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Here is my gift to you, my child

Posted by on Dec 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


Here is my gift to you, my child.

And my gift to you, my child, is an unthinking gift. For I do not want to you to think. I do not want you to think about what this gift means, I just want you to passively, quietly accept this gift and not to think now or ever. I do not want you to question this gift, to raise your voice in concern about this gift, to offer to me thoughts from your heart about why I gave you this gift. I do not want you to consider what this toy represents and what it reflects from the world out there and what goes on in the world over there. I do not want you to ask me what “livestock” means and why farmed animals would need to be loaded onto trucks and I do not want you to ask me why we do this at all, and why we can’t just leave the animals where they are. Just be quiet. Just accept. Just play.

Here is my gift to you, my child.

And my gift to you, my child, is a violent gift. I give this to you and I want you to indulge your young mind in cruelty. I want you to think it is fine and, indeed, fun – hey, just play! – when you take the toy animals and run them up the ramp onto the truck and lock them in and drive them off. I want you to think it is quite, quite normal to separate a mother from her baby and take one of them off in the truck whilst the other one stays on the farm, and drive that truck to a place in your mind where we do those animals to death, but I do not want you to ponder on that too much, just accept that, and don’t ask me about that. Just know that we kill and just believe that you have no choice, just understand that you will kill, and that’s all fine. Just be quiet. Just accept. Just play.

Here is my gift to you, my child.

And my gift to you, my child, is an unfeeling gift. I know that when you meet other animals in the real world you like them and want to care for them. I know that you like to reach out to them and hold them and hug them and be nice to them. I know that when you see those animals your heart does a leap with a quickening beat because they are such a joy to you, you find them fast and fabulous friends and I know that you’d never think to strike against them and hit them and hurt them. I know that if you ever see an animal in pain it makes you sad and it makes you cry, and you don’t even like to think that they would ever really die. I know that. And now I want to wipe that out. I want you to play with this toy, this truck and these animals, and I want you to stop thinking of the animals as your friends, they’re just “livestock” now – a big word I know, but really it just means that the animals don’t matter. Just push the animals up the ramp and lock the truck door and drive the truck off to that corner of your mind where you’ll kind of know that the animals will die, but don’t think of that, just play the way that I tell you, and drive the truck to take the animals away and make them die. Just be quiet. Just accept. Just play.

Here is my gift to you, my child.

And my gift to you, my child, is the gift of ignorance. I want to share my ignorance with you, because I bought this for you and I kind of know a little bit about animal farming and where the “livestock transporters” go when I see them on the roads and what goes on in abattoirs, but I don’t think much about it, I never question it, I never really find out anything about it. I wouldn’t hit or hurt the pets that we have, and I wouldn’t want anyone else to hurt them either, and I teach you to be nice to them too, but I’ve never really thought about animals on farms, but I do just passively accept what I’m told which is that the animals are treated nicely by the farmers, all the time, and I just passively accept what I’m told which is that the journey to the abattoir is done as nicely as it can be done and I do just passively accept what I’m told which is that when the animals are at the abattoir they’re treated kindly and killed humanely, and I’ve never given any thought to what “killed humanely” means. I’ve never really thought about any of it at all. I’ve never thought if there’s a different way to do things or different things we could eat. I just accept it. I’ve chosen not to know and I don’t like it when people try and tell me more about it – they talk about cruelty and the agony felt by the animals but that all sounds really unpleasant and I don’t want to know, and they talk about the other food I could have instead, but it all sounds really difficult even though they keep saying it’s so easy, and so I don’t want to know. I‘m just quiet. I just accept.

Sweet child of mine, please accept my unthinking, violent, unfeeling and ignorant gift…


The Hare In My Head

Posted by on Aug 7, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

No, I can’t do it. No, I can’t shake it. No, I can’t get rid of it. Can’t do nothing with it. Don’t matter what I do, can’t do nothing with it. I got it. It got me. There, in my head. The hare in my head. He’s there, the hare in my head. Now he’s there he’s always gonna be there. I got the hare. He’s there, that hare, he’s there in my head. Never gonna go, never gonna fade, never gonna wave goodbye, gonna be there ’till the day I die. I close my eyes, it don’t matter, open them up and look at other stuff and that don’t matter either. Every way he’s gonna stay, the hare in my head. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Except I wish he was still alive today.

Yesterday, on my out, driving in my car, turning into a small country lane, Corrstown Road (you can look it up on a map to see where it’s at) with Debbie in the passenger seat, on our way out for the evening, taking some photographs at an event a few miles further out into the country. There we were, on our way out, turning into that lane, which isn’t wide enough for two cars to pass side-by-side, but it’s a very quiet lane, so typically, naturally, everyone just drives down the middle of the lane, it’s the obvious thing to do.

