Animals (A Vegan Slam Poem)

white quails feeding in cage at farm
Photo by ArtHouse Studio on Pexels.com

Veganism gives us all the opportunity to say what we ‘stand for’ in life — the ideal of healthy, humane living. Add decades to your life, with a clear conscience as a bonus.

— Donald Watson
(Creator of the term ‘Veganism’ and founder of The Vegan Society)

(With slightly strong language, as masked in the second last stanza)

Breakfast, dinner, lunch, brunch, options on Commercial Drive.
And that’s a privilege I choose,
but I’ve got a bunch of reasons for munching season greens instead of animals,
because that’s a choice that’s affecting the whole planet.

So, if you don’t understand this, let me try to put this better.
Animal agriculture is worse for the environment than all travel put together.
And the hungry in the world don’t have to be starving,
but thanks to capitalism and factory farming,
the facts are alarming, not unfounded belief.

When up to 16 pounds of third world grain,
is making one pound of first world beef,
and the poison in the meat, an artery-clogging diet,
no way to justify it.
Trust me, I used to try it.

I was proudly carnivorous in glorifying apathy,
while animal living conditions are a horrifying tragedy.
A life of pain till the day they’re slain,
freedom’s that thing they wish to gain,
but what if it was you, your brother, your sister,
your mother, your father, or one of your kids?

See, then I don’t think you’d be so quick to dismiss
that a being can exist for reasons other than this.
And yet, billions every year are confined and tortured and living in fear.
And it’s been made clear by their vivisection that they feel empathy and pain.
So shouldn’t we stop the testing?

Can anyone say that that’s not oppression?
It even comes spun up in a web of intersections.
Do not expect rage,
when you got them in a cage,
with nothing but time to try to plot an escape?

Animal resistance is not a mystery.
You can look back, there’s a lot of history.
And yes, it’s a no-brainer,
when a captive animal attacks their own trainer.
So f___ the circus and f___ the zoo.
If you knowingly support them, then f___ you too.

These excuses, excuses for abuse,
that get assumed are the worst.
And some people have the nerve to tell me to worry about humans first.
Well, every vegan I know spends time at demos, shelters, protests and soup kitchens.
So I’m asking how the f___ are you living?

I got beef with beef.
That’s a huge waste of water,
and there’s no such thing as ‘humane’ slaughter.
You can give them space if it helps you cope,
but how does it feel when you slit their throat?

Jaimie G
(For 2014 Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championship’s Finals)

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