Animal Life

A poem for animal lovers, vegetarians and vegans. Of course you do not need to be a vegan to be concerned about animal welfare and I do not intend to be an evangelist for veganism, although I am a practising vegan and proud of it. The fact is that, regardless of what we eat, the growth of our population has led to a diminution of the space allocated to the very animals that we say that we want to protect. We continue to breed animals for consumption, absorbing more land, water and other resources than is necessary and producing a large proportion of the greenhous gases from which our planet suffers. The poetry loving hunters among my followers, if there are any, may not be too pleased by what I have said. Hopefully they will recognise the honesty of my sentiments and that things cannot continue as they are.

Animal Life

Fabulous fauna of forest and field

Squeezed into an ever smaller space

From which their necessities they must yield

Before the advancing human race

Others fly in sky, or swim in sea

Or inhabit the rippling river banks

On mountain high, or wherever they be

Let us, for animal life, give thanks

Man requires ever more room to live

To feed his inexorable rise

Though the lands are not even his to give

He claims to control their size

Animals dwelt upon this Earth

Before any human had right

We cannot calculate their worth

Nor need we with them fight

Yet on those with whom some fill their plates

They impose a fence or cage

Convincing themselves that they treat them well

Like prisoners earning a wage

Conflating their feeding with fattening

The inedible largely ignored

Their habitat they’re continually flattening

As the hunted are put to the sword

Some hunt for all that moves with glee

Citing ancient biblical lore

Their lust for their life makes few men see

That they’re continually taking more

Technology grants to us the means

To better cultivate or to kill

The former to further legitimate dreams

The latter just for the thrill

Creatures are locked inside our zoos

So that visitors might pay to see

Beings who must their liberty lose

To give amusement to the free

We have even made a prized profession

For those who contrive to conserve

But humanity grants no meagre concession

To our friends that respect so deserve

Man’s behaviour is selfish, at best

As he denies most damage done

Placing himself far above the rest

We must not even limit his fun

Though he cannot control the wind and the rain

Nor even avoid the flood

Priority he gives to his body and brain

His mind still in primeval mud

Science may supply the means to share

But our morality is often selective

Many may pretend they really care

Even some of our leaders elective

In reality, content to consume all things

Though horrified by the cannibal

Their actions more human expansion brings

Consuming the life of the animal

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