Manataka American Indian Council





July 2011




By Julie Longhill



Lobsters in a tank

Rubberbanded claws

Nothing to do, nowhere to go

I feel their suffering

Do you?

Bridles and crops
Collars to choke
Electric shocks
to the throat and body
These things have become normal
and are used on our
beloved pets
My soul has witnessed these things
Each time my heart is broken
A silent scream
is all I can muster
Don't they see
Don't they feel
the torture and sins
they commit?

Zoos to entertain us

Exotic animals for our children to see

And what do they see exactly-

and what do they learn?

Confinement of magnificent creatures

living out their lives

in boredom

Unnatural lives

Look into their eyes

and you will see

the suffering

the hopelessness

the despair


And then there is the scientific research

Animals are used and abused
tagged and drugged
in laboratories and in the wild
I cannot even allow myself
to imagine
what goes on there
Experiments and trials
More suffering and pain
The holocaust has not ended
but the victims
now have fur
Circuses and rodeos
Pet shops and dog shows
Horse racing
Horse wrangling
Breaking a horse
Breaking it's spirit
Fixing a dog
Neutering your cat
Docking tails
Burning horns
Branding skin
Selling and Possessing
Animals as property
Animals as slaves
Animals as trophies
Factory farms and fur coats
How did we get like this-
so cruel
so callous
so cold
We are intellectual monsters
justifying these deeds
and losing our souls
in the process
Caging birds who were born to fly
Keeping fish and whales
in aquariums
the size of bathtubs
Taking their freedom
Taking their balls
Taking away their sexuality
and joy of life
No one thinks it is wrong
except a few
If I wince, they laugh
If I question, they defend
What rights do animals have?
My soul can answer this

Animals have the right to live freely

Animals have the right to procreate

Animals have the right to be with their own kind

Animals have the right to have access to Mother Earth

Animals have the right to live in their native environment

Animals have the right to protect themselves

Animals have the right to not be enslaved, tortured or abused by humans

These are God given rights

Anyone who professes

that reason dictates otherwise

goes against our Creator

and violates spiritual law

Will we continue to disgrace ourselves

by harming our fellow creatures?

What words can I use

to penetrate your souls

and open your hearts

to the truth

Animals are precious
They are our brothers and sisters
Our teachers
and healers
They deserve our respect
Our love
and devotion
We can transform this world
of cruelty and suffering
Let it begin with you and me
Let us ask for God's help
and forgiveness
Lift us up from the darkness
Let the woundedness fall away
Shine light on our relationship
with animals
Help us be the stewards
we were meant to be
By Julie Longhill
Mountain Rest, South Carolina