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In Photos: Slaughterhouse Fire Aftermath

Posted by Jerrold Litwinenko / November 11, 2006


This is one jaw dropping photo slideshow.

Photographer and blogTO reader Hamish Grant shared these extremely striking images of the aftermath and cleanup of the fire that destroyed the "New York Pork" slaughterhouse earlier this week.

Grant writes:

"...this afternoon they were loading the fourth of at least 10 long-load dump trucks with the seared and singed carcasses of over 700 pigs that were in the midst of processing at the packing facility when the fire occurred. Scuttlebutt around the site allowed that it was in fact arson, and it was an inside job - not related to the condo community, but a more conventional insurance scam. This will be before the courts so it's unproven but apparently there's already someone under arrest."

Thanks, Hamish, for adding these incredible images to our blogTO Flickr Pool.



Gloria / November 11, 2006 at 06:08 pm
The colours are absolutely incredible.
sookie / November 11, 2006 at 11:30 pm
these shots are insane. reminds me of the sick shit in House of Wax, sadly this is real.
mmm mm! / November 12, 2006 at 03:50 pm
looks like a bbq to me!
Caleb / November 12, 2006 at 03:52 pm
as Tina Turner would say "simply the best!!"
fixedgear / November 12, 2006 at 04:20 pm
Kevin Burton / November 12, 2006 at 05:03 pm
I'm hungry now!!! :-P
Chris / November 12, 2006 at 05:29 pm
wow, those are great pictures, but it is so sick. notice how there is no mention of how many animals died in any of the articles.
Brendan / November 12, 2006 at 05:43 pm
Most. Delicious. Fire. EVER!

From the Globe and Mail article:
"No living animals were caught up in the blaze, said CFIA provincial spokeswoman Marilyn Taylor"

cente / November 12, 2006 at 06:17 pm
>>these shots are insane. reminds me of the sick shit in House of Wax, sadly this is real.
yah and most of you bastards eat this shit... btw go to www/meat/org
Blaze / November 12, 2006 at 10:09 pm
Chris: Actually the article said over 700 pigs.
jerrold / November 13, 2006 at 12:59 am
Just to clarify... the fire destroyed over 700 pigs that were already processed, not live pigs.
Coyote / November 13, 2006 at 09:22 am
It was the only fire in Toronto's history to be extinguished using massive quantities of barbecue sauce.
Snorrik / November 13, 2006 at 09:26 am
i must ask, why didn't they hold a porkfest for the homeless, since the meat was already cooked?
Senjorrik / November 13, 2006 at 09:27 am
i must ask, why didn't they hold a porkfest for the homeless, since the meat was already cooked?
weldo / November 13, 2006 at 09:55 am
>>yah and most of you bastards eat this shit... btw go to www/meat/org

I wondered how long it was gonna take the militant veggies to show up. Yawn.
sookie / November 13, 2006 at 01:14 pm
this place is one of the reasons i became vegg (i'm not the militant one). my mum works beside the place and i'd often see the hides and parts loaded onto open trucks. i decided if i couldn't come to terms with this stuff and i wasn't willing to hunt and kill animals myself i wasn't going to eat them. seems others can and that's cool.
btw I think these photos are brilliant and evocative. the juxtaposition of meat and metal is extremely unsettling, something great photography should aim to do.
doesntmatter / November 13, 2006 at 01:43 pm
so i guess we're bastards because of that... right?
nicesmooth / November 13, 2006 at 03:04 pm
in case you missed the link from Hamish, the fire itself made for some crazy interesting night pics. flickr slideshow <a href="";>here</a>.

