You don't have to be an animal right's activist to tolerate the views on this page, but it may help if you see animals as a friend and companion. A being full of love and emotion. And perhaps, even if you don't, something may click, if you choose to read further.
This page best viewed with an open mind.
As a kid growing up on a farm, my friends and everyday playmates were....the animals. Trust came easy between us. It was understood, that we were equal. It was understood there was a bond. It was understood there was deep respect. I assumed everyone felt the same way, until I started attending the conventional school scene and found some of my human friends would hurt animals with little thought or remorse.
I remember the first time a friend told me of kicking a cat that was in her way.....the cat was pregnant, it killed her..... and the babies were born as the mother was dying. Her brother threw them in the garbage. She told this story with a tone of complete indifference. We were sitting in the cafeteria at lunchtime.
I left the table, walked into the restroom and became sick. It was at this moment, I realized, everyone did not feel the same.
I thought of that cat all day, the nameless, pregnant cat, who died because a child was in a hurry to get into the house, and of her babies who died also, and the picture came into my mind as... her brother was just 'cleaning up the mess'. I was seven, and I didn't understand, I still don't. And I realize now, I never will. It is just not in me to understand such indifference. It is also not in me to excuse it. I am not saying I judge someone who is indifferent to animals.
It is not my place to judge their hearts, their souls, I am simply saying I do not understand. I simply Do Not Understand.
What happened to me and the little blonde, blue eyed girl who told that story.....well.....we remained friends. I listened to her problems, I helped carry her books, now and then, but I never told her any of 'my stuff', as I would never trust her again. You see, she had killed some of my friends that day.............. Eventually I learned that she came from a home of violence. Rage came from her father, in unannounced bursts of pain from not making enough money, and drinking too much. She was only imitating life as she knew it. When I hear the phrase 'teach your children well', I still sometimes think of her.
Ok....now that you know where I stand, and that I make no apology for my ideals, just know, from here, it may get a little graphic.
Writings that have touched my soul:
C. W. Leadbeater 1847 - 1934 - The following article was written in 1929.
I read an article the other day in which it was explained that the nauseating stench which rises from those Chicago slaughterhouses, and settles like a fatal miasma over the city, is by no means the most deadly influence that comes up from the Christian hell for animals, though it is the breath of certain death to many a mother's darling.
The slaughterhouses make not only a pest hold for the bodies of children, but for their souls as well. Not only are the
children employed in the most revolting and cruel work, but the whole trend of their thoughts is directed toward killing of another being. Occasionally, one is found too sensitive to endure the sights and sounds of that ceaseless awful battle between mans cruel lust and the right of every creature to have a life of its own.
I read how one boy, for whom a minister had secured a place in the slaughterhouse, returned home day after day, pale and sick, unable to sleep, and finally returned to that minister of the gospel of Christ and told him he was willing to starve if necessary but that he could not wade in the blood of another for one more day.
The horrors of the slaughter had so affected him that he could no longer sleep for the cries he heard. Yet this is what many a boy is doing and seeing, day in and day out, until he becomes hardened to the taking of life; and then some day, instead of cutting the throat of a lamb, pig, or cow, he kills a man. And straight-away we turn our lust for slaughter upon him, in turn, and execute him, thinking we have done justice.
Post script here....this is not against the pastor who sent the boy into a job. He was doing what he felt was right...that the boy could make a living and provide for his needs. What strikes me about this story...is our lack of compassion. Is this the right to passage for our boys...then and now? To not Feel? The pastor...he was helping the boy find a job, he was doing what he saw, as a favor to the kid. I so get this. Ahh...but darlins...we never know the soul of another. The boy.....was born of compassion, of heart, of soul, and the killing just did not fit. Blessed be my son...wherever are this day, in this time.
Before you read this next one, let me say, I am not trying to open a controversy about the Bible or how anyone else interprets any meaning in any verse.
I believe in a loving God/ Spirit, I believe in a compassionate God/Spirit, I believe in the Spirit of the Universe, and that Love is the most important emotion and compassion, the food of the soul.
Each person must take within their heart what fits and what doesn't. That being said................the following poem was written by Gleynda Marcus.
The Dominion of Man
Can you hear them?
Can you hear the caged cats crying,
Hear the netted dolphins' scream while dying,
Hear the scientists that are lying?
Can you hear them?
Can you see them?
When you close your eyes to pray,
Do the images seem to stay?
Of pigs' skin being burned away,
And cats shot by the Army each day?
Can you see them?
Can you smell them?
