Activists + > Literature > Poetry
The ABCs of Atrocity

printer friendly, larger print version

comments here:

By Vi Ransel


sow the seeds of future perversity.

Animals are the means we use to teach

our children not only the basics of speech,

but to give them the tools they're going to need

to begin elementary reading.

We ask "What does the cow say?"

"P is for pig" we tell them

while their animal friends scream in agony

as we mechanically and mercilessly slaughter them,

renaming their dismembered body parts

beef, pork, mutton and poultry

in order to distance the abattoir

from the innocence, the purity, of the nursery.

And as children learn that they are complicit

with their nuggets, wings, ribs and cheeseburgers,

they lock it down deep in denial,

repressing interfamilial murder.

Further, children learn god has given them

"dominion" over all other animals

and some of them practice what's termed

"animal husbandry." The 4-H is an example

of the indoctrination of impressionable children

into support of this hypocritical debacle.

Cyrano's Journal Online and its semi-autonomous subsections (Thomas Paine's Corner, The Greanville Journal, CJO Avenger, Tant Mieux, and VoxPop) would be delighted to periodically email you links to the most recent material and timeless classics available on our diverse and comprehensive site. If you would like to subscribe, type "CJO subscription" in the subject line and send your email to

It teaches children to care for an animal,

to feed her and groom her and name her,

grow up with her, win a blue ribbon,

and sell her to a restaurant in a stone cold betrayal.

In another perverse twist, we take kids into the woods

and arm them with deadly, high-powered weapons

and teach them to hunt down their animal friends,

who are essentially defenseless against them.

And since we no longer need them as food,

having made factory farms a mass murder industry,

their desecrated bodies are abandoned,

their stuffed heads prove their killers' masculinity.

Thus what were once

bunnies, Bambi and myriad birds,

cows, sheep, chickens and pigs

who taught us our very first words

are changed into "game", trophies and edible commodities,

which are undeniably tasty and outrageously profitable.

The point, however, is not sport,

not animal husbandry, nor even macho display,

but to inculcate in children that the value

of friends, love, loyalty and especially fair play

may be dispensed with in simple self-interest,

in particular with regard to "the other",

thus turning them all into Cain, that they may

more easily make money off and murder their brothers.

It divorces the force of children's emotions

from the consequences of having a conscience

in the service of their Financial Masters,

for whom they are willing to perpetrate violence

and from responsibility while feeling entitled to rape,

slaughter, plunder and excuse mass atrocities

with not an inkling of compassion or compunction

for either animals or the rest of humanity.

Poet and part-time actor Viola Ransel is a Senior Contributing Editor with CJO.

To further your sociopolitical education, strengthen your connection with the radical community, and deepen your participation in forming an egalitarian, just, ecological, non-speciesist and democratic society, visit the Transformative Studies Institute at and the Institute for Critical Animal Studies at .

Fair Use Notice and Disclaimer
Send questions or comments about this web site to Ann Berlin,