There is no one who can tell you what time it is quite like R. T. Fitch. In his article excerpted below, “Mud, Blood and Horse Crap: There’s No Way to Pretty Up Horse Slaughter”, Mr. Fitch tells of his haunting visit to a horse slaughter plant.
Like Mr. Fitch, I too visited a horse slaughter plant. Unlike him, I did not see the killing. I never made it out of the parking lot. I spewed up beside the car outside the Beltex horse slaughter plant in Kaufman, Texas from the sounds and smell alone.
The investigator who had taken me there somehow got me back into the car. As we left, I saw the doomed horses through the cascade of tears I was now using to wipe the sick from my mouth. I got to leave in one piece; they did not.
What I remember most, and what I can still hear to this day, are the screams. In a lifetime around horses, I have never heard a horse make a sound like that. Until my dying day, I will never forget the screams, and I will never stop fighting against horse slaughter. – Editor
Mud, Blood and Horse Crap: There’s no way to “Pretty Up” Horse Slaughter
Written by R. T. FITCH
Looking over the back fence of the Dallas Crown plant, in Kaufman Texas, I saw, heard and even smelled more than I will ever want to experience again and that is coming from a veteran of two armed conflicts and a former military medic who is no stranger to blood and gore. It was more than my senses could bear and I will be forever soiled by what I witnessed.
There is no soap that can cleanse my mind of the stench, erase the sounds or wipe away the visions of blood, it just does not exist. Even work, toil, activity and time will not make the nightmares go away as they have become embedded into the very fiber of my being…there’s no escape.
I won’t ever forget seeing that young, healthy Paint run up the passageway to the “room” where we couldn’t quite see in the window. I only caught glimpses of the horse through the cracks in the fence as he was driven to the door of the building. It wasn’t a pretty scene with a worker with a stick whacking at the horse to move. Then the silence and the sound of the captive bolt gun, the screams from the horse as the bolt missed it’s mark and did not stun; then the chain from the hoist being wrapped around a rear leg as the screams intensified.
The wails began to gurgle as the horse started to inhale his own blood as his throat was cut while hanging upside down. Still the chains rattled as the squeals died away and then silence as the illegal immigrants carved away at the horse’s warm body.
Soon, on the conveyor belt that ran out of a hole in the building’s side, came the bloodied hide of the beautiful paint and burned into my memory is the vision of his pelt, complete with proud mane, fall off the dripping end of the conveyer belt into a waiting dumpster with a sickening, wet, “plop” while a cloud of disturbed black flies rose up like a small thundercloud from inside the dumpster and then dove back upon the fresh, bloody meal.
R. T. Fitch is the author of “Straight from the Horse’s Heart.”