Howquicklyweforget / November 13, 2006 at 11:08 pm
And in case you guys who are all focused on the "arsonist" and the "dead pigs" forgot what's truly important here: nobody lost their life that day, but lots of people lost their jobs. Your sarcasm is so typical of Torontoians who know nothing of how meat actually ends up on the table. Get your heads out of your ivory towers and join the rest of us who can empathize with the loss this business has sustained.
jerrold / November 13, 2006 at 11:56 pm
I've witnessed the slaughter of pigs from start to finish, and it's not pretty. The sights, sounds, and smells are difficult to observe, to say the least. I learned first hand the origins of the phrase "kick the bucket". I now eat much less meat, but mainly for energy and environmental sustainability reasons.
haveabrain / November 14, 2006 at 01:27 pm
if people didnt eat these poor animals, there would be no need for these types of facilities - and the pain and suffering that goes on inside. And altho this will sound contradictory, it is a shame that the animals died for nothing and that the meat didnt go to some cause/homeless.
Hamish Grant / November 14, 2006 at 02:06 pm
Something that activists don't take into account is that, in terms of factory slaughter for food purposes, it is counterproductive to have the subject animal suffer during the killing process as such methods are highly likely to adversely affect the quality of the meat due to shock. It's been proven that in large mammals like cows and pigs anything but a quick death will cause the meat to go 'off' and become inedible. In all likelihood the pigs were killed using a bolt to the spine (knocking), which kills them instantly and painlessly.

And as to whether the carcasses in the fire could have been given to the poor, that couldn't happen due to health concerns - the animals might not have been graded yet, for one, and they were involved in a major fire where the building was disintegrating around them, creating clouds of destabilized materials like insulation, etc, as well as freed gasses and chemicals used in the firefighting process. Don't kid yourself - the animals WILL be used - just not in the food chain.
Senor Lopez / November 14, 2006 at 02:46 pm
Is it just me, or are these shots almost indistinguishable from an SRL show?
Emslie / November 14, 2006 at 03:44 pm
I would agree that most slaughter is done as humanely as possible, but I saw some video of a slaughterhouse where there is the odd live pig hanging on the assembly line(that was suppose to be dead) being dumped in hot water (to soften skin off from carcass) ... there's grey on both sides of this argument.

sookie / November 14, 2006 at 04:26 pm
I <a href="";>disagree</a> Hamish. These animals are subjected to suffering. I see it most winter mornings as I pass the pig trucks on my drive down Lakeshore.
Howquicklyweforget / November 23, 2006 at 09:36 am
Sookie, What do you consider suffering? Transport in closed quarters? Guess people on planes qualify.
sookie / November 24, 2006 at 04:24 pm
howquickly - hauling these pigs around in an open-air truck whizzing down lakeshore through temperatures of 15 below + windchill. though i'll admit i don't know how tough their skin is. just seems so wrong.
blah / November 30, 2006 at 12:05 pm
I think its funny that anyone is concerned about the animals dying in the fire - they were at the slaughter house already, which is not any more humane than burning to death. if you really cared about animal cruelty you wouldn't be eating meat in the first place.
rachel r. / December 7, 2006 at 07:13 pm
That is purely disgusting! i dont know how anyone can kill an innocent animal. i believe that if an animal is going to be killed, it should be killed with no pain!! i pitty slaughter houses and i pitty the people whos works and owns it!!
MikeG / January 12, 2007 at 04:24 pm
I agree with Rachel!!!!!

Oh, and Rachel.......pitttty is spelled with 4 t's.

Caroline / February 20, 2007 at 05:45 pm
The mass murder of animals for food is barbaric and insane because humans don't need to eat animal flesh to be healthy. The suffering that animals go through with severe confinement on factory farms as well as mutilations done in the name of profits, such as castrating baby bulls and pigs with NO painkillers, and finally, their terrifying slaughters, which we wouldn't do to our most hardened criminals, amounts to a universe of pointless suffering, far more than what is done to humans anywhere today. If you want to prevent suffering, go vegan. Check out: to see how.
Keystone Adams / November 27, 2007 at 09:49 am
i love eating animals. i love slaughter houses. men need slaughter houses to live healthy lives. who's with me!
footshung / December 13, 2011 at 05:33 am
must look at this at my estore to get new coupon
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