H. M. Maschler
Texas, U.S.A.
April 12, 1998

Moo, moo, I am a cow. I am penned into a big shed most of the day, and they keep me pregnant most of the time (although my babies are taken away from me so people in the city can eat veal). They do this so I will always be producing milk, but I don't get to suckle my babies -- they attach painful machines to my breast that just go chug-a-chug until I am empty. A couple of humans died from a disease, and now the government says I might be a mad cow -- I'm not, but just in case, they are going to kill all of us tomorrow.

Cluck, cluck, I am a chicken. I am destined to be cut up for parts as soon as I am fattened up enough from eating the ground-up remains of other chickens (the bits people won't eat) and a lot of hormones. I live in a foot-wide cage with three other chickens, and we don't get along too well in such a close space, where we can't do what we do, which is peck along the ground for food and things, so to stop us from pecking each other, they cut off our beaks. I'm glad I'm not destined to live long enough to lay eggs, because I hear that's even a worse life than mine.

Baa,baa, I am a sheep. (Why is it that they call us a sheep, whether it's just one or a whole herd, I mean you have goose and geese, so why not say one shoop and several sheep?) Life was pretty good for me when they let me run around on the hillsides, except for those damned dogs that kept pushing me around and all those hikers that tried to feed me barbecue-flavor crisps. But things have not been so good for me after a whole bunch of those mean dogs ran us into stockades where we were forced to wallow in some stinking stuff in a trench, had all our clothing (wool) shaved off, and now we are penned up in barricades listening to a lot of cold and businesslike men sell us as mutton. I am not a mutton, I am a sheep, a shoop.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------- Well, these are articulate animals, which don't exist in real life (we assume that because animals can't talk, they can't think). Meat is a requirement for the human species, vegetarianism being a wash for the most part, but animal husbandry should not be looked upon as 'producing a PRODUCT'. Factory conditions for supplying us with milk, chicken breasts, and legs of lamb should be banned outright, even if it reduces productivity and cost-efficiency. Let the animals be raised in their natural environment (like the sheep) before the inevitable HARVESTING. And slaughter them on their home ground! Stop this awful trucking and slaughterhouse horror show.

Exodus of the Tigers
by Philip Davenport
Manchester, UK

Anyway, anyway, anyway the tigers turned
Help was not forthcoming
And the eyes of hunger-yawling tiger cubs
Filmed with flies
So the tigers decided to die
At a private place, leaving nothing
In exchange for the nothing they received.

Anyway, elsewhere in the world
A piston churned a hole in seas of steel
And a storm thundered between pylons
Splashing acid over sun-fields
And windows were all closed
While the shadows from many tiger legs
Cast stripes over a desert bed.

Anyway, you ask, where was I
When the last of the tigers stepped skywards?
I remember distinctly - standing
By a newstand by a coach station
And I bought a paper for the photo
- Framed in outrages -
Of tiger's gold.

Anyway you look the guilt burns bright:
A million votaries in the chimneys
Of a million refineries
Mourn the extinguishing of tigers.
And false tears for tigers roar
From broadcast masts that crest hills like crucifixes
As the crimson head of a buzzard
Punctures a tiger's side.

 [Bonsai tree]

Go Back