Animals and Literature

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Old Spirit by Elizabeth Aldam

"I feel I'm an old spirit,
I float around places...
I see old sites and recall
so many loves and times...
As an old spirit I roam
around the hidden city...
I cross walls and see blood
oozing from bricks,
pain circling me everywhere,
broken paws try to touch me,
blinded eyes try to see me,
tortured bodies left to die...
I see so much cruelty,
I wondered how I could,long ago,
belong to the human race...
I roam around their cages,
I try to soften their pain...
I just become one with it...
The suffering of animals...
it is the suffering of the Earth!"

I am the Voice by Elizabeth Aldam

"I am the voice that cries
for the ones trapped
in lonely places,

I am the voice that cries
for the ones who die screaming
in cruel laboratories,
in factories and slaughterhouses...

I am the voice that cries
for the ones who are no longer 'useful'
and are left to die...

I am the voice that cries
for the ones gassed in shelters,
for the poor tortured ones
for the ones bred to fight,
for the ones bred to run...

I am the voice that cries
for the ones that have no hope,
for the ones exterminated,
for the ones who never see daylight,
for the ones chained in a backyard,
for the poisoned strays,
for the abused ones...

I am the voice that cries
for the ones whose backs break
under a heavy load...

I am the voice that cries
for the victims of festivals
and bullfights…

I am the voice that cries
for the murdered seals
and the exploited ones…

I am the voice that cries
for animals wherever these might be…

One day the world will hear,
my cry will not die with me…"

Spawn Again by Silverchair

"Death becomes clearer through bloodshot eyes
As a death from old age becomes nearer
Why can't the livestock be free
When trading soldiers for steak
Learn to evolve with the new transition
To act upon a hypocritical vision
Discard the old and in with the new
Discard the old and in with the fashion

Learn to evolve with the new transition
To act upon a hypocritical vision
Learn to evolve, learn to, learn to evolve

Who is the bad guy for iron
Require mince these are the facts
So eat what you murder
This is animal liberation
Eight billion killed for human pleasure

Bring on the ape farm
Demolish the monkeys
Drink up, drink up
Look down on junkies

A new hypocritical look and ambition
The time has come
To make the decision you...
Drink up, drink up, look down
I'll hold it back, I'll hold it back

Discard the old, in with the fashion

Death becomes clearer through bloodshot eyes
Death becomes clearer through bloodshot eyes"

Meat by Elspeth Douglas Reid

"(On seeing some sheep driven into this town one summer day)
Coming down the busy street
On little tired, stumbling feet,
Here, O Christians, comes your meat.

Dusty, dirty - one is lame,
He is driven just the same,
Driven to his Gethsemane,
That you may have lamb chops for tea.

Mouths are open, panting, wide;
You may see the tongues inside
Tongues you shall tomorrow eat,
Rejoice, O Christians, here is meat!"
(From 'Verses' by Elspeth Douglas Reid)

The Dairy Cow by Patty James

"Exploited, neglected, yet gentle and mild,
Trusting, dependent and meek as a child,
A calf-bearing, milk-giving, living machine
Sentenced to terrors unknown and unseen.

She's led from the orchards and fields she has known
To share the grim fate of her offspring, alone,
With nothing to comfort her, no one to care
Or quiet her anguished laments of despair.

She's killed like her kindred, so woefully born
With little to bury and few who will mourn
Her agonized death, or its premature knell
In blood-reeking slaughterhouse chambers of hell.

She's brutally butchered along with the rest,
Her heart draining blood as it pounds in her breast,
And screams of the dying all echo her fears
As death softly muffles the horror she hears.
The tongue that she used when cudding her hay,
While drowsing in pasture lands yesterday
Is eaten by humans, every part,
Along with her flesh and benevolent heart.

It should be remembered her severed remains
Were once something living off grasses and grains,
Who never had killed, not did any meat crave -
Yet now is condemned to some stomach's warm grave.

With skilled self-deception her murderers find
Expedient dogmas to coddle their minds
Or quote from the scriptures a custom or rule
To justify systems inherently cruel.

With false proclamations her murderers' creeds
Keep rationalizing their barbarous deeds,
But nothing can sanction avoidable crime,
And life less than human is not less sublime.

Oh when will the beasts of the air, sea and earth
Be thought of as each owning singular worth,
With reverence that's based on a kindness which springs
From knowing life's precious to all living things?

