Monday, July 7, 2008
Upton Sinclair and the Stockyards Arch
It was very moving to visit the arch, standing at the entrance of what's left of the Chicago Stockyards. It's huge and stands right next to the railroad tracks where animals would be transported and prepared, for lack of a better word.
On top of the arch is a bull. Supposedly he is there representing the prize fighting bull named Sherman, called after John Sherman, one of the Stockyard founders.
Upton Sinclair exposed the horrific working conditions of immigrants working in The Stockyards in his muckracking novel The Jungle. He discussed the blood soaked floors, flies and general unsanitary conditions that poor workers were subjected to, because there was no other alternative. His work led to social ramifications and guidelines set by the Food and Drug Administration.
(You will note our artistic photos depicting the poor worker yearning to break free from poverty and capitalist abuse).