Created By: MadAnthony94 on June 21, 2017 Last Edited By: MadAnthony94 on June 25, 2017
Troped

Sickening Slaughterhouse

Meatpacking plant of horror

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trope
An abhorrent abattoir. Butchering animals and processing them into meat products is a messy business. In fiction, however, this seems to played up to more disturbing levels; most meatpacking plants in fiction seem to be far less sanitary than one would hope for a place that prepares food, shockingly neglectful towards the workers, inhumane in their treatment of livestock, careless in disposing of waste products, or possibly all of the above.

This trope is usually used to illustrate that the people in charge of the place are not nice people- meat apparently being a close third to munitions and pharmaceuticals on the list of industries to which Corrupt Corporate Executives flock- along with promising plenty of Nausea Fuel. Expect plenty of Gorn when one of these places pops up.

A piece of useless trivia: an open-air slaughterhouse is called shambles.

A sub-trope of Nightmarish Factory, and often found hand-in-hand with Mystery Meat. A Straw Vegetarian might well say all plants of this nature are like this.


Examples

Comic Books
  • Preacher: Odin Quincannon runs the meatpacking plant that's a major source of income to the people of Salvation. We see little of how the plant's run day-to-day, but Quincannon is undoubtedly a depraved, corrupt little monster who buys off local politicians and is a card-carrying KKK member. And then there's what he's secretly doing with the meat in his private shed...
  • In Tintin book Tintin in America a slaughterhouse along the Upton Sinclair's The Jungle style...

Film
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
    • In the original The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Grandpa Sawyer used to work in a slaughterhouse, before changes in technology either made him obsolete or freaked him out too much to continue working (most of his family seems to be a bit high strung, possibly due to inbreeding). This drove his family into cannibalism.
    • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003). The Hewitts operate out of an abandoned (but, thanks to them, not disused) example.
  • The Naked Gun has a chase scene inside a hot dog factory, where the bad guy falls into one of the vats. This sets up a Brick Joke during the scenes at the baseball game later, where everyone keeps finding body parts inside their footlongs.
  • In Razorback, the Petpak facility, which doubles as a Nightmarish Factory.
  • Queenshithe Slaughterhouse in SherlockHolmes, one of several businesses owned by Big Bad Lord Blackwood, which causes Holmes to remark that he's "had a hand in every business ruinous to the soul". Blackwood attempts to kill Irene Adler by handcuffing her to a Conveyor Belt of Doom which will deliver her through several flamethrowers and into a band saw, and is using the bellies of his pigs to manufacture cyanide gas as part of his plan for a mass assassination of politicians.

Literature
  • Hannibal: Mason Verger is heir to a meatpacking industry in Baltimore, and it's made abundantly clear that he's a sadist and a child molester. The novel raises the possibility that the abysmal safety conditions in his factories led to the public being exposed to trace amounts of his workers' flesh.
  • The Jungle: The plant Jurgis works at (with most of his family). The first half of the book consists mostly of showing how bad the conditions in the plant are. Workers who are wounded on the factory floor get no medical attention (or fired if they can't keep working), nothing is ever appropriately cleaned, and one kid gets locked in after hours and is found the next morning, dead and covered in rat bite marks.

Live-Action TV
  • The Architects sketch in Monty Python's Flying Circus, where John Cleese plays a hapless architect who has confused the purpose and intent of a luxury residential development - with an abbatoir. Cleese describes, with pride, an apartment block that will seek to slaughter its occupants in the mosdt humane way possible, emphasising an awful lot of incidental Gorn. Brought to a halt by the consternation of the interview panel, he apologises:
    Oh. I hadn't fully divined your attitude towards the tenants. You see I mainly design slaughter houses.
    • To be fair, he does make a point of mentioning how comfortable the cows would be before reaching the knives, and the measures he would take to ensure proper sanitation. If not for his misapprehension concerning the tenants, it could well have been an aversion.

VideoGames
  • Rupture Farms from Oddworld: Abes Oddysee, Oddworld's largest meat factory and manufacturer of such products as paramite pies, scrab cakes and meech munchies (no longer available since the meeches were hunted to extinction). There's No OSHA Compliance, the Mudoken employees are treated like slaves and kept in line with beatings from the security guards, and the Bad Boss who runs it is secretly planning to butcher his employees and sell their meat as "Mudoken Pops" because the regular product lines just aren't appealing to customers as much as they used to.
  • Invoked in Warcraft III, where the Slaughterhouse is the Undead building that produces Abominations (reanimated giants made of multiple corpses sewn together) and Meat Wagons (siege weapons that catapult rotting corpses into buildings and units for huge damage).
  • The eponymous plant in Adult Swim Games Sausage Factory.

Web Comics
  • In a Charlie and the Chocolate Parody in Perry Bible Fellowship, the owner of a meat factory hides golden tickets for a factory tour in packages of sausages. When the children visit the factory, and see the oompa-loompa expies gorily slaughtering pigs, they are visibly horrified.

Western Animation

Other
Community Feedback Replies: 20
  • June 22, 2017
    Snicka
    Webcomic:
    • In a Charlie And The Chocolate Parody in Perry Bible Fellowship, the owner of a meat factory hides golden tickets for a factory tour in packages of sausages. When the children visit the factory, and see the oompa-loompa expies gorily slaughtering pigs, they are visibly horrified.
  • June 22, 2017
    AgProv
    Live Action Television
    • The Architects sketch in Monty Python, where john Cleese plays a hapless architect who has confused the function of a luxury residential development with an abbatoir. This sends up the concept...

    Mr. Wiggin (John Cleese): Good morning, gentlemen.

    Clients: Good morning.

