an apology

watercolor on paper
6" x  8"
i've always loved animals.  maybe more than people.  i was raised by a woman who anthropomorphized animals in her illustrations.  an average rat, to me, could have been rowing a boat made from a leaf down a gently rolling stream earlier that day.  a bear could have been dancing ballet, or a hippopotamus could have been hula-hooping.  animals had complete thoughts, could talk and count to a hundred, could somersault and do tricks, could love you like you'd never been loved before....and they knew a lot more than we thought they did.   that is why i became the obnoxious vegan teenager, complete with PETA pamphlets,  citing how the industrialization of meat and dairy production had caused severe mistreatment of animals.  and although i am no longer as militant, i still believe such is true.

that is why yesterday, at the county fair, i had a hard time.  it's not that the fair wasn't wonderful; it was.  hundreds of people, families, farmers and teenagers of farmers, milling around, eating greasy food, listening to mariachi, riding belly-turning rides, flirting, posturing, animal handling, performing horse tricks in formation, and showing off their 4H mastery. That part was incredibly delightful and filling.  But the livestock, all cooped up in 90 degree weather, caged and roped to this and that, stacked in rows, shitting on their own selves, patiently waiting to go home and eventually graze or get slaughtered or milked or caged or snuggled or brushed....all this while everyone else was having one helluva time, it was nearly too much for me.  so today, for the love of animals, i'm sorry.  i apologize for what we've done.

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