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Odin Roark

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Books by Odin Roark
Animal Chain Atrocities
By Odin Roark
Posted: Saturday, July 14, 2012
Last edited: Saturday, January 19, 2013
This short story is rated "PG" by the Author.
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Recent stories by Odin Roark
· Pockets
· Poetic Injustice
· Letter To Friends
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· Like No Other
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           >> View all 52

Having just read a book of startling facts associated with the manufacture of the meat supply, purging was the only remedy for depression. Hardly poetic, but perhaps informative.

Finding the right category for posting is difficult for this, as it is a mixture of journalistic/poetic/and horror I've tried to make into a redeemable form of prosetry. Of course, the subject matter is what it is... beyond description.

Animal Chain Atrocities

No longer a bucolic photo op

bedecking a cover of Life magazine

Free grazing

pastoral images

now but bewildered enslavement

Animal commodities

factory farms and feedlots

CAFO habitats raising

sixty billion a year for dinner tables


Hi-Tech slaughter

football fields long

alethic poor

four walled ovens of another kind

debeaked and toe-chopped fowl

jammed in cages

made to stand in

assembly-line putrefaction

Wing stretching impossible

starvation strategy amok

lights off

long darkened days

lights on

long trickery days

springtime in winter

maximized egg laying

appeasing breakfast-insatiables


Newborn calves

early prep

castrated within hours

crunched in miserable confinement

Brown and white fur for acres

a canvas of massacre

a sea of cattle

mooing for survival

moving mass

no escape

no Blue Grama Grass

Buffalo Grass off prairie

Yesterday's folklore


Three months before execution

feed dumped in highway-like divider troughs

grain fattening

ears implanted

anabolic steroids

Day of reckoning

Strong herded forward

weak cattle forklifted to their feet

into the slaughter chute all

hoisted upside down

eyes staring wild at blood drenched killing floors

fully conscious

skinned alive

legs cut off

while sport and laughter

fill the air

With stunning devices

electric pods

any not working used to hit

pried open mouths

more prods electrifying

Next stop

Happy meal pleasures

Hardly the American myth

cowboys herding cattle on the plains

for today

big dumb gentle beasts

chewing what cud they have

know not their horrible fate

becoming tomorrow night's

rib-eye steak in the making

Pigs and hogs

No Orwell's Animal Farm here

these pigs

with three-year-old-child-intelligence

used to thirty miles a day travel to



interact with natural environments

live their highly social and active nature

are today

but tormented boars

castrated to barrow identity

jammed in small pens

no light

no mud

no straw


trampling each other

bloody fights

infections rampant

death prolonged

slaughterhouse waiting


Pulled upon sharp hooks dangling

from overhead conveyer belts

bolt bullets shot in heads

bringing death

sliced-open bellies

rush of blood and entrails

all witnessed by live pigs

hanging from their own hooks

waiting their turn to become

sausage for pizza

holiday hams

shame for the conscious

Even arid winds of desert

pity the suffocating innocent

beneath airless breath of




eroding Nature's senses

promoting profits over compassion

technology over natural food

confusion over honesty


They live

these beasts

only minor rungs removed from us

incurring unnecessary suffering

for human-kind entitlement

Evolution's process

openly disgraced by butchery

while Man's dying conscience

remains mute

Who are the animals


Reader Reviews for "Animal Chain Atrocities"

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Reviewed by Ruan Mills Burke 1/19/2013
We are the 'animals', no doubt in my mind at all. We are the barbaric, selfish, arrogant race who think we are superior and yet refuse to see what is right in front of us.

There are a small number of us who cannot ignore the truth - but the selectively blind are many. Let's hope we can find a way to educate the many. We really don't need to treat these creatures so badly.
Reviewed by Diana Legun (Reader) 7/17/2012
Your last line stabbed my eyes with love and shame. I love the question; it is beyond beautiful. This is so sensitively-written I can hardly type. The only clean place on the slab of this presentation of truth is that you have written it. Barbara Kingsolver has written a piece of this truth, in her book "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle," but facts, turned into the appropriately-animated 'feelings' of your piece here, speak much, much more hearably. Amen. ~~ Diana
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 7/15/2012
The gut wrenching truth, laid out on a table fit for your local fast food joint. Or worse your local discount supermarket from hell.

Have you ever noticed how each generation gets bigger and has more diseases? I think all the steroids and genetically engineered plants and wanton use of antibiotics is creating an insidious breakdown of our culture through our food.

Not to mention the fact that most do not know where their food comes from.

Reviewed by Jerry Bolton 7/14/2012
Yes. Horrible. Hurt me to read. I won't stop eating chicken. I hardly eat beef anymore anyway, but I won't completely stop eating beef or pork. I worked at a meat packing house, first job I ever had. It was horrible then. The cows jerked by they hind legs up a conveyor someone hit them in the head with a sledgehammer, the next guy cut its throat, its stomach was sliced open and they took out what they could use and used the rest for dog food. This was back in the late fifties.
Reviewed by Kate Clifford 7/14/2012
Yes indeed who are the animals? It is this knowledge that is helping me towards a diet of the vegetarian. Still can't quite get away from the chicken and bacon.......but each year more green am I. Good write....think I'll take a moment and........blaaaaaaaaa

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