There we were, about to turn into Corrstown Road, maybe seventy yards away, and up ahead a van turns into that lane too, going the same way as us too. Think nothing of it, so what. We turn, I carry on driving. The van’s carried on up his way, and then Debbie says, “What’s that?”, there’s something up ahead we see, flapping about, thrashing even. And then it stops. We drive closer and then we see that it’s a hare. A hare that has just been run over. “It”, the “something” is, we know now, a someone, a he, a hare who has just been run over. He’s just been run over by the van that was just ahead of us.

It isn’t good. There’s a lot of blood. It’s a narrow lane as I say, so I drive a bit further up and then we turn the car around to head back to see if there’s anything we can do, and even if there’s nothing we can do we want to move him from where he is, we don’t want him to get run over again and again.

I turn the car around and head back, and pull into the entrance to a driveway and stop. We walk up the hare. The hare is dead. His back end has been destroyed and his insides are hanging out. We know then that when we looked and wondered, “What is that?” what we saw were the final seconds of his life, his agonised thrashing as his body screamed. We saw his final, shocked horror of his body being blasted by the brutal crush of the van’s wheel. When I first saw I didn’t know but then I knew and now I know still and will always know.

And then I looked down at him, and I saw the cold glass of his eye which now had no life and I was so sorry for what had happened to him as he’d just been wandering around, doing his thing, causing no harm to no-one and meaning no harm to no-one, and then he was smashed with such a force as to utterly destroy him and take the light of life from his eye that I now saw but which now could no longer look back at me.

And then I looked at where he was, and he was so close to the side of the road, so very close to the verge. And I’ve been down this country lane so many times, and seen so many others come down this lane so many times, and I know how I drive down this lane and I know how everybody else drives down this lane, and I know that everyone drives straight down the middle, it’s natural, it’s instinctive, it’s the obvious and sensible thing to do.

And the hare was nowhere near where a vehicle would be, even a van, if the vehicle, even a van, was driving right down the middle. Then we know. The van that was up-ahead, the driver driving that van up ahead of us, who turned first into that lane, that guy chose to run over the hare. He took aim and took his van over to the left and he deliberatey ran his wheels over the tiny, fragile body of the little hare and obliterated the life from him. There’s no dobut that that is what happened, the hare would’ve been out of the way of the wheels if the van had done what every vehicle does and driven down the middle, had stayed down the middle. The hare didn’t die in the middle of the road. He died on the far left, on the side of the road. But the hare didn’t just die anyway. The hare was murdered.

What I saw were the final moments of a life that was deliberately destroyed by a guy in a van who, I’ll bet, didn’t think of much of what he did – and he chose to do what he did – and just carried on in his van and turned the corner at the end of the lane and carried on his way with his life, after wiping out a life, a small, defenceless, innocent life.

And now we stood and looked down upon the poor hare, dead at our feet, and we didn’t want to leave him there. I walked away and found some cloth in the back of my car and came back to the hare and bent down and carefully wrapped him in it, and picked him up, taking care not to let any more of his organs fall out, and carried him a little way and placed him behind a tree and made sure that the cloth covered him and covered his eyes, to give his mortal remains some dignity. I put him there and said sorry in my mind and walked away, and nothing else to do but carry on with my day and get in my car and drive away.

But he’s there, the poor hare, he’s there in my mind and I see his final pain, and I see his small body and his cold eye but I am glad that he is there in my mind because I have to know what I’m up against so that I know that I will fight for him and every other life on Earth with every moment of my life. I will fight for every life to be defended against the casual violence and cruelty and barbarity of humanity. I wish that little hare was still alive there, that that hadn’t happened to him, and I’m so very sorry for him that he came across the guy in the van who, with such stunning wickedness, chose to destroy that little guy. He’s dead and the memory is in my head, his final, appalling seconds are right there in my mind and that’s where they’re going to stay. I owe him the memory of his murder.

Confession Of A Mass Murderer

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I possessed them. I possessed their life. I possessed their death.

I ate them. I ate their life. I ate their death.

I drank them. I drank their life. I drank their death.

I whetted my mouth in anticipation of drawing them into me, and sucking into my throat the remains of them, and I filled my insides with the joy of having them in me. I purchased their imprisonment in future hope of owning what I wanted from them, and I handed the coins to their executioner in payment for what he would do when they could no longer satisfy my desire. The executioner drew the door closed, and I blinded my senses so that I could not see nor hear nor know of what he did because death was his business, I said to myself, and his business is not mine, it’s none of my business, I said to myself, although I did not mind his business, because I could buy from him the things that I so desperately wanted, things that I could never imagine not having, not wanting, and certainly not surviving, even living, without. How I could I live without them?

