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'Panegyric Thoughts of An Animal Rights Activist'
7 Apr 2000
Jillouise Breslauer wrote this poem in praise of her
friend and former coworker Steve Siegel, Director of the N.Y.C. chapter of
Trans-Species, Unlimited, in the mid-late eighties. She wants his original,
brilliant (and effective) anti-fur tactics to be carried on by other animal
rights activists. She says "Every time you tell a person who's wearing animal
fur "Wow, you look really FAT in that fur!", you will be carrying on the Steve
My grandma's mink coat so soft and dead
"Come pet it" she coos, But I prefer the dogs'.
Kerry's bright eyes, pink tongue, doggy smiles
and his heart thump, thump, thumping,
Tail wagging wildly.
Steve and I table in the rain,
Dead of winter, sleet, summer heat
He calls to remind me to wear warm socks,
"Bring an umbrella, snow boots, winter gloves,
Warm scarf, and don't forget your magnificent smile!"
We hand out thousands of pamphlets,
Gather petition signatures,
Get spit upon, pushed, thanked,
Smiled at and threatened on the N.Y.C. streets.
We talk about our grandma's fur coats
With empathetic intolerance
Until one day it happened:
Steve's infamous, brilliant technique was birthed
one cold, gray winter's day:
"That fur makes you look fat!",
He shouted with fervor,
His head shaking with the thought
of 40 anally electrocuted, terrified animals.
The look of horror on the woman's face
forever burned into my memory
like the smell of death in a cold laboratory morgue.
Thank you for making me table in the snow,
For using my photographs,
For encouraging me go hoarse on the megaphone,
For Fur Free Friday,
For electing me in absentia,
For getting me to act on my thoughts,
For pushing me and pushing me.
I would not be who I am today
Without having known you.
Oh, and you're so right....
That fur coat makes them look really fat and ugly.