“ At the start, let me say I am not an animal rights activist. I’m not comfortable with absolutes. And I know that every time something eats, something else dies. I recognize the Earth is little more than a revolving buffet with weather. So, the idea of eating animals is fine with me, but is it really necessary to make things out of the parts we don’t eat? We’re the only species that does this. You never see a mongoose with snakeskin shoes. Or a lion walkin’ around in a wildebeest hat. And how often do you run into plankton that have phytoplankton luggage?
And I think people have a lot of nerve locking up a tiger and charging four dollars to let a few thousand worthless humans shuffle past him every day. What a shitty thing to do. Humans must easily be the meanest species on Earth. Probably the only reason there are any tigers left is because they don’t taste good.
I respect animals. I have more sympathy for an injured or dead animal than I have for an injured or dead human being, because human beings participate and cooperate in their own undoing. Animals are completely innocent. There are no innocent human beings.
Here is an anecdote from the writer Patricia Highsmith: “Not so long ago I said to a friend of mine: ‘If I saw a kitten and a little human baby sitting on the curb starving, I would feed the kitten first if nobody was looking.’ My friend said: ‘I would feed the kitten first if somebody was looking’.” I would too, Patricia.
Some people seem shocked and say, “You care more about animals than you do about humans!” Fuckin’-A well told!
I do not torture animals, and I do not support the torture of animals, such as that which goes on at rodeos: cowardly men in big hats abusing simple beasts in a fruitless search for manhood. In fact, I regularly pray for serious, life-threatening rodeo injuries. I wish for a cowboy to walk crooked, and with great pain, for the rest of his life.
I cheer when a bull at Pamplona sinks one of his horns deep into the lower intestines of some drunked European macho swine. And my cheers grow louder when the victim is a young American macho-jock tourist asshole. Especially if the bull is able to swing that second horn around and catch the guy right in the nuts.
But although I don’t go out of my way to bother living things, I am not without personal standards. A mosquito on my arm, an ant or a cockroach in my kitchen, a moth approaching my lapel; these animals will die. Other insects in my home, however, the ones who merely wish to rest awhile, will be left alone. Or, if noisy and rowdy, lifted gently and returned to the great outdoors.
I am also perfectly willing to share the room with a fly, as long as he is patrolling that portion of the room I don’t occupy. But if he starts that smart-ass fly shit, buzzing my head and repeatedly landing on my arm, he is engaging in high-risk behavior. That’s when I roll up the sports section and become Bwana, the great white fly hunter!
Sometimes there’s an older fly in the room, one who flies slowly and can’t travel too far in one hop- or it might be a female, heavy with eggs. In this case, even if the fly is bothering me, I don’t kill it; instead, adopt it as a short-term pet. I might even give it a name. Probably something based on mythology.
Generally, I like flies, but they’d be far more welcome if they would make a choice- and stick to it- between my bean burrito and that nice, hot, steaming dog turd out in the front yard.
Also, in keeping with my insect death policy based on the intentions of the insect, any bacterium or virus entering my body that does not wish me well will be slain. Normally, my immune system would accomplish this without notifying me, but if the old T-cells aren’t up to the task, I am prepared to ingest huge amounts of antibiotics, even if they are bad for me.
And yet, in spite of all these examples of creature mayhem, I will not strike a dog, I will not chase and taunt a bull around a ring, and I will not squeeze an animal’s testicles just to give the yokels a better show.
I’m also uneasy about the sheer number of scientific experiments performed on animals. First of all, animals are not always good models for medical experimentation: penicillin kills guinea pigs; an owl is not bothered by cyanide; monkeys can survive strychnine, etc., etc. Couldn’t these scientific tests just as easily be performed on humans? Comdemned prisoners, old people, the feeble, the terminally ill? I’m sure there are plenty of ignorant, desperate Americans who would be willing to volunteer in exchange for some small electrical appliance.
What makes me happy in the midst of all this is that ultimately animals get even. The major killers of humanity throughout recent history- smallpox, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria, bubonic plague, measles, cholera, and AIDS- are all infectious diseases that arose from diseases of animals. I pray that mad cow disease will come to this country and completely wipe out the hamburger criminals. Eating meat is one thing, but this whole beef-rancher-manure-cattle-hamburger side show is a different skillet of shit altogether.
Each year, Americans eat 38 billion hamburgers. It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of red meat. Cattle consume one half of all the fresh water consumed on earth. The sixty million people who will starve this year could be adequately fed if Americans reduced their meat intake by just ten percent. But if I were one of those sixty million people, I wouldn’t be reachin’ for the salt and pepper too quickly. It ain’t gonna happen.
