Darkness
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Darkness
By Annie Hiller

June 2005

Darkness! All around you is darkness and the shrill screams of the thin, diseased bodies squeezing by you. A stench invades your quivering nose, the stink of waste, death, fear, and sadness. As your eyes adjust to the dark, you see hundreds of cages lining a narrow walkway. The wire in your own cage shreds your feet as your tightly packed cage mates knock you about. Air does not come easily to your lungs, and the air that does is thick with terror and disease.

You have waken up into a living nightmare, and no matter how much you strain for the light, the warmth, the freedom from the immense pain you suffer, you will never get it. For the rest of your life, you will be forced to sleep on flesh-ripping wire in your own feces, to always see your companions die and be left to rot in that walkway, to hear the screams of those who live be dragged away to be skinned alive, and to always know that soon your time will come.

This kind of living seems impossible. But the reality overcomes what major farming and fur companies try to lock up and ignore. Hundreds upon hundreds of ducks and geese have long tubes snaked down their tender throats into their stomachs and are forcefully fed hour after torturing hour. Dogs are burned alive; they have their legs dislocated, tied behind their backs, and have ragged metal can jammed down on their muzzles so as to be prepared for food. Raccoon dogs are slammed to the ground till barely able to walk, skinned while alive and with full feeling, and left to die in the face of a jeering crowd. Pigs are crammed in pens and are forced to live in hideous conditions without a glimpse of light or the feeling of natural warmth or happiness. Baby seals are clubbed to death, but some survive to be left for hours in the freezing arctic, dying in their own blood, calling for their mother. But never to be heard.

Many go insane and commit suicide by entwining their necks between bars, by eating their own flesh away, or allowing themselves to be trampled to death. Many more get diseased and are eaten by bacteria from the inside out with no one to care for them. Imagine getting a deep gash. Now, can you imagine flies laying their eggs in that wound and the maggots eating your rotting flesh until it kills you? Hard to imagine, isnít it? But itís utterly true. Far more hideous atrocities are committed against these innocent souls. Many still have that vain hope that someone will love them and care for them.

These horrible truths have deeply disturbed many people. It leaves a deep wound on the heart to know that living, breathing, feeling beings, not so different from yourself, are being tortured year after year, day after day, hour after hour, and they feel the intense pain every second of it. The people who commit this torture, the demons and allies of Evil, feel no pain to their hearts. Their wounds have long since healed over and gained tough callus. Only they can look into the eyes of a pleading, love-starved dog and continue to break its legs. They have become immune to any sense of love, and cannot even glimpse into the soul behind the beseeching eyes. They feel nothing.

But we do. Only we see the longing, we feel as though we share their pain, we see the immense abyss of sadness that those lost souls try to cross. Only we hear their cries that become lodged in our own souls. Only we can put a stop to their suffering. There is a light fast-approaching the seemingly endless abuse tunnel that was careening deeper into human atrocities. Go vegan! See the Sadness! Stop the cruelty!!

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