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Basic Information

A slaughterhouse1 is a secondary industrial facility in which animals are harvested for meat and other related products (such as fat, hides, connective tissue and bone). Such facilities often include or directly adjoin related operations such as meat packing and preserving, tallow rendering, glue making and tanneries. They will also tend to be located close to stockyards and other areas where livestock can be assembled and penned. Obviously animals will be slaughtered in other locations - not least by most traditional butchers, but a slaughterhouse does this on an industrial scale. Thus it tends to be a feature of large and or advanced settlements with a high volume of meat consumption.

Slaughterhouses tend to be relatively unpleasant places - especially for the sensitive individual and those adverse to the smell of blood and, where such things are an issue, may have problems with spiritual pollution due to the sheer number of lives (even if non-sapient ones) extinguished there. Speaking of pollution, expect the sewers attached to one of these places to be absolutely horrific except in the very recent present - in almost all cases this sort of business will need to dispose of large quantities of livestock effluent, blood and miscellaneous process residues which, unless closely regulated, are liable to be hosed straight into the drains.

These are also frequently quite hazardous places - even before mechanisation they are prone to contain large numbers of sharp, heavy bladed things and other pointed objects for the cutting, dressing and hanging of meat. Once mechanised they will also often contain power saws specifically designed to cut meat and bone and bolt drivers designed to kill large animals. Moving handling equipment is also a likely thing, not to mention the occasional scared and/or angry animal leaping about. Especially if the place is badly run. Floors are also often slippery with … various things. In the modern era, slaughterhouses will often be refrigerated to aid the preservation of the meat and include large meat rooms in which carcasses can be hung to be stored and/or aged. Meat rooms will vary from slightly below ambient to frozen depending on their purpose.

The other interesting thing often found around slaughterhouses is the Judas Goat. Usually when livestock arrives at a slaughterhouse they will be unsettled from transport and the noise and smell of blood will not make them any happier. Stressed animals produce poor quality meat and, if allowed to panic, may also break out of their pens and injure staff, damage equipment and harm themselves in ways that impair their food value. Thus, the Judas Goat … an animal, typically a goat for convenience, which is a long term resident of the pens and has passed through the killing funnel repeatedly without being butchered and so is inured to the noise, smell and process of the slaughterhouse. The presence of another animal, relaxed and unafraid tends to have a false calming effect on newly arrived animals who will assume that they too have no reason to be afraid. Once they have let their guard down, such animals will usually follow the goat unsuspecting into the killing funnel, from which only the goat emerges. Hence the Judas bit.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • Given the prevalence of blood and the easy access, organized crime often favours such places for the disposal of human corpses (and indeed humans yet to become corpses). As in various films victims can even be handily delivered suspended from meat hooks in a van designed to handle carcasses. Its' worth noting that a refrigerated vehicle is also fairly soundproof.
  • The above also sets the slaughterhouse up as a fight venue.
    • Fighting between the carcasses in a meat locker is also traditional.
    • As is finding dead people amongst them.
  • Anything that needs a refrigerated environment is likely to be attracted to the large cold stores.
  • Whereas, as per Predator 2 there may be things that need to be lured into a large cold store.
  • The large quantity of food to be had may attract various things … any vampire able and prepared to consume animal blood can presumably gorge itself under the right circumstances.
    • Spiritually speaking, a slaughterhouse may well have at least a minor death aspect and be a good place to find the more bloodthirsty and morbid kind of spirit.
  • The sewers … as above … are liable to be horrifying. Some of the things that live in them may be a lot worse. Ghouls for example, also giant rats and other scavengers…
  • Slaughterhouse cold stores are on occasion legitimately appropriated for storage of human corpses, especially when there are a lot of them about … say, at the start of a zombie apocalypse. Of course, when the power goes down and all of those corpses thaw out, this could potentially mean a room packed to standing room only (or even tighter) with the undead. Opening the cargo doors to such a place could be a career ending move…
  • The large quantity of meat could well be attractive to various hungry creatures - whether this ends up looking more like pest control, burglary or open warfare depends what comes calling.
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