packing plants, all bad ideas.

I'm not sure what to say. Is this really what where we want to go? Make ourselves sick to enrich a tiny group of agribusiness executives?

Sometimes I think we've gone insane.

1 comment:

  1. It's pretty unbelievable. So what do we do now?