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An Animal Tale
Lynda Bristow


Cut me up and throw me out,
slice me up without a doubt
Bake me, grill me, fry me, steam me,
guts and gizzards sautéed nicely
Boxed or canned, or cured or peppered,
pickled, smoked, or tangy lemon  

Breastbone, backbone, ribs or spine,
succulent skeletons spiced with thyme
Marinate me overnight
soak me so I’ll taste just right
Suck the marrow from my bones,
congeal the blood that used to flow

Gouge my eyes and Mash the jelly,
rob me of my enzyme belly
Steal my hooves to whip your cream;
can’t do without the gelatine.

Nurse the veal and wean the lamb,
cook the chook and boil the ham
Smack the chop and cut the porterhouse,
don’t look now but there’s a slaughterhouse 

Ears and eyes and nose and tongues,
tails and toes and breasts and bums,
mix ’em up and grind ’em well
what it was you’d never tell
Flambéed heel, dry roasted shin,
jellied tongue and crispy skin

With watering mouth and rumbling stomach,
your main aim is gastronomic
Stuff your face and stuff the etiquette
you can’t wait to crash this banquet
Slice it, dice it, shred it, grate it,
pulp it, melt it, julienne it

Fattened calves and porky pigs,
steeped in wine and candied figs
You gnaw and chew with little reasoning,
focused only on the seasoning

Look into my pleading eyes
and listen closely to my sighs
With animals the world you’re sharing
inflicting acts of cruel uncaring
Brutal, vicious, callous deeds,
to satisfy your selfish needs

Never mind our strong set jaws
or smooth pink skin or golden claws
Our silken fur or slick smooth hair
to be removed just isn’t fair
With each and every one a treasure
shame you think we’re for your pleasure
We’re just voiceless, voteless creatures
nameless, faceless, devoid of features

Sometimes I’m caged, or in a sty
Never again to see the sky
or maybe locked up in a crate
my life is yours to manipulate
In cruel suspended animation
a living hell for the duration

I’ll cry and scream I’m terrified
but you won’t rest till I have died
For in this goal you’re so persistent
massacre the least resistant
Maim them, burn them, slit them, gut them,
such grim futile acts of mayhem

The horrors that I end up seeing
are abhorrent to my sentient being
so have your way, it’s with disgust
I look upon your shameful lust
My only hope is in the end
you come back as a feathered hen

And when you do you’ll be plucked bare
to be prepared for someone’s fare
So remember this with heart and soul
Bon appetite you have been told! 




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