Upton Sinclair was an American author and politician who authored the most scrutinizing description of the American meat packaging industry in its history. The Jungle was one of the first investigative reports to focus on the horrible conditions of U.S. meat packing plants. Sinclair’s description of unsanitary factories, spoiled meat and in-humane treatment of animals caught most readers off guard and caused major problems for the industry.
To gather information on the meat packing industry, Sinclair worked seven weeks under cover disguised as a meat packer in a Chicago plant. Sinclair being an avid socialist wanted change in the way business was ran but did not intend for the response that came from his writing. Sinclair wad hoping to bring attention to his views of how corrupt the American economic system was and show people how capitalism was ruining life in America.
The uproar from the Jungle was so intense that the U.S. passed the 1906 Food and Drug Act and the related Meat Inspection Act. Because of Sinclair’s book, American meat processers were literally forced to clean up their mess. Work conditions improved making it safer for workers and customers also saw an improvement in the quality of the meat they were buying.