约书亚·斯佩克特（Joshua Specht）将人们置于故事的中心-协助推动国家向西扩张的大型牧场主，创建了全新的工业化屠宰场的肉类包装工以及遭受令人震惊和不卫生条件的牲畜饲养场工人由厄普顿·辛克莱尔（Upton Sinclair）在他的小说《丛林》中描述。 Specht带来了一个动荡的时代，其特征是印度战争，芝加哥劳工动荡以及纽约街头的食品骚乱。他展示了牛-牛肉综合体持久的成功-集权，低成本和肉类包装商主导-是由于肉类包装商有能力使自己的利益与饥饿的公众利益重叠，而挣扎的牧场主的利益却如此，绝望的工人和破产的屠夫退居第二。美国以及美国的餐桌将永远不会再相同了。
How beef conquered America and gave rise to the modern industrial food complex
By the late nineteenth century, Americans rich and poor had come to expect high-quality fresh beef with almost every meal. Beef production in the United States had gone from small-scale, localized operations to a highly centralized industry spanning the country, with cattle bred on ranches in the rural West, slaughtered in Chicago, and consumed in the nation’s rapidly growing cities. Red Meat Republic tells the remarkable story of the violent conflict over who would reap the benefits of this new industry and who would bear its heavy costs.
Joshua Specht puts people at the heart of his story–the big cattle ranchers who helped to drive the nation’s westward expansion, the meatpackers who created a radically new kind of industrialized slaughterhouse, and the stockyard workers who were subjected to the shocking and unsanitary conditions described by Upton Sinclair in his novel The Jungle. Specht brings to life a turbulent era marked by Indian wars, Chicago labor unrest, and food riots in the streets of New York. He shows how the enduring success of the cattle-beef complex–centralized, low cost, and meatpacker dominated–was a consequence of the meatpackers’ ability to make their interests overlap with those of a hungry public, while the interests of struggling ranchers, desperate workers, and bankrupt butchers took a backseat. America–and the American table–would never be the same again.
A compelling and unfailingly enjoyable read, Red Meat Republic reveals the complex history of exploitation and innovation behind the food we consume today.