Ranchers raise pathetic, worthless cattle and sheep, animals who cannot live off the land without human supervision, and the same ranchers kill wolves, magnificent, individualistic animals fully capable of caring for themselves without assistance. Individualism gives way to sheep behavior. Sound familiar?
I root for a wolf to someday take a rancher’s kid. Yes I do. And you know something? The wolf would probably take the kid home and raise him, in the manner of Romulus and Remus; and probably do a better job than the rancher.
Remember, wolves mate for life, and they care for their sick and infirm; they don’t run them off, or kill them, or abandon them. Give me a wolf over some fuckin’ jackoff rancher any day of the week.
One last item to demonstrate the depth of human perversity: Some zoos now sell surplus animals to private hunting ranches where rich white men hunt them down and kill them for amusement.
No wonder they call it the descent of man. ”
Brain Droppings (1997)
“ I’m a modern man, a man for the millennium, digital and smoke-free. A diversified multicultural postmodern deconstructionist. Politically, anatomically, and ecologically incorrect. I’ve been uplinked and downloaded, I’ve been inputted and outsourced, I know the upside of downsizing, I know the downside of upgrading. I’m a high-tech lowlife. A cutting-edge, state-of-the-art, bicoastal multitasker and I can give you a gigabyte in a nanosecond. I’m new wave, but I’m old school, and my inner child is outward bound. I’m a hot-wired, heat-seeking, warm-hearted cool customer, voice-activated and biodegradable. I interface with my database, and my database is in cyberspace, so I’m interactive, I’m hyperactive, and from time to time I’m radioactive. Behind the eight ball, ahead of the curve, riding the wave, dodging a bullet, pushing the envelope. I’m on point, on task, on message, and off drugs. I got no need for coke and speed, I got no urge to binge and purge. I’m in the moment, on the edge, over the top, but under the radar. A high-concept, low-profile, medium-range ballistic missionary. A street-wise smart bomb, a top-gun bottom feeder. I wear power ties, I tell power lies, I take power naps, I run victory laps. I’m a totally ongoing bigfoot slam dunk rainmaker with a proactive outreach. A raging workaholic; a working rageaholic. Out of rehab, and in denial. I’ve got a personal trainer, a personal shopper, a personal assistant, and a personal agenda. You can’t shut me up, you can’t dumb me down. ‘Cause I’m tireless, and I’m wireless, I’m an alpha male on beta blockers. I’m a non-believer and an over-achiever, laid-back but fashion forward. Up front, down home, low-rent, high-maintenance. Super-size, long-lasting, high-definition, fast-acting, oven-ready, and built to last. I’m a hands-on, foot-loose, knee-jerk, headcase. Prematurely post-traumatic, and I have a love child who sends me hate mail. But I’m feeling, I’m caring, I’m healing, I’m sharing, a supportive bonding nurturing primary caregiver. My output is down, but my income is up. I take a short position on the long bond, and my revenue stream has its own cash flow. I read junk mail, I eat junk food, I buy junk bonds, I watch trash sports. I’m gender-specific, capital-intensive, user-friendly, and lactose-intolerant. I like rough sex, I like tough love, I use the F-word in my E-Mail, and the software on my hard drive is hardcore, no soft porn. I bought a microwave at a mini mall;I bought a mini van in a mega store. I eat fast food in the slow lane. I’m toll-free, bite-sized, ready-to-wear, and I come in all sizes. A fully-equipped, factory-authorized, hospital-tested, clinically-proven, scientifically formulated medical miracle. I’ve been pre-washed, pre-cooked, pre-heated, pre-screened, pre-approved, pre-packaged, post-dated, freeze-dried, double-wrapped, vacuum-packed, and I have an unlimited broadband capacity. I’m a rude dude, but I’m the real deal, lean and mean. Cocked, locked and ready to rock. Rough tough and hard to bluff. I take it slow, I go with the flow, I ride with the tide, I got glide in my stride. Drivin’ and movin’, sailin’ and spinnin’, jivin’ and groovin’, wailin’ and winnin.’ I don’t snooze, so I don’t lose. I keep the pedal to the metal and the rubber on the road. I party hearty, and lunch time is crunch time. I’m hanging in, there ain’t no doubt. And I’m hanging tough, over and out. “
- “Modern Man” Life Is Worth Losing (2005)
still.Nothing is lost, nothing is gained, everything is transformed!
or If Less is More…Nothing is Everything
**All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts.
As You Like It