Ethics In Meat Production Most people are not concerned about where or how the meat on their dinner table comes from, because they are shielded from the gruesome images of the slaughterhouses and the hidden truths of how meat is produced. However, in the book "My Year of Meats", the author Ruth L. Ozeki creates a storyline that uses the protagonist, Jane, to discover toxicity in meat, especially beef. The book especially focuses on beef, as it might be the most widely eaten meat in this country; however, it is also a dangerous meat for humans to consume.
The story takes us inside the inner workings of feedlots and slaughterhouses. The evidences is shocking and frightening to the reader. Because the reason is that Ozeki uses descriptive diction, very clear similes, and understatements in dialogues to expose the unsanitary, horrible conditions of meat industries and the irresponsible role they play. Her book is a challenge to today's culture and society pleading them to take a look at the dishonesty behind meat productions in America. Ozeki describes the filthy feedlot and slaughterhouse through the use of vivid and expressive words.
For example, when Jane stepped into the cattle feedlot, she saw "the dirt was parched and the hot wind buffeted [her] face with a stench [she] could taste-the sick-sweet smell of manure, cut with searing fumes of ammonia that rose from the urine-drenched ground" (258). Here, Ozeki paints a visual surrounding of the dirty feedlot. Using phrases like "a stench you could taste,"sick-sweet smell of manure," as well as "the urine-drenched ground," Ozeki is able to stimulate the senses-taste, smell, and sight. Thus, when imagining the place, it creates a repelling response. In addition, the feedlot is filled with dust and dirt so it is no wonder that after Jane visited the site, she "kept imagining what the dust must contain, the microscopic particulates of toxic powder, dissolving in [her] sweat, now leaching back through [her] pores, and the thought made [her] skin prickle and flush and sweat some more" (268). Ozeki emphasizes that this filth can be harmful to the cattle, which can cause the meat to be unhealthy.
Using phrases such as "microscopic... powder" and words like "dissolving" and "leaching," she is creating a sense as if germs are entering a body (like a cow's) to injure its victim. When they do, they harm the victim by making their "skin prickle and flush and sweat," which implicitly means the powder in the feedlot "dissolves" into the cow. And this brings us to see that the infected meat could make the consumer sick. Through the use of these word descriptions, Ozeki is able to display the dirty truth in the feedlots, which is horribly harmful to its consumer.