Microfiction Three Line Tales: Meat shop

For Sonya’s Three Line Tales prompt.

photo by Cathal Mac an Bheatha via Unsplash


Behind the plate glass and the white coat, the shiny knives and the polished glass refrigerated cases, lies the meat.

Slabs and slices of flesh, dismembered, wings, legs, thighs, heads, ears, vital organs lie in clinical display, and in the publicity posters on the walls, lambs gambol, pigs grin cheekily and cartoon cows munch buttercups.

Behind the heavy doors at the back, where the carcasses hang in silence, ghosts linger in the cold air, and when the butcher opens the doors, with a flourish of his apron and his ghastly smile, you can hear a faint cry of terror and pain, if you listen.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

34 thoughts on “Microfiction Three Line Tales: Meat shop”

      1. I stick to alerting carnivores and would-be helpful people who want to serve fish, shellfish, chicken (because it’s not meat right?) of what vegetarian food is. Occasionally the message gets through.

      2. I had three of the children go from junk food couldn’t care less about anything types, to strict vegan overnight. They saw that film ‘Demain’ and it really hit home. I’m proud of them 🙂

      3. I’m strict vegetarian, mostly vegan, but he likes cheese and butter occasionally. Eggs (FR) don’t bother me, we had chickens, but the dairy industry is Not Good. No idea what we are eating today. Fridge is looking decidedly bare. Good on your three.

      4. It’s the cheese I miss. Eggs we can get from proper chickens that wander around outside, and I’m not averse to eating a bit of one one them occasionally. The rest though turns my stomach.

    1. I use cheese a lot in cooking. Substitutes for ricotta and mozzarella or even Emmenthal are hard to find. When alternatives become the norm I’ll be pleased. The other ‘eating’ cheeses I could live without.

    1. Thanks Carl. I feel very strongly that we abuse animals, we have no need to eat nearly as much of anything as we do, but I do occasionally eat meat. Doesn’t alter the fact that I feel bad about it, and if it meat-eating was abolished I wouldn’t protest.

      1. Indeed. The industrialization of food has distorted so much in our society and culture and most of us are thoroughly inured to the bleak realities of the lives we’ve created for these animals.

      2. That’s it really. It isn’t that it’s wicked or sinful or something to eat meat, it’s just not necessary. For us all to have a slab of flesh (that we don’t need because we are all sedentary compared with the way ordinary people lived a few hundred years ago) we have to massacre, at the rate of millions a day, animals that we now know for a fact to be sentient, sensitive beings. No more excuses.

  1. Superb 3 liner. I have ponder over the comments for 10 minutes or more, not on whether there right or wrong, but why there at all re what we eat. We are all omnivore’s, what we actually eat is down to the individual, I have no issues with that, but I will leave all with a thought.

    Forget not the major roll all flora plays in the survival of all life on this wonderful planet earth, and its not substance as in it being a source of food, albeit many, many animals are dependant on various species. However had we, the human race evolved to be vegetarians then this world would be in a far worse state than what it is now. Why? Simple answer, all flora produces what we cant live without, oxygen. And what are we doing, that is us humans, killing flora, by way of deforestation, and polluting the oceans of the world, which did once produce over 50%, of O. Not satisfied with that we continue to burn fossil fuels, which produces CO2. The latter proven to be the main cause of global warming, but flora that was once able to bring about an equilibrium is being decimated and hence the build up of deadly CO2. My point, flora is the sole mass producer of oxygen, and should we continue to kill it by what ever means under the present world climate/global warming issues then all we are doing is speeding up a situation, that could possibly end all life. Not just my opinion, a scientifically proven fact. The choice is not for us but for a future for our children’s children, and beyond.

    Much, much respect Jane, my deepest of apologies if I have offended you or anybody with regards to the above. I have to say though, that I was offended by a reference to omnivores being hypocrites, after all we all eat to survive. I hasten to add that I think your final response was more than adequate, apart from ‘massacre’, mind you I don’t like the word slaughter ether, how folk perceive the mass production of meat is a delicate topic, I can only vouch for what I’ve actually seen and though not pleasant, it was always humane. I have also been made aware of acts of cruelty which were swiftly dealt with via the RSPCA.

    Before I sign off I am asking if you would mind if I reblog your 3 line tale post. I am asking for whatever my feelings are on how and what we eat, I think that the survival of this planet as we know it is far more important. in good faith, and sincerity,


    1. No offence taken at all Mick and reblog away 🙂 As I understand it, there are two main problems. Vast areas of arable land are given over to growing animal food and tracts of forest chopped down for same, with a net result of less human food being produced. Because the public everywhere wants to eat meat, lots of it and cheap. Animal husbandry is polluant, because it’s no longer the bucolic sheep may safely graze stuff. It’s factory never see the light of day farming using artificial everything plus medication to produce quicker and more. The other issue is the cruelty. Abattoirs are awful places at the best of times, and we are seeing more and more horror stories coming to light from so called small, local, family business abattoirs. If you’re comfortable watching the footage of how meat gets from its concrete bunker into the supermarket cellophane that’s okay. I’m not. I’m for the closing of halal abattoirs too. Cutting an animal’s throat and letting it bleed to death on a factory scale is considered an inhumane practice in general, but if you say my religion requires this needless suffering, that’s okay, we make an exception. If it’s cruel, it’s cruel period. I’m very frightened for the future of our planet and concerned about what wee’re doing to it, and one thing we have to change is our mode of agriculture, how we feed everyone. Animal husbandry on the scale Joe Public wants it is unsustainable. I hope I haven’t offended you now. I just think they are things that need to be said. It’s gone beyond the stage where we can say if you like eating steak at every meal every day, then go ahead, it’s your choice because it isn’t. It impacts on the entire planet.

      1. Your right, and you mentioned on topic that i would like to see banned, alhal slaughter. I didn’t bring it up for fear of being stigmatised with an anti something, not so much for myself but how it could affect my family, I’ve done now so, so be it. Your right on the unsustainable factor but that ca be applied to both as to the affect it has on wildlife and their habitats. All examples of the latter are sad, but two that stick in my are the affects deforestations in Madagascar, and Indonesia and Malaysia are having on wildlife in general, especially the primates. I hasten to add, plus the damage done to the atmosphere re the cycling of CO2. On the matter of choice, as omnivores we will always have one and what ere it may be it should not be stigmatised. What ever the case one thing is for certain, and that is, unless we can re establish a balance between nature and ourselves then we are in big trouble, for if the scientist are correct then the point of no return is fast approaching. All I am trying to do is make everybody aware of the damage we are causing, and its contribution to climate change/warming.

        I’ll end with a thank you for your permission to reblog your post thank you, with much. respect

      2. I agree whole-heartedly with your position, Mick. The only way I’d differ maybe is in how to implement change. I think there has to be international legislation. It’s gone too far to be the concern of individual governments, never mind individual choice. Not to eat any animal products would be hard for me, which is why I welcome formal bans. I wouldn’t have the choice to backslide then!

      1. I have said it many times that I am ashamed to be a human. Humanity, in my opinion has lost the plot with regard to how we treat ourselves, and nature, of course were not all tarred with the same brush, praises be!

      2. No, we’re not, and there are plenty of people to be proud of, who bring abuses to light, war reporters, undercover journalists, protesters and activists. Shame about the other bastards though.

  2. Reblogged this on Mick E Talbot Poems and commented:
    Rebloged, sadly not on the main topic “3 Line Tales”, but on whether we have the right to choose what eat, and how it is, or might be impacting on the survival of the world as we know it.

    With much respect to all what ever your creed, religion, faith, or God maybe.

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