Tormented By an Image
I had imagined that the video
I had selected to watch would feature
the charitable work of some caring group of people
who were concerned about providing for the needs
of stray dogs in China …
What I saw was a mere 10-seconds
of Unspeakable, Perverted Cruelty
being inflicted upon one of many dogs
in a village in China –
as villagers stood around laughing
at the screams – Screams – of agony
shrieking from the mouth of the writhing animal
who was being roasted alive.
That obscenity will NEVER leave my mind;
and has, ever since, tormented me
– at some point in the day or night –
every single day of my life since.
Nowhere, arguably, is the sadistic depravity
of human beings more manifest
than in South-east Asia:
as a teen throughout the 1970’s, even my
sheltered mind knew of the reputation
of Bangkok, and the degraded businessmen
who flocked there to abuse children and animals.
How anyone could Ever pay to go there for ‘holiday’
– willingly give their tourist dollars to a place
that tolerates such open abuse –
was utterly beyond my capacity to take in.
Believing that I was about to see a video report
of some wonderful rescue operation
in a rural part of China,
I ‘clicked’ on a video concerning a place called “Yulin” –
and the disgusting ‘dog meat festival’
that is an annual event in that country.
As the poor, mobile-phone-quality video began,
it was obvious that the filming was being done
from behind a group of people assembled –
seemingly, in a village.
They were gathered around a large cooking wok
which had been positioned over a fire.
A man held a V-forked stick … at the end of which,
a young dog was being forcibly held in place …
while being roasted alive in the oil-covered pan.
Its shrieking screams — for,
they were nothing that ever came
from any animal naturally ––
Upon my own mind realising just what I was seeing
and hearing, I recoiled –
leaping to my feet and sending the computer
tumbling to the floor;
the sound that came from my mouth
could only be described as a roar of panic:
I was hyper-ventilating
in a rush of air from my lungs;
forcing a deep scream that was perhaps,
meant to be the word “No”
yelled over and over.
Mercifully, by the time I looked down
at the fallen computer,
the video had stopped after 10 seconds.
But it was ten seconds
that has burned itself into my brain
… and often wakens me in panic,
in the middle of the night.
It is half-past three in the morning
as I type these words: all I could ‘hear’
in my obvious nightmare,
were the shrieks and yelps of pain …
… and the laughter of the Chinese villagers
at the dreadful agony of that little dog.
A selection of pictures that I have unwillingly seen
could readily be placed here
to accompany these words.
But the fact is, I could not endure
to have them on this site.
The memory is enough for my mind,
without seeing the actual images over again.
Do You Have a Conscience ?
I discern the Right or Wrong
of any Thought, Word, or Deed,
by considering the amount of suffering
that will invariably come because of it.
Do I trivialise Evil, cruelty, suffering ?
Do I ignore it ? Or even support it ?
I can ‘save’ two euros, one pound-fifty,
or two dollars by buying ‘battery’ eggs,
rather than free range –
So, why will I never do that?
Because of the disgusting torture and lingering deaths
that are inflicted upon millions of ‘battery’ hens
by conscience-less sadists who make their wealth;
and live in relative luxury,
as a result of the absolutely UNNECESSARY
and on-going cruelty that they inflict
upon chickens, pigs, cows, and other animals.
My money will Never knowingly go into the bank accounts
of evil, conscienceless creatures such as that.
Do I need to have bacon or sausage for breakfast?
I could – quite readily – ‘post’ photographs right here,
of a pig bruised around the eyes;
terror-stricken in its features;
semi-skewered between two clamps,
waiting to be “freshly” killed.
Or hens cut and bleeding from being scooped up
and dumped by bulldozers;
Or the 10 seconds that I saw of that video
of a dog being held down with a stick,
in a Wok above a fire … while Chinese villagers
looked on and laughed
at its shrieking screams of agony –
that so physically sickened me enough
for the better part of a week,
that I am now resolved to never knowingly
buy anything made in a country
that celebrates a … ‘dog meat festival’.
Buy something made in China … if there is any alternative ?
Am I going to support the demonic creatures
who roast or boil dogs alive –
and actually regard that as an annual festival ???
Bacon or sausage for breakfast?
Quite apart from the pure fat that such ‘meats’
will add to my body, I will NOT pay the wages
of the loathsome creatures
that herd pigs into cement warehouses,
and then proceed to systematically
bring sledge-hammers down
upon the heads of those terrified animals –
whose frequent last efforts to find mercy,
are to lick the boots of the vicious savages
that are about to bludgeon them to death.