Oh when will man find that no gain can abate
The crimes homocentric endeavors create?
Oh when will man find his brutality grim
And note how his cruelty diminishes him?

Oh when will man, cherishing all life, seek ways
To break savage shackles of flesh-eating days,
And feed on the vegetable fruits of the land
With an appetite worthy of civilized man?"

Duane Locke

"'Child Thanksgiving': Instead of playing with toys, The rocking horse with the gold and red saddle, I listened through the stick-propped-up window to play with gobbles. The women, proud about their selection of spices Danced in the glow from the wood stove's opened door; The men by the parlor fireplace chewed words And spit out opinions on politics. I picked up a pair of scissors to cut away the wire And let the turkey fly away."

Happenstance by Don Young, Fort Smith, AR

"The basement apartment
in which I live,
allows me no pets
with love to give.

But the landlord allows
both the spiders and mice,
and to my amazement
it's worked out nice!

While spiders themselves
don't give any hugs,
they all do their part
in catching the bugs!!

We've made an agreement -
myself and the mouse -
so he finds his food
outside of the house.

A strange arrangement,
to say the least,
but to 'live and let live'
brings its own kind of peace."

The Animals' Plea - I Have A Right by Patty Jaymes

"I have a right not to be made to serve man's selfish need,
I'm not a toy when small, and trash when grown.
I must not be exploited and be viewed in terms of greed,
My life is here to love - and not to own.

I have a right not to be stored and sold like merchandise
In pet store, pound or kennel - anywhere.
A loving and protective lifelong home would be the price
I'd charge of those entrusted with my care.

I have so many feelings that my eyes cannot convey
Your voice is needed to describe my plight.
Please work to liberate me and to bring about the day
That men admit the fact - I HAVE A RIGHT!"

Born To Die by Patty Jaymes

"We hold their lives within our hands
To do with what we will,
But hands that should be used to help
Are being used to kill.

Poor babes, just born to be destroyed -
A never-ending chain,
Condemned to live in fear, and die
In all degrees of pain.

To give them help - give us your hand!
Together we shall try
To force the world to understand
They shouldn't be born, to die!"
(Patty Jaymes, shot/killed by fiancee because of her animal rights militancy; he also killed her step-father, then himself!)

Thus spoke the tiger by Elizabeth Aldam

"Beware of humans...
with them come the bars
that will shut you in...

Beware of humans...
with them comes torture
to you and your kin...

Beware of humans...
they mean the cage,
the zoo,the circus,
the laughing crowds...
the whip,the pain...

Beware of humans...
for us they only mean
slow, painful death..."

Lost Puppy by Arthur Guiterman

"He was lost - not a shade of doubt of that;
For he never barked at a slinking cat,
But stood in the square where the wind blew raw

With a drooping ear and a trembling paw
And a mournful look in his pleading eye
And a plaintive sniff at the passer-by
That begged as plain as a tongue could sue,

'Oh Mister! Please may I follow you?'
Oh the saddest of sights in a world of sin
In a little lost pup with his tail tucked in!"

The Stray Kitten's Appeal by Patty Jaymes

"There's nothing much attractive
About me - but my size,
I may not look appealing
Unless you note my eyes.

They show my life was tragic
Right from its very start,
And beg for love's sweet shelter
With such a hopeful heart.

Please comfort and protect me
From all the pain I know,
I'm frightened by life's hardship
And death is cruel and slow.
I did not ask to be here
Yet do not want to die,
Please hear my silent longing -
I've lost the strength to cry."

The Cry of the Animals by Unknown

"We are waiting here, scared and alone
Waiting here to die
These people can't find us a home
Although they try and try.

You see, others wouldn't listen
They didn't care enough
They let us breed by millions,
Till life got really rough.

A little thing called spaying,
Would have stopped our misery
We wouldn't be unwanted
Nor treated cruelly.

As is, we have no future
Only two things left for we
Tortured in a science lab,
Or death to set us free.

Please, all of you who own a pet
Help to set us free
Free from pain and hopelessness
By letting us NOT BE.

Only you can end our suffering
Only you can make the way
Please spay or neuter all your pets
Please call your Vet today!"

Greeting with Love by Edith Lassen Johnson

"I wish someone would tell me what it is
That I've done wrong.
Why do I have to stay chained up and be
Left alone so long?

