30 August 2008

The Wonderful Efficiency

One stood and watched, and little by little caught the drift of the tide, as it set in the direction of the packing houses. There were groups of cattle being driven to the chutes, which were roadways about fifteen feet wide, raised high above the pens. In these chutes the stream of animals was continuous; it was uncanny to watch them, pressing on to their fate, all unsuspicious --- a very river of death. Our friends were not poetical, and the sight suggested to them no metaphors of human destiny; they thought only of the wonderful efficiency of it all.

Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, Ch. 3 (2006: 36)