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From 22 December 2002 Issue

A Silent Night
My Vision Of The Holidays
By D.N. - novakode@erols.com 

The family gathered. The hustle and bustle of preparing a meal. Kids playing with reckless abandon like we all used to do, but have somehow lost from the influence of our society. The excitement of a birthday...there's always someone having a birthday. A general ambiance of serenity from the closely knit community called family.

The beer flows. Alcohol is consumed. It makes us feel better, because we don't always know how to feel good without it. The center of the meal being prepared is a bird. The elders of the clan feel content because they are providing sustenance for their tribe. They are doing what they've always done. The sacrifice is neatly prepared and set upon the table. The family thinks, "Here lies before us our life-giving food. Here is what keeps our family strong." They are eager to partake. Much faith is tied up in the feast. It brings everyone together for a common purpose. It is made tenderly with an intention to please the palate. But there is an underlying message in this magnificent cornucopia of flesh and animal exuded products.

Upon feeding the child, we could be saying, "Here is a piece of animal flesh. It doesn't look like an animal, but it used to be alive. It is decaying as we speak, so eat quickly, even as it putrefies in your intestines before it is evacuated. It is also filled with pesticides, hormones, antibodies, and various other chemicals. It is adequate to keep you alive, but not healthily. We are relying on your body's natural immune system to combat what we are feeding you, but eventually it will not be strong enough from the constant applications of these poisons that we give you like a daily vitamin. But make sure you clean you plate. Are you full? Then just eat the meat. It is the most expensive part of the meal, and we don't want to waste it, do we?

We could tell you about this sacrifice's life before it became part of our celebration, but we really don't want to know about that. We have been raised not to care about this animal, because there's no other way for us to eat it with impunity...with detachment. We must believe that this animal is here for us to eat... that it had no concern over it's freedom, like we do. How we cherish our freedom as humans! How we appreciate our coming together year after year to celebrate life! So eat well of this non-life, and in keeping with the beliefs of the tribe...eat our same poisons, and only respect life if it suits our purposes. Here, let me feed you this last piece. It is my honor to bestow it upon you...child."

Go on to The 12 Sights of Sadness
Return to 22 December 2002 Issue
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