    Mr. Wiggin: This is a 12-storey block combining classical neo-Georgian feature s with the efficiency of modern techniques. The tenants arrive here and are carried along the corridor on a conveyor belt in extreme comfort, past murals depicting Mediterranean scenes, towards the rotating knives. The last twenty feet of the corridor are heavily soundproofed. The blood pours down these chutes and the mangled flesh slurps into these....

    Client 1: Excuse me.

    Mr. Wiggin: Yes?

    Client 1: Did you say 'knives'?

    Mr. Wiggin: Rotating knives, yes.

    Client 2: Do I take it that you are proposing to slaughter our tenants?

    Mr. Wiggin: ...Does that not fit in with your plans?

    Client 1: Not really. We asked for a simple block of flats.

    Mr. Wiggin: Oh. I hadn't fully divined your attitude towards the tenants. You see I mainly design slaughter houses.

    Clients: Ah.

    Mr. Wiggin: Pity.

    Clients: Yes.

    Mr. Wiggin: (indicating points of the model) Mind you, this is a real beaut. None of your blood caked on the walls and flesh flying out of the windows incommoding the passers-by with this one. (confidentially) My life has been leading up to this.
  • June 22, 2017
    Getta
    "far less unsanitary"

    You mean "far more unsanitary"
  • June 22, 2017
    Arivne
    • Examples section
      • Added a line separating the Description and Examples section.
      • Added the word "Examples".
      • Namespaced work names.
      • Corrected illegal Example Indentation.
  • June 22, 2017
    hszmv1
  • June 22, 2017
    Snicka
    In a setting like this, expect plenty of Gorn.
  • June 22, 2017
    Leporidae
    This might be an example?

    Live-Action Film
    • The 1978 film Killer Of Sheep follows the life of Stan, a man who works at a meatpacking plant that slaughters sheep. Stan himself isn't evil or bad, but the monotony of his work is beginning to affect his home life. Unable to break out of the routine his life has begun, Stan finds himself unable to sleep, losing interest in his wife, and treating his children harshly. The opening scenes of the movie were filmed at an actual meatpacking plant.
  • June 22, 2017
    MadAnthony94
    Getta: D'oh. Good catch. Ag Prov, wondering if this might be a bit more succinct:
    • A subversion in Monty Python's "Architect Sketch". John Cleese's character describes his plans for a slaughterhouse that actually sound pretty nice, taking care to ensure the comfort of the animals before they're butchered... unfortunately he apparently didn't realize that he was commissioned to build an apartment building, not a slaughterhouse.
  • June 22, 2017
    Astaroth
    • Rupture Farms from Oddworld: Abe's Oddysee, Oddworld's largest meat factory and manufacturer of such products as paramite pies, scrab cakes and meech munchies (no longer available since the meeches were hunted to extinction). There's No OSHA Compliance, the Mudoken employees are treated like slaves and kept in line with beatings from the security guards, and the Bad Boss who runs it is secretly planning to butcher his employees and sell their meat as "Mudoken Pops" because the regular product lines just aren't appealing to customers as much as they used to.
  • June 22, 2017
    Snicka
    Possible index: Meat Of The Index.
  • June 22, 2017
    MadAnthony94
    Sounds good. I was also thinking You Wouldn'tWantToLiveInDex, under the Big House subsection. I know it's not a "house" per se, but they already put gas stations and amusement parks under there, so...
  • June 22, 2017
    morane
    A synonym suggestion: Abhorrent Abattoir
  • June 23, 2017
    Snicka
    It can't be the Trope Codifier of Mystery Meat, because a Trope Codifier is a work, not another trope. Replace that sentence with "A likely source of Mystery Meat."
  • June 23, 2017
    Chabal2
    Invoked in Warcraft III, where the Slaughterhouse is the Undead building that produces Abominations (reanimated giants made of multiple corpses sewn together) and Meat Wagons (siege weapons that catapult rotting corpses into buildings and units for huge damage).
  • June 23, 2017
    MadAnthony94
    Snicka: Well spotted. Fixed. Anyone think Abhorrent Abattoir might just be the better trope name?
  • June 24, 2017
    Astaroth
    • Queenshithe Slaughterhouse in Sherlock Holmes, one of several businesses owned by Big Bad Lord Blackwood, which causes Holmes to remark that he's "had a hand in every business ruinous to the soul". Blackwood attempts to kill Irene Adler by handcuffing her to a Conveyor Belt Of Doom which will deliver her through several flamethrowers and into a band saw, and is using the bellies of his pigs to manufacture cyanide gas as part of his plan for a mass assassination of politicians.
  • June 24, 2017
    Snicka
    ^^ I am in favour of the current name, because "Slaughterhouse" is simply a more well-known term than "Abattoir" is.
  • June 24, 2017
    Snicka
    A Straw Vegetarian or a member of an Animal Wrongs Group will claim that all slaughterhouses are like this.
  • June 24, 2017
    AgProv
    try this:

    Live Action TV
    • The Architects sketch in Series/ Monty Python, where John Cleese plays a hapless architect who has confused the purpose and intent of a luxury residential development - with an abbatoir. Cleese describes, with pride, an apartment block that will seek to slaughter its occupants in the mosdt humane way possible, emphasising an awful lot of incidental Gorn. Brought to a halt by the consternation of the interview panel, he apologises:

      Oh. I hadn't fully divined your attitude towards the tenants. You see I mainly design slaughter houses.
  • June 25, 2017
    TonyG
    The Naked Gun has a chase scene inside a hot dog factory, where the bad guy falls into one of the vats. This sets up a Brick Joke during the scenes at the baseball game later, where everyone keeps finding body parts inside their footlongs.
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