A rusty cage about the size of a church hall was partitioned off into several smaller cages. Devoid of furniture, swill and sodden earth were caked onto the floor in its place. A hundred naked bodies writhed like maggots through the ice-cold dirt, a pungent smell of sweat and shit filled the air. The scraping sounds of sharp metal was drowned out almost completely by the wordless ranting’s of the feral; humans who knew no better than to live from instinct, humans that knew of no language and lived by no morals. Broken, stoic and speaking mainly in vowels, of course it was not seen as a moral evil because this is the way it has always been. It was a known fact that under these circumstances humans would not fear for their life, they had no idea their lives were even in danger. In fact there was an ongoing argument regarding if they felt anything at all, being animals as they are. Men, women and children on all fours in the dirt, lacerations made septic from the excrement they slept in. The air was thick and hot and humid, sweat fell from the backs of the humans and stayed there indefinitely, that or it was trampled into the swill and consumed by the hungry.
The humans were kept purposefully fat, and ‘fresh’ shipments of swill were placed into the cage once a day, the swill contained mostly waste food that would otherwise end up in a landfill, but it also contained human parts deemed inedible for the public, mainly gristle, ligaments and the acidic, vomit ridden stomach. Nutrient and steroid powders were dissolved in to make sure the humans would gain weight as quickly as possible. A lot of the swill was rotten when it arrived, but it didn’t really matter given that the fetid air quickly rotted away anything that wasn’t still alive. Matted hair hung carelessly into the dirt and gathered mold as they fed face first from the ground. A small child scurried towards a fresh batch of the slurry and was slashed by a greedy elder and left to bleed in the mushy puddles of shit and dirt.
Flies buzzed overhead somehow attracted by the constantly nauseating smell of every bodily fluid imaginable rotting away in a seething pile of blood, vomit, excrement and sweat, along with the putrefying puss of infected flesh. Occasionally a human was killed by another over food or water and their body was left to either be consumed or to rot away into the swill. This was just one room, in one building. All around the world this was happening. Humans were seen as the inferior species, they felt no pain, they had no parental instincts, had no moral code, how could they? They could not even speak.
The humans were mainly banded together by age, the instant they were pulled from their mothers they were shipped into cages and given nutrient feeds to keep them as alive as necessary, the mothers throat would then be cut and she would be processed. Sometimes the juvenile would be manacled in a dark room as to minimize movement and keep the flesh tender; the infant would then be slaughtered at around five months. Alternatively the juvenile would be placed into a larger cage with others and kept until it reached relative maturity, most processed humans are in holding for around eighteen years when they reach optimum slaughter age and are terminated. Sometimes to speed up the process, termination of a human is omitted and they would be processed regardless of this. Processing involves the steaming or boiling of the human for a short period of time to help make the removal of skin easier, once the human has been flayed they are then steamed again to help speed up removal of the flesh, making it easier to render the meat from the bone. Once the meats and edible organs have been harvested the carcass is grinded up and fed to the next batch of humans. The humans are not given names in the traditional sense but rather are numbered for organisational reasons.
3024 was eighteen years old today, not that anybody had noticed, and not that anybody could even tell him apart from the others for that matter. Besides the unique numbers branded onto each humans back, it was generally thought that all humans looked the same. 3024 was a butchers dream human, he was mostly muscle with minimal fat, his monstrous size helped ensure that he got first servings of any food that arrived and because of this he got larger and larger and larger. He was a towering 6ft 2 when fully upright and weighed in at a hulking 266 pounds. Humans rarely stood upright and only did so when broadcasting their dominance, which they rarely did in captivity. Instead they preferred to stoop forwards as they skulked around the cages they resided in, almost dragging their knuckles along the ground as they did so.
3024 had awoken from a thin, shallow sleep, feeling not at all refreshed he rolled his eyes upward and scanned his immediate area, there was no fresh food in his pen, this was unusual as food always arrived at the same time every day and given that the humans thrived on instinct and routine alone, this came as a shock to him. He pulled himself up to his feet and grunted to signal his discomfort with this strange diversion from the usual procedure, he glanced around to see if any other humans had acknowledged him. They were too busy fighting over scraps to care. Something was definitely wrong; he could smell it in the air. A metallic smell he was not accustomed to, one he did not wish to ever become accustomed to. His grunts became louder and more agitated, more aggressive, higher. It began to take the form of a squeal, then a scream, wordless and agonized, unrelenting. The humans who shared his cage grew restless and paranoid and within five minutes, every human in the pen was screaming and shaking, and nobody knew why, not even 3024. And then the lights came on, and they learned of why they had been screaming.
A blinding light, beyond any they had ever seen in their dim and uneventful lives, nearly burning the corneas from their eyes, an agonizing light that rendered them blind, even with their eyes closed they could see nothing but harrowing white. The humans clutched at their eyes in an attempt to shield them, some scratching them out completely. And that’s when the butchers emerged; they were averaging at around six foot with pinkish skin, protruding triangular ears and short snouts. Swine. They wielded tools to catch the humans and keep them restrained and docile while they were loaded into the steamer. The mechanism they used was a simple one; it was a loop of wire attached to a long bar, the idea was that you caught the human in the loop and the more they struggled the tighter it got, and it worked pretty well too. They descended into the cage, catching the humans one by one, most of the humans were in too much of a stupor from the lights that they barely fought back, 3024 included, all that muscle made no difference against the blinding, torturous light, instead he sat, subdued and tractable and waited for the workers to come for him.
One by one the humans were weaned down until only one remained. 3024 sat with his empty vacuous eyes pleading in ways words never could. Too tired to fight, he allowed them to restrain him. They walked him out of the main cage and down the filthy corridor, a row of huge machines not entirely dissimilar to industrial tumble driers stood waiting for him, with the disgruntled yells of his fellow humans coming from within them. He was fed into the machine and the circular glass door closed him in.
3024 was lucky enough to die in that machine; others had to under go the torment of surviving through into the flaying process. But the last thing that 3024 saw as he was boiled alive in the steam was the face of a pig, watching him through the glass.