So it was. That’s how it was. I would wake up in the morning and my morning meal would comprise a modest breakfast, and would contain the milk that I carefully poured over cereal as I set myself, satisfied, for the remainder of the day. By the time it was lunch I would reach for a sandwich with sliced cheese inevitably the primary ingredient, chewed and digested with great gusto. And as for those evening meals, they would so often be smothered in more cheese, baked or grilled or simply sprinkled on top, but definitely there, definitely everywhere! All washed down with coffee awash with yet more milk to satisfy my preferred taste – because, no, I couldn’t imagine my coffee without that milk.

That milk of course was cow’s milk. That cheese of course was coagulated cow’s milk. That very definition should have alerted me to the fact that what I wanted, what I was having, what I convinced myself I needed so badly, was something that came from, and thus belonged to, someone else. But I believed. I was a true believer. I believed what I was told to believe by those who wanted me to believe, because so long as I believed they could go on selling directly to me that something that was the source of all their profits. The industry that “produced” cow’s milk and cow’s cheese (and, not forgetting, goat’s milk and goat’s cheese, and so on, and so on) told me that it was good for me, indeed was essential for me, and anyway what was the harm, what could be possibly be wrong in helping out the cows (or goats) by relieving them of all that milk they were making, day after day? It was all good. So I believed. I looked at the pictures that they made, the cows reclining in grassy fields, I absorbed the commercials they showed on the TV, I listened to my doctor as she spoke about good diets, I heard what the experts said on the radio about the body’s needs, and I paid attention to the stories of farmers and the hardships they endured because of the wicked pricing tactics of supermarkets.

All the while I bought the milk and I bought the cheese, I bought the whole tale, and I stuffed it all in my head. And all the while I ignored the cow. I convinced myself the cow was fine and wouldn’t mind.

With every mouthful, I murdered.

Every day, I woke up as a killer and in my house and out of my house and when I was alone and when I was friends, I killed. Bored at work, and bored at home, watching TV, reading a book, playing a game and having chats, catch-ups with mates, I killed. I killed again and again and again and all the while I told myself it was all okay, it’s not as if I’m actually eating the cow, I said to myself, and anyway, what else could I possibly do? How could I ever live without milk in my coffee and cheese on my plate? What else could I possibly do? What about pasties, and pasta meals, and sandwiches and what would I put on cocktail sticks? What else could I possibly do?

And then I knew. I looked in a mirror and then I knew. I took a breath and swallowed nervously, with difficulty, because then I knew. I saw myself for who I was and I saw myself for what I did. I knew where my money went and what the farmer did. I knew where my money went and what went on in the abattoir when the door was closed. I knew where my money went and what lies I was told by corporations with money and no morals, what stupid lies with cartoon cows, talking and dancing cows, laughing cows, giggling and jumping, and all those pretty pictures on cartons of milk and packets of cheese with pastures of green, suns of stunning gold and skies a perfect pastel blue, but never, never, never the red of the blood.

Because then I knew about the blood. I knew about the blood of the cow’s wounds as she was worn by repeated rape (I knew about the rape: how else could I describe forced pregnancy?), and the blood that blew out from the new-born calf whose head was smashed in by the farmer’s hammer (I knew about the hammer: how else to “dispose” of the “unwanted” and “unprofitable?). I knew about the blood that burst like a torrent from the cow’s throat when she was wiped out at the slaughterhouse, because she had given (for given, read: we took) everything and she was no longer any good, we were told, for anything – after giving (for giving, read: we stole) every child she bore and every gallon of breast milk she made for her children and who were never there to receive it; we took her to die and we took her life. And when she died, there was blood.

So, I knew. I knew the violence of the dairy industry and its twisting and perverting of the truth of what it does. I knew about the ignorance of medical “professionals” and “qualified” nutritionists all of whom who chose not to learn and not to question, who were obedient just as I had been obedient (but I would have expected better from professionals), and who had bowed to industry interests and refrained from wondering aloud and asking the most basic question, “Why are humans drinking the breast milk of other animals when they have already been weaned by their mothers?”

