After viewing exhaustive hours of kill line footage from the Pasture to Plate investigation in 2011, it took an emotional toll on the CHDC documentation team. Watching horse after horse take their final steps to the metal wall before them, brought overwhelming feelings of anger and helplessness. We documented the footage so their story would be told. CHDC director Shelley Grainger wrote this poem for them.
Who asked for you to run this Earth?
First wobbly steps at your loving mother’s side
They gazed in wonder at your beauty
Shaky steps turned into powerful strides
Across the fields, flying without wings
Wherever they asked you to run, no matter
You obeyed with trust and sense of duty
How many strides have you run for them?
How many proud moments did you deliver?
Nothing asked in return, always there to perform
Now here, this frightening and unfamiliar ground
Nothing of this Earth, this cold metal world
Every step a tentative one
No chance to revolt, it’s too late now
If you could turn and run, don’t stop, don’t look back
But now you are here, delivered to walk these final steps
Fulfilling man’s dream, denying the betrayal that cannot be
Destined to hit that wall – no steps beyond
Never to fly again, this metal wall you’ll never pass
Your steps will be as shaky as your first steps at your mother’s side
It ends right here – but the buck won’t stop here
Not until you’re frozen in a moment, never to move again
Maimed, mutilated, ready to be devoured
“Betrayal” does not describe the injustice
Beyond this wall, your world is gone
Not an invisible rainbow bridge
But a barrier that blocks all life beyond it
And you’ll be no more