The puppies held in filthy pens,
The tusk-less elephants left in dust by men,
The slaughter house floor where once life had been?
Can you smell them?
Can you feel them?
When you touch your new coat of fox,
Can you feel the trap snap shut and lock?
When you pour the cleanser from the box,
Do you feel the singed eyes of the rabbit in the stock?
Can you feel them?
Can you imagine
What humans do to creatures every day,
The needless pain with which the helpless pay,
For a line in a book of God that some say,
Gives man the right to do whatever he may?
Can you imagine?
Perhaps one day we will see things differently. I wonder if the concept of ourselves in this universe, not as the Master species, but as the servant species would not be more of what God/Spirit had in mind?
The one who was given the responsibility for how things work, to protect all that lives;
to move toward the ideal that animals were given to us to hold dear and in reverence.
As in Genesis 2:15 "the garden is made beautiful and abounds with life; humans are created specifically "to take care of it".
Now, onto a story about an Orca. Maybe the next time you go to a circus, or zoo, or theme park, you will see a little more.....just a little more than how much fun, the people are having, just for a moment....look into the eyes of the animals.....just for a moment.
The following picture of an Orca in his natural environment.....in my humble opinion... is how it was meant to be. Please read the story below for a dose of reality.
Love walk with you.
The Ballad of the Sad, Young Man by Paulette Callen
(based on a true story of an out of work college student)
I was out of a job, at loose ends, so I went to see the Dolphin show. Rainbow splashes, children squealing, hands clapping, tails flipping in the water and the trainer with a mike in his hand. "Thank you, thank you, and Flipper thanks you too." Paper wrappers snapping, people munching, sun hats adjusted....and a murmur washes over the crowd waiting for the next act. Then, the silence of anticipation.
"Ladies and Gentlemen....ORCA, the Killer Whale"
A gate melts into the water, a giant ebony and alabaster creature glides over it soundlessly, dives deep and leaps gleaming into the air, pure in his whiteness, absolute in his blackness, a yin yang of no color and form. The spectators, awed, all clap and scream in anticipation. The Orca performs and the rosy cheek children stare, mouths agape, eyes wide and fearless.
After the show, I made my way back stage and asked for a job, certain they wouldn't hire me as I had no experience. But I could swim and apparently that was all they wanted. I was hired, on the spot. The trainer, who was also, no trainer at all, but an out of work actor who would do anything to have a mike in his hand wanted to take his tan to New York but couldn't because of a contract. I made it possible for him to break and run.
So.....there I was.....an Orca trainer. "Don't worry, you will learn the routine, nothing to it", the actor said. "Watch him though," the actor continued as he pointed to the dorsal fin slice through the water as he swam broodingly round and round in his holding tank. I walked over to get a closer look, and Orca looked at me. I felt his gaze, like a jolt of electricity down through my guts and to the soles of my shoes, up again and right out the top of my head, as the tears came.....but from where did the tears come, I did not know... but they came...to my eyes....and I stared, in wonder, as I was not prepared for this. And I will never be the same, ever again.
It wasn't part of my job but I spent as many hours with Orca as I could, as he was so alone in his captivity and all I could do was keep him company. Every evening I went to his tank to say goodnight. Once as I was leaving, I turned to see him watching me, his great unfathomable eye framed in the glass window of the tank...watching me walk away ....free.
One morning I was watching Orca swim quietly in the performance pool where I left him as much as possible since it was larger than the holding tank where he lived. We had just finished our 'play' session. There was no training, there was nothing I could teach Orca, he simply made up new routines to alleviate his boredom, and all I had to do was 'catch on'.
Then entered my least favorite colleague, a cocky young man who loved the idea of being in command of the ocean creatures. The dolphins did not seem to mind, but Orca didn't like him and he certainly did not like Orca. I assumed this accounted for why I did not like him since he had never been anything but friendly to me.
The cocky young man, in a hurry to get through his training session with the dolphins, jogged out onto the high diving board that extended over the performance pool. He announced that we were to open the gate and bring the dolphins in pronto, he did not have all day. The board was slick, he was too sure of himself and he slipped, falling feet first into the tank with the Orca. The Orca was poised just below the diving board on the bottom of the pool, perhaps just waiting, or hoping, or both.
In the time it took for the young man to feel the jaws closing upon him under the water and holding him there, to the moment he felt himself finally lifted into the air, breathing but still immobilized, it was obvious that he knew that Orca held his life in his will. There was nothing any of us could do to save him. The trainers, divers, and caretakers could only look on and watch. Simply by the Orca breathing in, could cause the jaws to close enough to crack the boys ribs like a finch egg. Orca was holding a human, and it was humans that held Orca prisoner, made him perform for bits of fish in front of a race of popcorn munchers, stole his dignity, his freedom, captured him and took him from his family, he who had once been the king of the ocean.
