1900–1918: The Normality of Meat

  • Francesco BuscemiEmail author
Part of the Numanities - Arts and Humanities in Progress book series (NAHP, volume 5)


This chapter introduces the reader to the analysis of the cultural history of meat in the years from 1900 to 1918. In the first section, I summarize what meat perception was at the end of the nineteenth century, in order to accompany the reader through the rest of the chapter. After this, the analysis focuses on Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle and on some works by Joseph Conrad, which are really helpful to understand how meat and meat perception changed in the first part of the twentieth century. Later, the center of the analysis involves slaughterhouses, shifting from private enterprises to public service, and butchers, who detached their job from animal killing but not from animal death. The following section regards vegetarianism in those years. Finally, I investigate the many ways WWI changed the human approach to meat. The short story is about the difficulty for children to distinguish between animals to love and animals to eat.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of InsubriaComoItaly

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