||| The Abattoir

I should probably put a warning here, some of the images will no doubt upset – it is an abattoir, afterall.

The livestock market leaves nothing to the imagination, it’s a time-tested script of source to sell perfectly executed on a clockwork schedule. Stepping through a heavy door of yellowed plastic sheets, the cool interior of the death house is a refreshing change from the blistering heat outside. Laid out across the blood-stained tiled floor of this single-room building are row upon row of cattle, strung up by their legs and bleeding out. Two young men wielding sharp knifes eyeball me with disdain, fresh blood dripping from the tips of their blades as they slowly run a whetstone over the razor sharp steel, almost as if inviting me to stand in line. Sheep are ushered in and the routine repeats; praying, cutting, skinning and skilfully butchering every inch of every animal. Nothing is left except thick crimson blood running down choked gutters to the waiting world outside.

At the back of the abattoir a loud, dense periodic hum envelops the air. A single circular saw slices with an almost robotic frequency as sheep’s heads are cut from their horns to provide materials for local tradesmen. Horns become dagger handles, skulls soon to be boiling in broth, entrails of all sorts laid out and picked through for who-knows-what, and the organs are stuffed with rice and spices and cooked for lunch. The skins? They’re taken to the edge of the desert and strung up in trees to make homes for the local wildlife.

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