Archive for July, 2011


July 6th, 2011 Comments off

When I was a boy in grrammar school, our class went on a trip to the stockyards of Chicago.  We were led through the feed lot, and up some stairs to a kind of viewing balcony over the slaughter floor.  There, we could see the cattle enter from the chute outside, get knocked in the head by a sledgehammer (we could see the hammer rise and fall, but not the impact on the steer’s head), the dazed animal, with a chain wrapped around its feet, was swung onto a overhead conveyor.  Still, at times, struggling, the animal’s throat was slit and almost as fast its belly was split open from anus to neck.As the conveyor moved on, the steer’s intestines were pulled from its body, the head severed and put on a separate conveyor, the skin was removed, and the body went further on in the butchering process.

One night soone thereafter, my father drove us all down Mannheim Road and over a wooden trestle bridge across the largest railroad yards in America, and finally to the Chicago stockyards.  In the center of the stockyards was Morton’s Stockyard Inn.  The meat was really fresh.  I liked mine medium-rare; the experience of seeing the kill floor had made no impression me at all, except for some queeziness while viewing the slaughter.

Now I am a vegetarian, have been for forty years.  My boss a while back, on a business trip, thought it would be great sport to take me to Morton’s Steak House–a chain, now, derived from that original Stockyard Inn.  *It ws just like old times.

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