Thursday, May 31, 2012

The heart asks...

The heart asks pleasure first
And then, excuse from pain-
And then, those little anodynes
That deaden suffering;

And then, to go to sleep;
And then, if it should be
The will of its Inquisitor,
The privilege to die.

Emily Dickinson wrote this poem and it has always haunted me. Anymore I can't read the poem without thinking of the millions of chickens crammed into battery cages...who...when young had hearts that asked this world for pleasure. Instead they spent short miserable lives with no anodynes to alleviate their suffering...all because we humans wanted money or a taste.

Each cow, each pig, each chicken, each sheep, each goat, each dog, each cat, each rabbit, each being that is a child of this earth...each one was born with a heart that first asked for pleasure...and billions...billions of them quickly wished for anodynes that weren't granted. I have no doubt so very very many were relieved to have the escape of death visit them.

We have no right to deny young hearts the pleasure of the world...we have no right to deny any heart such pleasure.

We have no right and yet we deny them and hurt them for selfish reasons and we provide them with no anodynes and then we kill them. We diminish and degrade ourselves. Never wonder if there are monsters...there are...shamefully and sadly...there are. And they are not rare...they are not few in number...those who choose to not behave monstrously are the few. Sadly and shamefully.

6 comments:

D.E.M. said...

Ah, wonderful stuff! I taught ED this year & talked about her animal poetry. There's a lot.... A sustained philosophy of the ways in which animals matter ( and remain mysterious).

I heard a fly buzz when I died is so great!

I try to myself that the animals locked away must sleep a lot. There must be some escape neurologically. :(

Thanks for the best wishes re. Italy. Giving a paper in reproductive rights :) booyah

veganelder said...

Thank you for commenting DEM. I hope the Italy experience is great for you.

ED can knock my socks off with some of her writing...she's a real treasure.

Unless and until I have absolute evidence to the contrary I will presume the other species have much the same mechanisms to defend against disrupting emotionality that we human animals seem to think are possessed by our "superior" selves.

We've lied to and deluded ourselves so much that I've decided the much more honest and accurate and "scientific" position to take is that we know very little about those other beings...so anything goes.

Hence, I presume (and hope too...for their sake) they have defense mechanisms much like the ones Dr. Freud delineated so long ago...no one has improved on that list much in over a century.

Bea Elliott said...

I don't know if I've traveled here - to this post - to these particular words - at just the right time or the worst of times. (?)

I've been catching myself lately skirting the edges of burn-out, frustration, futility and despair. Growing weary of the false justifications. Hearing people over and over again lie to me. Lie to themselves. Lie to reality that what we do to animals isn't really "that wrong". (sigh)

And then when everything is hopeless I read this poem that reminds me that my own woes don't compare in the least. My encounters (with brutes) are all secondary... I'm still free from the torments that others live and die with their entire lives. :(((

After reading this and being reminded yet again how they suffer so - How can there be time or an excuse for my own worries and defeats? There isn't. There's only cause to press that much harder still. It must change. It must, must, must!

It's a comforting idea to think they find some sweet moment of peace in their dreams... I hope we all do.

veganelder said...

Thank you for visiting and commenting Bea. Oh Bea, I've felt a kinship with you from the get-go and am pained and saddened by your difficult (to experience) feelings. I think each of us committed to ending this travesty we visit on our fellow animals are bedeviled by our echoing and resonating with their misery. We've made this beautiful planet into a sad and terrible experience for too too many living beings...including ourselves.

I have no way of alleviating this travail that accompanies caring about these injustices...the option of not caring about them is too terrible to contemplate. One touchstone someone once mentioned that carried some weight for me was in reference to parenting...and that was that if you managed to parent just a bit better than what you received...then you've succeeded.

I firmly believe that, in sum, my fellow animals have been better served by me and my actions than they were by those in my family that came before me. That may not be much...but it is something and it is better than before. That's a good thing...no matter how bad it feels in the meantime.

Each of us is stuck with our limited power...but we have choice over what we do with that (albeit small) power. Thinking we should do everything is as divorced from truth as thinking we can do nothing.

You don't do nothing...and that's a good thing...you care and you act on that caring...and that's an even better thing. You hurt and that's hard to bear...but as far as I can tell...caring and hurting go together...and far far far too many humans don't hurt....because they don't care or refuse to care or avoid caring. That just leaves more of it for those that do care to accomplish.

I'm sorry it seems to be this way...if I could bear it for you I would...if I could bear it for those that are hurt by us I would. But I can't. But I can hear you and I can truly tell you that you're not alone...that's not much but that's not nothing either.

Please be good to Bea....she's a special being and is much needed. :-)

Bea Elliott said...

Thanks so much! I have to tell you that your words are deeply comforting. You know how the mind does (and doesn't) work sometimes? Often to get things back on track it takes letting go of the troubles that hinder... If one is lucky that grief will be acknowledged and validated and healing thoughts will be replaced instead. You've provided that life-line for me many times. And certainly now too!

You are so right about caring and hurting going together. I know I'm fatigued when I start wishing for a blue pill... Or even think about hypnotism to forget - So I wouldn't care and wouldn't hurt. :/ But then it wouldn't be reality. As sucky as reality is... I want to own it!

Sure is true! Making a difference that matters to my animal family means everything! Whether it's guiding a turtle off a busy road, putting a sprinkler on for the birds in a drought, watching the hens delight at a divided melon, or the countless interactions with those adored ones who live inside my home - It all rejuvenates, rewards and sustains. ...I needed to be reminded of that. <3

veganelder - Thank you for so much, much more than "not nothing". You've helped being Bea a whole lot better. xox

veganelder said...

Good Bea...you watch out for thee and I will too. :-)