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By Vi Ransel
sow the seeds of future perversity.
Animals are the means we use to teach
our children not only the basics of speech,
but to give them the tools they're going to need
to begin elementary reading.
We ask "What does the cow say?"
"P is for pig" we tell them
while their animal friends scream in agony
as we mechanically and mercilessly slaughter them,
renaming their dismembered body parts
beef, pork, mutton and poultry
in order to distance the abattoir
from the innocence, the purity, of the nursery.
And as children learn that they are complicit
with their nuggets, wings, ribs and cheeseburgers,
they lock it down deep in denial,
repressing interfamilial murder.
Further, children learn god has given them
"dominion" over all other animals
and some of them practice what's termed
"animal husbandry." The 4-H is an example
of the indoctrination of impressionable children
into support of this hypocritical debacle.
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It teaches children to care for an animal,
to feed her and groom her and name her,
grow up with her, win a blue ribbon,
and sell her to a restaurant in a stone cold betrayal.
In another perverse twist, we take kids into the woods
and arm them with deadly, high-powered weapons
and teach them to hunt down their animal friends,
who are essentially defenseless against them.
And since we no longer need them as food,
having made factory farms a mass murder industry,
their desecrated bodies are abandoned,
their stuffed heads prove their killers' masculinity.
Thus what were once
bunnies, Bambi and myriad birds,
cows, sheep, chickens and pigs
who taught us our very first words
are changed into "game", trophies and edible commodities,
which are undeniably tasty and outrageously profitable.
The point, however, is not sport,
not animal husbandry, nor even macho display,
but to inculcate in children that the value
of friends, love, loyalty and especially fair play
may be dispensed with in simple self-interest,
in particular with regard to "the other",
thus turning them all into Cain, that they may
more easily make money off and murder their brothers.
It divorces the force of children's emotions
from the consequences of having a conscience
in the service of their Financial Masters,
for whom they are willing to perpetrate violence
and from responsibility while feeling entitled to rape,
slaughter, plunder and excuse mass atrocities
with not an inkling of compassion or compunction
for either animals or the rest of humanity.
Poet and part-time actor Viola Ransel is a Senior Contributing Editor with CJO.
To further your sociopolitical education, strengthen your connection with the radical community, and deepen your participation in forming an egalitarian, just, ecological, non-speciesist and democratic society, visit the Transformative Studies Institute at http://transformativestudies.org/ and the Institute for Critical Animal Studies at http://www.criticalanimalstudies.org/ .