Horses led to slaughter

I rediscovered the smell of horses and the sound of horseshoes among the gas fumes and hustle of the city. Troupes of 50 or 60 horses on their way to the slaughterhouse at La Villette went by regularly. All sizes, all ages, their different coloured coats often bearing the still bloody mark left by a cruel harness. They walked 4 or 5 abreast, tied to the tails of the horses in front. It was grim and unforgettable. I can still hear the noise of their iron shoes on the street.

Hitched Draft Horses. Credit: Frédéric Back, Brittany, sketch, 1941
Horses on Their Way to the Abattoir (Paris, 1937). Credit: Frédéric Back, a sketch from memory, March 17, 2007