A poem by Leeza Coleman
They love animals.
They believe in peace.
Eyelids at half mast;
minds in the fetal position
so they do not have to think, see, feel, know
beyond the ease of their carefully constructed womb-of-life
where their whims and wants can be indulged
without care about the consequences
for someone else.
But they love animals.
They swear by peace.
When they are ready to be fed
they roll themselves to the dinner table.
To show that they are gentle people
they smile and laugh
and talk about happy things.
They make sure that what they are about to eat is appealing in presentation:
it has been seasoned, sauced, burnt, disguised, camouflaged beyond recognition.
There may be a bit of something green, perhaps parsley, dancing on top.
And their plates are pretty.
There are smiles on their faces.
But their hands hold weapons – knives –
to saw the putrefying body parts
of their sibling species
whose body parts lie on their pretty dinner plates.
Animals whose brutal torture and ghastly deaths
they have not had to witness;
whose despair they refuse to acknowledge;
whose dying screams they have not had to hear.
Their pretty plates are a graveyard as grim as any battlefield.
No, they love animals.