And........then........Orca let him go.
As the young man, without so much as a bruise, scrambled pale and breathless out of the water, it was as if we were surrounded by shards of crystal water, suspended in the air, luminous and tingling.
I can destroy you, but I will not, because I am an ETHICAL being.
We knew in that shimmery clangor of revelation that we stood in the presence of one with the mind to comprehend his awful and endless predicament and the grace to live without revenge.
I tried very hard to alleviate Orca's loneliness and boredom, but I was a pathetic substitute for the open seas and the fellowship of his family. I tried to justify working there to keep Orca company and perhaps to educate people about the species even if I could not save Orca himself.
This last myth was dispelled the day a man came back stage after a show wanting to inspect the device that animated our 'model' killer whale. Even after I introduced Orca, the man would not believe he wasn't seeing some clever 'man made model' akin to the ones seen in the movies, like Jaws. He stalked away very angry that we were so uncooperative and would not reveal our secrets.
It was at that moment I wondered what kind of education we were giving the children. **Come see the creatures who have no rights of their own, else how are we justified to keep them captive, hold them prisoner for your entertainment?** This was not the kind of 'education' I could be a part of, and I could not change it.
Night after night, I ached and tried to explain to Orca, and to myself, why I could not stay and watch him die in captivity while I had no resources to save him, to free him, to reverse his kidnapping.
I work now with free dolphins, I wait for hours for them to appear and swim with them as they allow me. At night, I sit and gaze at the sea. I think of Orca and feel his eyes following me, feel my eyes fill with tears. I still ache, and I can never explain ......not to him.....not to myself.
The last poem I will leave you with pertains to vivisection..the scientific experimentation of animals. Yes, I know, I have heard all the arguments, the ones about how it serves mankind...the ones about how many human lives are spared due to the animal experiments. I used to buy that too. It is much easier than to look at the pictures, to really find out what goes on in the labs. If you want to know....you can find out....but I promise you, it is not what you have been told.
I had to walk away from this fight a few years ago. When you really get into it, it takes its toll. I will add more as I can, but this is a raw issue with me. Why can I speak of the slaughter of animals, the incarceration for entertainment, and other human indignities and remain somewhat in control of my emotion? I am not sure, I hope it is not because I have learned to accept it. I think it is because it is much less deliberate in its nature and the suffering is over much quicker in most cases. I am still asking myself, so I cannot fully answer that one. I can tell you, that if I were in California, with the people in the Black Masks, that I would be among them.....this I can sooooooo...... promise you.
White Coats, Black Masks
by Amy Klamka
The dog was old.
He had lived his life,
In nothing but a cage.
The white coats came,
And he stood still
To not incite their rage.
He tried so very hard to be good,
But nothing made them smile.
He wagged his tail,
They laughed at him.
Dead bodies in a pile.
And so he lived and so he slept,
On a cold and concrete bed,
Curled up the best he could.
He thought perhaps if he lied quiet
They might think of him as good.
He wondered why
They so enjoyed
The pain they did bestow.
And next time, oh
Perhaps this time,
The would not hurt him so.
But white is good and
Black is bad, or so the story goes.
One snowy night
Three men in black,
Left footprints in the snow.
They picked him up so gently,
Then he saw the face and mask.
But black is bad and he was scared.
The cage bars faded fast.
He cowered in the corner
With seven beagle pups.
They gently patted his old head.
His clouded eyes looked up.
Who were these men who hugged him?
And gently called his name?
They gathered him in heroes' arms.
The stole him without shame.
Black masks the wore to give him life.
They had found for him a home.
His eyes closed as he dreamed of things
That he had never known.
His pain fled as they held him.
Old fears were laid to rest:
For black was good and although cold.
He liked the snow the best.
If anyone wishes to contact me please email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
I promise not to try to push my ideas on you, this is just my form of expression and I hope you respect it and maybe even feel a little something more than before you came here.
Love light your way, and peace to fill your heart. And for all of us......I wish us hope.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox 1850-1919
I am the voice of the voiceless,
Through me the dumb shall speak,
Till the deaf world's ear be made to hear,
The wrongs of the wordless weak.
And I AM my brother's keeper,
And I will fight his fight:
And speak the word for beast and bird
Till the world shall set things right.