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Simon Leufstedt

The Jungle

[T]he creatures were prisoned, each in a separate pen, by gates that shut, leaving them no room to turn around; and while they stood bellowing and plunging, over the top of the pen there leaned one of the 'knockers,' armed with a sledge-hammer, and watching for a chance to deal a blow.


It was late, almost dark ... and the government inspectors had all gone, and there were only a dozen or two of men on the floor. That day they had killed about four thousand cattle, and these cattle had come in freight trains from far states, and some of them had got hurt. There were some with broken legs, and some with gored sides; there were some that had died, from what cause no one could say; and they were all to be disposed of, here in darkness and silence. "Downers," the men called them; and the packing-house had a special elevator upon which they were raised to the killing-beds, where the gang proceeded to handle them, with an air of businesslike nonchalance which said plainer than any words that it was a matter of everyday routine. It took a couple of hours to get them out of the way.

By Sinclair from an article[/url:27brhd1s] published in 2006 by the Humane Society of the United States, the group that exposed the recent downer-cow scandal in California[/url:27brhd1s].

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