They seemed so glad to have me when
I came here as a pup.
There were so many things we'd do
While I was growing up.

The Master said he'd train me as a
Companion and a friend.
The Mistress said she'd never fear
To be left alone again.

The children said they'd feed me and
Brush me every day.
They'd play with me and walk me
If I would only stay.

But now the Master 'hasn't Time'
The Mistress says I shed
She doesn't want me in the house
Not even to be fed.

The Children never walk me.
They always say, 'Not now'
I wish that I could please them.
Won't someone tell me how?

All I had, you see, was love.
I wish they would explain
Why they said they wanted mine,
And then left it on a chain???"
(From a Lonely Dog)

Mercy Death by Marion Cecelia Crowe, Animal Helpers, England

"A pretty kitten once... so soft and clean....
Yet you become a stray, sad eyed and thin;
Homeless, unwanted, scourged from place to place,
Tormenting fleas and sores upon your skin.

So, gently 'put to sleep' by kindly hands,
Your body placed in earth beneath a tree
Is safe from kicks and stones, or agony
In vivisection's hell of cruelty.

You will not wander, will not slowly starve
Or die in anguish, trapped in wire or steel.
And though about the place where now you sleep
The bitter winds may blow, you will not feel."

A Hunter's Poem by Lem Ward Crisfield

"A hunter shot at a flock of geese
That flew within his reach.
Two were stopped in their rapid flight
And fell on the sandy beach.

The male bird lay at the water's edge
And just before he died
He faintly called to his wounded mate
And she dragged herself to his side.

She bent her head and crooned to him
In a way distressed and wild
Caressing her one and only mate
As a mother would a child.

Then covering him with her broken wing
And gasping with failing breath
She laid her head against his breast
A feeble honk... then death!

This story is true though crudely told,
I was the man in this case.
I stood knee deep in snow and cold,
And the hot tears burned my face.

I buried the birds in the sand where they lay
Wrapped in my hunting coat
And I threw my gun and belt in the bay
When I crossed in the open boat.

Hunters will call me a right poor sport
And scoff at the thing I did.
But that day something broke in my heart...
And shoot again??? God forbid!!!"
(Lem Ward Crisfield, M.D wrote it in the Chronicle, in Crested Butte, CO.)

The Mighty Hunter by Luke A. Dommer

"There is a noble sportsman
Who seems to get his thrill
Trampling through the thicket
Finding animals to kill.

Though beautiful and innocent
For them he does not mourn
He is the judge and jury
Their crime was being born.

And in the church on Sunday
You'll 'find him on his knees
Praying for some victims
Defenseless if you please.

Upon his head he wears a cap
Bright red for his protection
His courage that some other nut
Won't shoot in his direction.

Hung on his walls are creatures
Of every perfect kind
A type of conservationist
Unbalanced in the mind.

He claims a love for nature
The indoor lie he scorns
But he curses it unkindly
If he's wounded by some thorns.

An expert with a rifle
For this he takes a bow
He may miss a tiny sparrow
But not a full-grown cow.

And what if irresponsibly
He kills a pet or man -
The question is conditional
On shooting what he can.

Besides, he has a license
To practice in his sport
He can make this killing legal
With an accident report.

A hero of the forest
He boasts for all to hear
For he's the mighty hunter
Not an ordinary queer."
(A great antihunting activist for umpteen years. Fearless, has challenged many to debate in public, and did)

Egoman by Luke A. Dommer

"Of all the mysteries to unfold
Nature is the greatest told.

There in the secret of Life's force
Dwells the power of our source.

Sad few mortals understand
Not to hurt its helping hand.

And that creatures land and sea
Are tortured, killed and mocked with glee.

Sacrificed to him of God
Who ruins the air and spoils the sod.

Alas - a beast is at the help
Who'll spare no others in his realm.

And his numbers shall abound
Until the animals make no sound.

And every tree is cut and squared,
Each tender blade of gross impaired.

But in the end he must inherit
That which he destroyed with merit.

The final victim of his rape
None of his members shall escape.
For it is not in Nature's plan -
All else should die but Egoman."

Why Animals Need You by Patty Jaymes

"Because they have a voice to cry
Without the words to tell you why;

Or silently their sad eyes plead
For mercy others fail to heed.

