Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant

Deep in the heart of Nebraska lies an enormous abandoned facility where thousands of cattle were slaughtered, butchered and packaged for distribution.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Last week I wrote about a neat old abandoned grain elevator in rural Nebraska. This week I'd like to share an incredibly interesting, but far more macabre site: an abandoned slaughterhouse and meat packing plant.

Most people would rather not think about what happens to meat before it reaches the dinner table. Commercials show us peaceful images of cows grazing in sunny pastures, and then transition to backyard family barbecues with hamburger patties sizzling on the grill. Between the two images exists a hazy truth that most people dare not examine, lest we lose our appetites.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

I'd been inside a slaughterhouse once as a child. It was a small operation where a relative worked. Thankfully no animals were being processed at the time. I remember very little from the experience, but the one thing that stands out is the awful smell that permeated the air.

While in Nebraska, I was fortunate to have a look inside one of these eerie facilities long after it ceased operating. It had been vacant for decades and the stench of death had long since dissipated, giving way to the comparatively benign dusty odor that is typical of abandoned places.

A massive barn served as a holding area for the cattle during their final hours of life.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

From there, the cows were led through a narrow corral to the killing area.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Blood drained out through a large grate in the floor.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

From the killing area, a track ran along the ceiling, where the carcasses were suspended by meat hooks and moved along in a disassembly line through a network of stations.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

A tremendous amount of equipment remains on the main floor of the facility. Time has coated much of it in a patina of rust and cobwebs.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Dozens of sinks are scattered throughout the facility, operated by foot pedals instead of faucet handles.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

The plant appeared to have been cleaned prior to abandonment and the only remnants of slaughtered cows were a few sets of hoof bones on the killing floor.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Heavy doors and dark stairways led deep into the bowels of the old building.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

The basement contained heavy equipment.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

In some areas the floor was covered in standing water.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Flooding seems to be a regular problem. The basement of the administration building also showed signs of water damage.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Paw prints of raccoons or opossums were scattered throughout the dark basement.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

A conveyor belt ran from the meat processing section of the facility to a massive warehouse-like structure that I assume was used for refrigerated storage.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Much of the furniture has been removed from the administration building.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

But curtains still hang in the windows. Whiteboards and other documents remain tacked to the walls.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

I can only imagine how stressful it must have been to work there, especially for those employees who oversaw the slaughter of the animals. But there was plenty of stress for other workers as well.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

A memo still hangs on the wall, instructing employees how to proceed in case of a variety of dangers, including bomb threats.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Among the other memos were instructions for how to care for skin rashes and stitches.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

In one cramped room sits a clunky old computer and a series of safety training tapes.

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

This was definitely one of the more interesting abandoned places I've explored, and also one of the most eerie. When the sky grew dark, I got back on the road and continued eastward into Omaha. Come back next week and I'll tell you about an abandoned industrial tower I explored there.

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Abandoned Slaughterhouse and Meat Packing Plant in Nebraska

10 comments :

  1. I wonder how many people would actually eat beef if they knew how it was slaughtered---or even raised.
    Hubby and I have driven back roads all over Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, you name it. The horrors of those feed lots were enough to turn us off store bought (and restaurant!) beef years ago. We have a neighbor that raises a few cattle every year---they spend their lives on pasture and even when it's time for the kill, they do everything to ensure the death is painless and , well, a surprise. Happy cows until the end. I still feel like a hypocrite eating the occasional meat (very rarely ) because I know I could never kill the animal. You're right. We are SO separated from reality anymore.
    Loved the tour of this place, but yea, gruesome too.

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  2. Thanks for the photo essay. What an evil, horribly sad, chilling place. So glad I'm a vegetarian. Thanks for the post. Maybe it will help a few people break out of their denial

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    1. I wont Deny that I am making the most delicious Bacon right now

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  3. I think bout giving up meat all the time. The process really is horrible. What was the name of this place do you know why it was shut down?

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  4. GO VEGAN! Those places are LIVING HELL for those poor animals!!! EVIL HUMANS!

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  5. What horrors of the feedlots? I've raised cattle in feedlots my whole life. Trust me. They have a nice life there. They're not abused or tortured. They have fresh feed and water everyday. We always work to make sure they are dry and comfortable. If one is sick it is pulled right away and treated and released back to the pen once it's better. Most feedlot cattle are treated better than cattle on pasture. There just isn't enough grass to raise the amount of cattle we need to produce meat for everyone. Feedlots aren't this big scary place. Cattle like it there trust me. Cattle off pasture and feedlots end up in the same packing plant. Not trying start anything. Just telling you my side of the story. Grass fed beef and grain fed beef are both happy cattle. More than willing to show you around a feedlot and let you see first hand how well they are treated.

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    Replies
    1. My uncle raised cattle, though it was on a really small scale compared to the factory farms of today. He only had a few dozen cows at a time on his farm. I'd definitely be interested in touring a feedlot and even a functioning slaughterhouse.

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  6. I've worked on the kill floors of slaughterhouses, both pork and beef, and can identify much of that equipment. For the person who said it is a Living hell for the animals: Sorry, you are WRONG WRONG WRONG!! The animals are killed VERY quickly and VERY humanely. From then on it is a process of taking the carcass down to its basic parts, which are ALL used in some way or another.
    But then again, I was raised on a farm and butchered our own meat, from rabbits & chickens to beef & pork so I don't have the unhealthy squeamishness of those who have never been exposed to real life.
    Go ahead and be a VEGAN: Just leaves more meat for me! :)
    I am extremely curious as to where this is.

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  7. Any specific location of this place?

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  8. That looks awesome, where in Nebraska is this??

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