I am a part of what humans call “ industrial farming”
My future wrapped in cellophane.. my body in pieces… sanitised and anonymous.
The human consumer absolved of what would be murder was it one of their own.
Instead, their hands are clean and untainted with the blood of my suffering.
Their ears will never be privy to my screams as I hang upside down in line with my friends, my final moments filled with fear and pain.
Torn from my mother within weeks of birth.
My feet have never felt grass beneath them.
My skin never warmed beneath the sun or drenched in rain.
My home for a few short months in a barn flooded with artificial lights.
Caged in such a fashion that I can shuffle my sorry body two inches in any direction.
Overfed and jabbed with your growth hormones to plump up my flesh.
Until I can barely stand under the weight of my own grotesque body mass.
I hear the murmurs of words between those men that I see for brief moments as they go about their business.
Profits are at a record high,
New contracts on the horizon if they can meet the demand.
They talk of even smaller cages, of increased food for a quicker and more profitable turnaround.
I shuffle miserably this way and that,
Wondering where my neighbour has gone from his cage next door.
Sometimes if we stretched enough we were able to touch noses through our prison bars.
When the faint sound of screaming reached our ears we found comfort in that small gesture.
I am distracted by a wave of activity nearing my cage.
Hands reach in and roughly grab me.
I struggle..I have not left the cage since I entered it at just weeks old.
More hands clamp down and I am lifted off my feet.
A set of manacles is snapped around my hind legs.
Heavy steel with the stench of blood still lingering.
I am heaved upside down and attached to a conveyor belt that is moving.
I pass slowly to a room that is bright and lined with stainless steel.
My eyes adjust to the floodlit room and I see…..
A long line of us..upside down..hanging…waiting…
The faint screaming that I heard from my cage is now deafening…
The line moving slowly, inching forward, forward.
I struggle, again my mind remembers my missing friend.
The noise is deafening now, I can smell fear and pain and I can smell blood.
Not like the faint residue that often permeates this place.
This is a stench so intense and cloying it takes my breath away.
And I realise as each one, in turn, disappears through steel doors that snap like angry jaws that this is it…
I hear another murmured human conversation about a new act in parliament that states only the human animal can feel pain…
I am confused and afraid…..the door is so very near ..that snapping, hungry door.
And then I’m there… I see silver and red.. so much red…
And then I see a big metal bolt from the corner of my eye..
And then there was nothing…
My soul free at last…
My earthly body already packed in cellophane.