Monday, November 26, 2012


I've had my nose in a book for the last couple of days.  Hence, the lack of blog postings.  
A while back Cliff and I were watching an episode of Modern Marvels entitled "The Butcher".  This was especially interesting to us because Cliff worked at the (long-since gone) Country Butcher Shop for twenty years.  The show started out with the history of butchering; during this part, a book was mentioned:  The Jungle, by Upton Sinclair, published in 1905.  
I knew that such an old book would be available free as a download; I found it online with no problem and began reading it.  I was on the third chapter when I googled a question about the book and found out there was another version, the original, the book as it existed before it was edited for publishing.  Some of the more stomach-turning details were taken out of it for the public.  Since I wanted all the dirty details, I paid ninety-nine cents and purchased that one.   
The book is melodramatic, I'll give you that.  But I haven't been able to put it down.  I am about three-fourths of the way through it and it is still holding my interest.  It is NOT for the squeamish.  I was reading it yesterday while eating my turkey salad sandwich and had to put down my Ipad for awhile.  And I have a strong stomach!  
Here's an excerpt from the forward of the book:  "The novel's graphic description of unsanitary conditions in the Chicago meatpacking industry and the brutal treatment of immigrant laborers came as a revelation to most Americans.  The resulting outcry soon became so great that President Teddy Roosevelt and Congress were forced to pass the first Pure Food and Drug laws in this country.  Some years later, Sinclair wrote about the amazing popularity of his book, saying, 'I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.'"
So, that's why I haven't done a blog entry since Friday.  

Bonnie-the-Jersey-cow wasn't with the herd this morning.  I found her in a secluded spot behind the pond.  I'm hoping this means she will have a calf before the day is over, but with Bonnie you never know until there is a calf actually making its appearance.  If this happens today, there will of course be a blog entry with pictures.  The calf will be a whiteface like her last two.  All three of her previous calves have been boys.  We'll see if she finally has a girl this time.  I haven't hovered over her as much as in the past, since she is no longer the only cow on the place and I have other cows and calves to distract me.  I imagine this is a relief to her, not having me stalking her constantly.       


darev2005 said...

Okay. Important safety tip: Don't eat while reading that book. Check!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

It must be quite a long book to keep you reading so long. Conditions in most industries including meat packing were not good in the early days. Thankfully we do have some kinds of food laws now. Still with all the precautions we still have recalls now and then. I love reading things that include our history, but not so sure I could handle that one. I'll be awaiting news of Bonnie

Angela said...

Okay, Donna, I just got my own version for the nook, but I gotta tell you... I didn't search too hard for the original. My stomach is not as strong as yours. Ha! Looking forward to reading it, though. I think my library is nearly complete for the winter months ahead.

Take Care!