I asked myself the basic question. I answered the basic question in an instant: this is wrong. I also asked myself what on earth I was doing, participating in an industry of mass murder (I knew about the mass murder: no calf or cow ever gets out of the industry alive). I answered myself in an instant: I was wrong. I felt ashamed at my chosen ignorance, I felt embarrassed that I had failed for so long to even think at all about what I was doing, and I was appalled that I had allowed myself to be conned so easily by those with money for eyeballs, a bank balance for a heart and a knife for a mind. I felt sick in my stomach because my stomach was drowning in the blood of the innocent, and I had murdered them. I felt anger in my head because it had happened at all, and all those days when I had done nothing at all but kill and kill again, every time I handed my money over, and over and over again when I poured the milk over my cereal and into my coffee and shoved it in my mouth and swallowed. I swallowed a million screams of agony. And now I could hear every one of them, and now I could see every one of them, every cow who ever suffered and died, and every calf who ever suffered and died, I saw them all, all of those who suffered and were murdered because of me.

I was a mass murderer. I was the cause of so much pain, so much hurt, and so much heartache. I was the cause of so much agony on the farm and so much violence in the slaughterhouse. I was the cause of a life of horror so many were forced to endure and which ended only with their vicious killing, which I caused.

It was what I did.

It is not what I do now. When I finally had the courage to question what I was doing, and I chose to use my mind and my heart to think with clarity and wisdom, and I dared to hear what others were telling me about “milk” and “cheese” – I recall one lady who sat me down and told me all about “dairy” and milk and cheese and showed me some pictures that I had preferred not to see before – then I knew too that I would not do that anymore.

I was afraid. I was scared. How would I do it? And then I woke up in the morning and went outside and went to a shop and bought some different things instead, and then I went home and poured a different kind of milk over my cereal and didn’t bother any more to dilute my coffee, and at lunchtime and dinner and out and about socially, I just ate slightly differently. And I didn’t die. The ground did not shake, the sky did not fall, the Earth continued on its way around the Sun and the Moon still shone on a cloudless night. All I did was buy some different stuff. That was all I ever had to do. It was one of the easiest things I’ve ever done, that I’ve ever asked myself to do. And all I had to do was allow myself to know.

And now, I am an ex-serial killer, my mass murdering days are in the past only. I cannot undo my past, the bloodshed that stains those days when I did what I did, the violence I caused, the pain that I made happen. It is forever a part of me. But it is not me now. My guilt will never diminish and nor should it – I did it and I must be honest that I did it and I must respect those who died because of me by not denying their murder at my hand. But I will now use my every breath to rail against that system of extreme cruelty and violence we so casually call “the dairy industry” and the sick cruelty behind every drop of animal milk and every bite of animal cheese in the hope, the desperate hope, that others will want to know, as I finally wanted to know, and others will want to be, as I now am, free from the grip of that industry’s bloody lies, and that others will want to do, as I now do, and demand that every animal born into farming’s enslaving and murderous grasp is set free for no others to be born, ever again, into that brutal and uniquely cruel nightmare.

Please – learn from me, a mass murderer.

Easter – a celebration of life by committing murder

Posted by on Mar 31, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The spring equinox heralds the vivid re-emergence of life from its long, folded withdrawal during cold, monochrome winter days and nights. The turn of winter into spring, bringing warmth and colour and sound to the once frosted, silent landscape is worthy indeed of celebration. And from its earliest times, humanity has invoked ritual to express its joy at the changing of the season, the chance again to grow food and feel the heat of the sun.

Easter is now the preferred name for this ancient rite which, purely for cultural reasons, does not fall exactly at the time of the astronomical equinox but is close enough to align the ceremony with the time when, in the Northern Hemisphere at least, days will lengthen, nights shorten, warmth increase and cold retreat. Time to feast and celebrate!

The celebration, of course, is about life. It is about those lives that have survived the darkness and harshness of winter and those new lives that will now emerge into the breathless beauty of nature… The Christian faith appropriated the original spring celebration and adopted this time to be a sacrament, reflecting upon the death and new life of its God, with the pain of crucifixion (winter) defeated by the resurrection (spring) – there will be life is the message. It is life that is worthy of celebration.

But tragically and appallingly, in countryside and city, village and town, nation after nation, this celebration will be stamped with blood, marked with violence, stained with cruelty. The celebration of life will be bloody and brutal, murderous in intent. The feast will be spiced with the trauma, screams and despair of innocent lives destroyed, salted with the tears of infants as their small bodies tremble in terror, and flavoured with the echo of their cries for their mothers as they are dragged and kicked towards the knife.

