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From 7 August 2005 Issue

Let's Not Forget
By (c)1998 Filip Moerman

Your "meat" comes from a creature who has met
A hideous and most untimely death
Nor is it seemly when upon your dish
Lie corpses of a murdered bird or fish.

One fleeting glimpse of any factory farm
Would make the vilest soul cry in alarm.
The chickens, cows and pigs - their lives obscene
Degraded to meat, milk and egg machines.

The cows, their fate sealed at the slaughter house,
Can hear their friends in front of them cry out.
If we pretend that of this they know not,
We grossly underestimate their lot.

The chickens, five crammed tightly to a cage
Oft peck their mates in frightened fits of rage.
The light which blinds these creatures night and day
Adds sin and cruelty to each egg they lay.

The male chicks not appealing to our taste,
Are tossed alive in bags to our great haste.
This writhing heap of bodies is no lie.
Eventually, they suffocate and die.

To better understand a dairy cow
Try picturing this horrid scene somehow;
You're pumped with drugs, you're pregnant and you hurt.
And then your child is robbed from you at birth.

She is no mere automaton, I say.
She mourns the loss of her child several days.
The farmers steal your milk from you and then
For profit's sake, they knock you up again.

The child, a girl will share her mother's fate
If he's a boy, he's off to the veal crate -
A squalid, filthy stall not two feet wide.
He ne'er sees light and cannot turn inside.

A pig's life is the cruelest life around.
The female lies immobile on the ground.
The males can sexually enter her at will.
Her infants suck her nipples through a grill.

Since they've no space, insanity prevails.
And normally, they'd bite each others tails.
For farmers, this would cause a profit drain.
So tails are yanked at birth with squeals of pain.

The more we hide from these injustices
The less we find we know what justice is.
We spare our cats and dogs from such "misuse,"
So why allow the other cruel abuse?

These are no mere automatons, I say.
They're feeling creatures tortured night and day.
By people who in numbness feel no more,
For use by us who in our haste, ignore!
Here is a cause that rests on naught but us
And though at first we kick and scream and fuss,
We find in time a wholeness that will last
Despite the horrors of our actions past.

Those of religion, here's a truth today.
In front of you. It will not go away.
This is your trial; if you should shut it out.
Then, say, what is religion all about?

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