Because of crimes few people know
In factory farm and rodeo,

In careless home and puppy mill
That breed the surplus shelters kill,

In laboratory cage and stall
Where pain-racked victims cringe and crawl,

Or scream from cruel restraining chair
To those who can't be moved to care.

Because they are crucified in vain -
Are made to bear unending pain,

They're hunted, trapped, caged and oppressed
Without remorse and without rest;

Because YOU love them - YOU must fight
To erase their pain and end their plight,

And make their waiting dream come true
Because...the ANIMALS NEED YOU!!!"

Think Again Brother Man by Edward Pape

"This is the voice of the creatures
Calling the one that can speak,
To rouse the few who may listen
On behalf of the dumb and the weak.

Long ago, when our Earth was much younger,
When ice covered valley and hill,
The cold and the maddening hunger
Drove your forebears to hunt and to kill.

And when, after gruesome long ages,
The ice withdrew to the pole,
You failed to resume the clean living
Of a harmless link in the whole.

And now you torture and kill us
For profit, for fun - even furs!
And what you call 'vivisection'
Is a slur on your kind and a curse!

You poison our soil and our water
And the air we breathe to survive.
You plunder and fell all our forests,
Destroying what keeps us alive.

Can't you see that sharing this planet
Was truly a wonderful plan?
Think again - Are you sure you can face God -
Alone on this Earth - brother Man?"

Our Endeavor by Patty Jaymes

"It's hard to change the world, we know,
And yet we have to try,
So long as cruel injustice lives
And gentle creatures die.

While any animals are harmed
By thoughtlessness or plan,
We'll fight - and feel in serving them
We serve the best in man."

A Christmas Seal by Thelma Palazzi

"I'm sitting here writing, it's Thanksgiving Day,
It is to the future I find my thoughts stray.
Christmas is coming - the 'holiday season'
I'll ask you in rhyme to listen to reason.

I don't wish to burden any of you
But I've a small favor to ask you to do -
Now it is the custom at this time of year
To send Christmas cards all filled with good cheer.

If all of you when you sit down to write
Think of the seals and their terrible plight
You could do much if you'd drop a line
To Norway's Ambassador at the same time.

Ask them to stop that horrendous ordeal
That's inflicted upon that poor creature, the seal.
For one little stamp that's only a dime
You could prevent this horrible crime.

Now all of us know God gave us dominion
But wanton abuse was NOT HIS opinion.
When God determined to give us free will
HE DID NOT mean to go out and to kill.

With needless affliction are slain, these poor seals,
So near extinction - they need your appeals.
So won't you please help them? Their fate don't deny.
If you keep silent they surely will die.

Yes, Christmas is coming - it's Jesus' birth,
HE wanted things better for us here on earth.
Now I'll ask you again - in the name of our Lord,
Don't let this favor I ask be ignored!

I know you have troubles but they will get better
Their only chance to live is your letter!
And when you write it, your spirit will lift
Right up top heaven - you're sending a gift!

Just mail out that letter as you would that card
You'll really be saying: 'MERRY CHRISTMAS' to God!"
(Printed by Animals Need You)

Insects Are Bug People by Patty Jaymes

"Insects are bug people
Who can't help being small,
That's something hardly anyone
Understands at all!

I think bugs are fun to watch
But aren't meant to touch,

As catching them will frighten them
And hurts them very much.

Sometimes thoughtless children
Will kill them just for fun,
Or break their little wings and legs
So they can't fly or run.

When I see others harming them
I always make a fuss,
'Cause I think bugs are people -
Like YOU, or ME, or US!"

FREE ME, from the Goldfinger album "Open Your Eyes"

I didn't ask you to take me from here,
I didn't ask to be broken,
I didn't ask you to stroke my hair,
And treat me like a worthless token,

But my skin is thick,
and my mind is strong,
I am built like my father was,
Done nothing wrong,

So free me,
Just want to feel what life should be,
I just want enough space to turn around,
And face the truth,
So free me,

When are you gonna realize,
You're just wrong,
Can't even think for yourself,
Can't even make up your mind,

So my mind's a jail,
And I hate, the whole goddamn human race,
What the hell do you want from me?
Kill me if you just don't know..

Or free me,
Just want to feel what life should be,
I just want enough space to turn around,
But you're all fucked,
Maybe someday you'll treat me like you.