Lamb, we are told, is the food of choice for celebration. Lamb, which means what? Certainly not the living, breathing, nose-twitching, ear-turning, still-suckling animals who relish and delight in every moment of their wonder and amazement at the world around them. Not, certainly, the fragile babies who cling to the sight and sound of their mothers even as they explore the field around them, play with their fellows, and jump and run with the magic of the wind through their new-born fleeces and the miracle of sunlight that covers their bodies as spring suggests to them such a potential of abundance, and even the rain that falls upon them, the splendour of life-giving water as they turn their tiny faces towards the clouds overhead and soak up and drink in the stunning power of the world that surrounds them. At Easter, “lamb” does not mean these perfect bundles of joy and hope, these babies who savour the marvels that overwhelm them in every moment, their incredible passion for play and their profound and beautiful love for and dependence upon their mothers. Our witness to the majesty of those quiet, familial moments, the delicate expression of such gentleness and kindness, should warm and soothe our hearts and show us that the bond and kinship that we as humans experience from parent to child are not unique to us but shared with these loving others for whom the feelings felt between mother and child are our equal in depth and intent.

But no. Lamb, at Easter, does not mean these babies, and the enriching love of mother and child. At Easter, “lamb” means, “leg of lamb”, “shoulder of lamb”, “lamb steak” and “boneless lamb”, these words and phrases, even as they hint at an unwelcome truth, smother that truth in these culinary terms that describe only meal choices, selections for the dinner table, portions and ingredients for a range of recipe options. They are a lie because they refuse to tell the truth, to tell of the fate that befell those new-born infants.

Lamb at Easter is only possible with murder. When the farmer walks into the field and grabs the lamb by the neck and drags him from his mother, even as he cries and the mother cries, he keeps on walking, and locks the child into the crate that will take him to his death. The farmer knows he kills and he wants to kill, and he does not care for the mother who cries and he does not care for the child who cries, for no-one who cares for a mother and her infant child would drag them apart and leave them both to cry. And they do not just cry, but cry from the deepest hole in their hearts, that gut-turning, soul-tearing agony of hopelessness and loss when one is rocked, shook and shattered by an abandonment and loneliness that cannot, ever, be anything other than sheer despair, a mind-breaking horror of the most desperate sadness… because nothing will hurt like it hurts when the mother is torn from her baby and the baby is torn from his mother. They hurt. They really hurt. And the farmer is happy with their hurt and their agony and their misery. Not a thought for their unspeakable pain, only the counting of coins and notes, the numbers duly noted on the balance sheet.

And then the babies, crowded together, crushed against one another’s bodies, bewildered and terrified, pleading only for the sound and the smell of their gentle mothers but refused all comfort, are screamed at, yelled at, choked by the smell of fumes and the stink of trucks that close them in a nightmare that is only beginning and whose ending these small and frightened minds cannot possibly imagine. These babies cannot harm, cannot be violent, would not know nor understand violence, but every moment of the little that remains of their lives will be an onslaught of violence and aggression, cruelty and a ferocious pain, a physical torment that rips their minds apart and bursts their hearts open in a racing fear of outrageous noise and the poisonous stench of the machinery of slaughter.

Who would dream to drag a baby to a place of murder? Who would imagine it and then do it? Who would grab a baby animal by the throat and heave him to a place whose only purpose is to kill? Who would tie the baby up, slam him down and lock him to machines dripping with blood, the floor dripping with blood, and then force the knife across the baby’s throat even as he reaches with his nose to touch the killer’s hand in a gesture of love, begging for kindness?

Who would cut the baby’s throat and watch the life and love gush out and die in a frenzy of deadly agony?

We would.

Lamb is the food of choice for Easter. Whether we regard ourselves as adherents to an ancient faith with its awkward tales of godly death and resurrection or godless consumers relishing the time off from toil, we adore the chance to celebrate the awakening of spring and gather with others to feast. Why then, would we commit murder to do so? What kind of mind would derive pleasure from the bloody murder of babies? What kind of soul would find satisfaction in chomping down on the corpse parts of an infant who screamed in terror and whose eyes shed bitter tears with no mother to soothe his pain?

I hope that humans do not want to be bad and do not want to be cruel, but I also know that we do know that the “leg of lamb” and “lamb steak” and “shoulder of lamb” belonged to a defenceless, frightened, crying baby animal who had barely had time to enjoy the richness of life’s immeasurable possibilities and the delight he felt in the grass below his feet, the breeze upon his face and the extraordinary, impossible-to-describe love of his mother’s gentle caress, the exquisite warmth and safety of the touch of her body against his… before he was roughly, brutally torn from her and thrown to his fate, a journey and destination of nightmarish savagery. We know that. If we indulge in gorging upon the scraps of his body that remain after the violence of our blades then we are bad, we are cruel.

We may close our eyes and suppose we are good and grand in the great scheme of things, we may rejoice in the gathering of our family or friends around the dinner-table, and we may be pleased with the good deeds we believe we have done.

But we are not good.

Not if we celebrate life with death. Not with murder for a meal.

January 2018
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