Source: The Paris Butcheries, Louis-Sebastien Mercier
They are in the middle of the city. Blood courses through the streets; it coagulates under your feet, and your shoes are red with it. In passing, you are suddenly struck with an agonized cry. A young steer is thrown to the ground, its horns tied down; a heavy mallet breaks its skull; a huge knife strikes deep into its throat; its steaming blood flows away with its life in a thick current. . . . Then bloodstained arms plunge into its smoking entrails; its members are hacked apart and hung up for sale. Sometimes the steer, dazed but not downed by the first blow, breaks its ropes and flees furiously from the scene, mowing down everyone in its paths. . . . And the butchers who run after their escaped victim are as dangerous as it is. . . . These butchers have a fierce and bloody appearance; naked arms, swollen necks, their eyes red, their legs filthy, their aprons covered with blood, they carry their massive clubs around with them always spoiling for a fight. The blood they spread seems to inflame their faces and their temperaments. . . . In streets near the butcheries, a cadaverous odor hangs heavy in the air, and vile prostitutes -- huge, fat, monstrous objects sitting in the streets -- display their debauchery in public. These are the beauties that those men of blood find alluring.