The Jungle is the most brutal social novel i have read in my life and i think ever written,is a masterpiece of social realism and a masterpiece of USA literature ,between others as Germinal by Zola,The Mother by Gorki or The grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck going a step further that Dickens or Galdos.
The novel describes in the most cruel and gritty and sordid form the two descents to the hell of a inocent ,ignorant,poor but full of humanity family of Lithuanians grinded by the rotten corrupted meat industry of Chicago,the first descent is a physical descent from powerty to starvation,sickness and death,the second descent is a moral descent from good moral principles of his original land to vice ,corruption ,deliquency and prostitution,insolidarity and violence,only Jurgis reaches the redemption, taking consciousnes through information and a catharsis of the real culprits of the situation.
The novel also tells the runaway social and political corruption of all administrative organisms,the police.the justice ,the legislative,the politics, buy off all by a extremely wild monopolistic capitalism.
Of course we must to see this novel in the historical context of the industrial revolution in the USA in 1900,but in some aspects the book not have aged at all,many old tricks of the old capitalism are alive today and there are a school of think longing to coming back to the unregulated capitalism with free firing,high unenployement,low salaries,12hours of work and tamed sindicates.
Is unhaealthy because is long ago knwn that is the cause of cancer,colorectal between others,aterosclerosis of hearth and brain,hearth infarts,ictus, and by that premature death.And yet today is full of scandals ,remember the mad cow affair.
It is immoral because for the high standards of moral of the developed full democratic countries is a cruelty to kill millions of superior animals as pigs,cows horses,goats and so on,that posibly have some sort of consciousness.
Promote the hunger in the world because to make a kilogram of meat are needed many kilograms of cereal and other vegetables that are extracted of the world production raising the prices and producing scarcity ,comdemnig many poor people to starvation and death.
Is against environement because need extensive farming lands along the world that are destroying rainforests,forests ,echosystems,producing extinctions,reducing biodiversity and addind enormous quantities of carbon dioxide and methane enforcing fastly global warming and climate change.
Tanks to Upton Sinclair and othe men as him we now live in a better world.
A stronly recomended book to everybody.