I will never understand how people can shop
without a conscience – without taking the time
to think about how buying some ‘popular’ ‘brand name’
… contributes either to the exploitation of people;
or the torture and dreadful abuse of animals.
They see it advertised – and they buy it.
Thought – Conscience – never enters into it.
The purpose of advertising is to make anyone seeing it,
feel dissatisfied – dissatisfied with the way they look;
dissatisfied with what they own.
And greedy to have whatever is depicted.
The advertiser has One Purpose:
to make you a Slave to Greed –
always wanting more than what you have.
And the Average Shopper is more than happy
to co-operate with the advertiser.
THE Fundamental Priority in shopping with which
I will Never compromise … is the suffering of animals.
If cruelty was inflicted upon any animal in order to
‘test’ a product – I do not need that product.
Yes, I do realise that some medical crisis may oblige me
to buy a prescription medicine that has ( no doubt )
been ‘cleared for sale’ only because animals have suffered
beforehand … but it is a matter that weighs heavily
upon my conscience.
And does not come without serious thought.
But whilst pain or disease may oblige me
to accept the fact that a medicine I have bought
has been “tested”,
it does not mean that I, therefore,
lay down a ‘red carpet’ of compromise
and ignore animal testing for everything else.
As far as buying things are concerned,
I will NEVER willingly, or knowingly, support
any company that uses – or excuses –
the torment of animals in order to make a profit.
The side-effect of a life-long desire to own little,
was the greatest practical blessing that could ever befall
any person in this life:
because it brings with it – as I have discovered
over the course of my life –
ABSOLUTE freedom from greed:
which makes it an incredibly easy thing
to never want, and never own, anything
that caused an animal to suffer pain.
“I believe I am not interested to know
whether Vivisection produces results
that are profitable to the human race or doesn’t.
To know that the results are profitable to the race
would not remove my hostility to it.
The pains which it inflicts upon unconsenting animals
is the basis of my enmity towards it,
and it is to me sufficient justification of the enmity
without looking further.
It is so distinctly a matter of feeling with me,
and is so strong and so deeply-rooted in my make
that I am sure I could not even see a vivisector vivisected
with anything more than a sort of qualified satisfaction.
I do not say I should not go and look on;
I only mean that I should almost surely fail to get out of it
the degree of contentment which it ought, of course,
to be expected to furnish.”
[ Samuel Clemens / Mark Twain, London, 1899 ]
The Sceptic’s … “Argument”
From the shallows of a mind that is too self-centred,
or too lazy, or too apathetic to be ‘bothered’
with having a conscience … oozes the ‘argument’ –
“Why should I think about what I buy …?”
“… My refusing to buy something
is not going to stop corporations
from making their products using slave labour;
My refusing to buy something will not stop sadists
from ‘testing’ their products using the torture,
screams, and writhing of cruelly-restrained animals
suffering in agony
… so why ‘fight it’ ?”
I answer …
IF you are Not a Conscienceless Psychopath,
Do Not support Conscienceless Psychopaths.
The point is NOT whether you can control
The point is to not let the companies
At the age of six, our schoolteacher had organised a field trip
to let us see where eggs came from.
While standing in a central room of the hatchery,
a side door opened, and an employee walked out.
What I saw – for that brief few seconds – made me cry,
obliged my teacher to take me back to sit in the school bus,
and has remained with me 50 years later.
Hens stuffed – jammed – into little square cages ;
hydraulic hoses used to force gruel down their throats ;
before ( as I would later learn ) they were packed
even tighter into plastic-grilled boxes;
and thrown on to the back of trailers,
to be driven away to be brutally slaughtered.
I have NEVER – since that day, eaten an egg
that was not from a free-range farm.
And I cannot understand those who do.
Save a pound, a euro, a dollar
in order to support wholesale suffering –
for the sake of conscienceless greed?
I would gladly pay twice the cost
to a free-range farm,
and enjoy a soft-boiled egg
with a clear conscience.
Spend the extra two … £ … € … $ ‘s
and for pity’s sake, refuse to line the pockets
of conscienceless brutes who get rich
from the misery and suffering of animals.
It genuinely frightens me
to see, every day, that Moral Conscience
has been so thoroughly obliterated
from the human race.
Those who find “entertainment”
in depictions of cruelty;
or are without any pricking of conscience
at contributing to the suffering of animals,
succeed in revealing
( to any discerning eye )
the nature of their character:
what a tragic disgrace, surely,
that they will not see it themselves.