Rags by Edmund Vance Cooke

We called him "Rags." He was just a cur,
But twice, on the Western Line,
That little old bunch of faithful fur
Had offered his life for mine.

And all that he got was bones and bread,
Or the leavings of soldier grub,
But he'd give his heart for a pat on the head,
Or a friendly tickle and rub.

And Rags got home with the regiment,
And then, in the breaking away -
Well, whether they stole him, or whether he went,
I'm not prepared to say.

But we mustered out, some to beer and gruel,
And some to sherry and shad,
And I went back to the Sawbones School,
Where I still was an undergrad.

One day they took us budding M.D.s
To one of those institutes
Where they demonstrate every new disease
By means of bisected brutes.

They had one animal tacked and tied
And slit like a full-dressed fish,
With his vitals pumping away inside
As pleasant as one might wish.

I stopped to look like the rest, of course,
And the beast's eyes leveled mine;
His short tail thumped with a feeble force,
And he uttered a tender whine.

It was Rags, yes, Rags! Who was martyred there, Who was quartered and crucified,
And he whined that whine which is doggish prayer And he licked my hand - and died.

And I was no better in part nor whole
Than the gang I was found among,
And his innocent blood was on the soul
Which he blessed with his dying tongue.

Well! I've seen men go to courageous death
In the air, on sea, on land!
But only a dog would spend his breath
In a kiss for his murderer's hand.

And if there's no heaven for love like that,
For such four-legged fealty - well!
If I have any choice, I tell you flat,
I'll take my chance in hell

Rage in Heaven by Spike Milligan (1918-)

If a robin redbrest in a cage
Puts all heaven in a rage,
How feels heaven when
Dies the billionth battery hen?

Shall I Indeed Delight by Sir Lewis Morris (1833-1907)

Shall I indeed delight
To take you, helpless kinsman, fast and bound,
And while ye lick my hand
Lay bare your veins and nerves in one red wound,
Divide the sentient brain;
And while the raw flesh quivers with the pain,
A calm observer stand,
And drop in some keen acid, and watch it bite
The writhing life; wrench the still beating heart,
And with calm voice meanwhile discourse, and bland,
To boys who jeer or sicken as they gaze,
Of the great goddess Science and her gracious ways?

The Snare by James Stephens (1882-1950)

I hear a sudden cry of pain!
There is a rabbit in a snare:
Now I hear the cry again,
But I cannot tell from where.

But I cannot tell from where
He is calling out for aid!
Crying on the frightened air,
Making everything afraid!

Making everything afraid!
Wrinkling up his little face!
And he cries again for aid;
- And I cannot find the place!

And I cannot find the place
Where his paw is in the snare!
Little One! Oh, Little One!
I am searching everywhere!

Prayer by Tiruvalluvan (9th century)

May my soul always find fulfilment
In friendship towards all beings,
In happiness, in the goodness of men,
In compassion towards all suffering creatures.
May my feeling be neutral towards those hostile.
This is my prayer.

When I Shall Die by Olive Fraser (1909-1977)

When I shall die, let there be mountains near,
The milk-white ptarmigan, the wand'ring deer.
When I shall die, let the poor dipper call
Out of her foothills by the waterfall.
O let no human, festering, hating heart
Come in that place with ignorance or art.
Let there be none to mock my life with words
But the bare mountains and the calling birds.

Cat Poems - poem for all who have lost a loved one by Mary Frye

Do not stand at my grave and weep...
I am not there, I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awake in the mornings hush,
I am the swift upflinging rush...
of quiet birds in circling flight,
I am the soft star-shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry...
I am not there... I did not die...
(formerly attributed to Native American sources)

By David Mallett

You say that the battle is over
You say that the war is all done
Well tell it those with the wind in their nose
Who run from the sound of the gun
Write it on the sides of the great whaling ships
On the ice floes where conscience is tossed
With the wind in their eyes, it is they who must die
And it's we who must suffer the lost.

Now the blame cannot fall on the heads of a few
It's become such a part of the race.
It's eternally tragic that which is magic
Be killed at the end of the glorious chase
From young seals to great whales from waters to wood
They will fall just like leaves in the wind
And we've fur coats and perfume and trophies of walls
What a hell of a race to call men.
(recorded by John Denver)



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