* * * * * * * I AM An Animal * * * * * * *



 The magnitude of the needless cruelty inflicted upon other animals by humans in all our myriad pursuits in just the last two hundred years far exceeds what humans have done to each other in all of recorded history. This is not a value judgment, it is a fact. Since we have long ago gained dominance on this planet, it is not an act of war, but an act of selfish indifference. For those of you who need sports analogies; If the battle for survival was a basketball game, the score would be Humans , 718,000,073 , Other Animals , 12
Animal rights advocates have been portrayed by some as dangerous revolutionaries, when in fact we have hardly made a dent in the relentless assault upon our animal kin. What small changes that have been made are more of attitude than substance.
Any apparent bias that I exhibit here towards the "lower" forms of life is merely a fanciful attempt at affirmative action. My tools are humor, satire, and proselytism. I won't hurt anything but, perhaps, your sensibilities.
We are all only here only by the grace of God, and it is not how long, but how we live that is important. (Yeah, baby, tell it like it is, you profound muffin of truth!)


> What's hot in Hollywood ? Facelifts for dogs!
> U.S. Senator Harrison Shmedlap has proposed a national holiday for Ebenezer Fleegle, "father of the squeaky toy"
> In a recent poll, clumping kitty litter, veggie burgers, and fake fur were picked as the greatest inventions of the 20th century 
> A bus load of corporate lawyers on their way to a fun day at Disneyland plunged off a 1,000 foot cliff when the driver swerved to avoid hitting a butterfly. The butterfly was treated for shock, and released
> The Medical Research Association predicts that we are "just around the corner, and maybe half-way down the block" from finding a cure for human-induced cancer in laboratory rats. At a press conference, an experimental spokesrat made a noise that sounded like "whoopee"
> Proposed new warning to be displayed on gasoline pumps; "If you continuously inhale these fumes, the gene pool is better off without you, anyway"
> The president today apologized to cows, citing "centuries of inappropriate human behavior" and called for a national day of atonement. He also noted that, while animals have no rights under law in America, they can, however, inherit huge sums of money
> The trend of supplying rich people's pets with organs from condemned shelter animals is just a symptom of animal elitism. Will it lead to a mongrel revolution ? Stay tuned
> "Marcelle", the veteran Poodle actor,won an Oscar for his dramatic portrayal of an alcoholic Saint Bernard in "Avalanche!"
> A hot issue in the presidential campaign is whether or not dog-houses should be bigger, i.e., as proportional to the dog's size as human houses are to their occupants. Also, the Republicans' suggestion that squirrels should be branded with zip codes has been received coolly in the Midwest
> New job opportunities: Golf caddies (dogs, donkeys). Toll-takers (parrots). Of course monkeys can perform any job, but they have the unfortunate reputation of not taking anything seriously
- - - - - -

> Hot Songs: "Got a Lot Of Sniffin' to Do
> Gift Ideas: ARF! "cologne for discriminating dogs" by Chanel / also for dogs; Whitman Sampler's new assortment of individually wrapped cat turds
> On a cat Cooking-show: "First you take the ground mouse, add just a pinch of powdered spider (to taste), and top it off with a bird eyeball for a festive holiday treat!


 Put an infinite # of monkeys at an infinite # of typewriters (keyboards), the saying goes, and one will type Shakespeare. Well guess what, one did - his name was Shakespeare! It is in that spirit that I publish this list of words emitted by my companion animals (cats, unless otherwise indicated). Sound & fury, signifying nothing? All depends on your point of view.


  Cow / Now / Wow

  Cracker barrel (twice)




Hat rack


 Cacophony (followed by a hairball)

 Friend (by my dog - she belched it)


 Ungowa (from Tarzan movies)



 Kernel (dog)

 Harry Who ?

 How are you?

 Argus (dog)


 Reparation (a demand?)






Words I have inadvertently said while sneezing: Bitchfoot /

 Q & A

 Q: How do you know if you're an "animal person" ? A: 1.) If you remember your friends' pets' names, but not their children's. 2.) If you catch bugs in the house and release them outside 3.) If a cat falls asleep on your lap, and you stay put just to accommodate him
Q: why so few men in the animal rights movement? A: Men are less empathic than women, and are afraid to rock the macho boat (your loss, guys).
Q: I think I might want a cat, what do they do ? A. Eat, sleep, poop, run around, - a lot like you, but much less convoluted.
Q: Do humans think ? A: I'm not qualified to answer that - I'm human
Q: Which is worse, to value animals over people, or things over animals ? A: It depends how you define "worse"
Q. I think there's a homeless person living behind the walls in my house. I sometimes hear him singing at night. They're dirty and spread disease, and I wont have it! Any advice? A. Well, he isn't homeless now, is he? You could try poison, but if you have children or pets, it's better to play it safe with the spring loaded neck-breaker or a glue trap. Of course you could use a "humane" trap and then release him in another part of town. Good Luck.


 Favorite animal related albums; Listen to the Animals, Listen to the Wind, by Bill Van Noter / Expressing, by Jim Harris / Tame Yourself, a compilation put out by PeTA
Favorite animal songs: Let the animals live, by Paul Nahay, from a compilation album put out by the now-defunct "Musicians for Animals" organization. See Paul's website for more info on this great song. / Wind on the Water, Crosby, Stills & Nash / Old Brown Dog by Ralph McTell
Favorite animal fiction: Watership Down, by Richard Adams / Any of the "Cat.."books by Cleveland Amory
Favorite animal films : Babe / many Disney flicks, from Dumbo to The Lion King / Bless the Beasts & Children (when I asked for it at the video store, the clerk thought i said "Blast the beasts..." - sign of the times, eh?)
> Favorite anti-violence songs: Bungalo Bill, Happiness is a Warm Gun, The Word, All You Need is Love (The Beatles)


> The first time I saw a whale, it glided silently under our boat like a green & gray glowing ghost
> Peppy, the dog next door, tried so hard to give me her paw even though she was crippled with arthritis
> I actually heard a traffic report state that there was "animal debris" on the road where a deer had been hit
> I once heard an animal experimenter say, "We collect the hearts of all our animals"
- - - -
> " Biggie", my 50-cent lizzard got a big lump on his neck, so I made an appointment with the vet who was curator of reptiles at the zoo. It was a long ride and I arrived late. The vet was already annoyed, and when he saw Biggie, he was furious. "We feed these to our lizzards", he said. He could give me no curative information, and still charged me twenty (1972) dollars for the visit. I think that kind of snobbery has no place in the healing profession - or anywhere else.
- - - -
I met a poor young man in a beat-up car who told me that he carried his arthritic old dog through the park every day because the dog had loved this place so much in his healthier years. It just so happened that this day, as he was lifting him out of the car, the dog died in his arms. The man wept quietly. I felt stunned, and all I could mumble was "I'm sorry". As I drove away, I thought to myself, "with all your knowledge of animal rights philosophy, couldn't you have come up with something a little more profound?". But that was just about my stupid pride. The dog was not a philosophical or political statement to that man, it was his friend
- - - -
We went to the Baltimore Aquarium to stage a surprise demonstration. Three of us were to find the underground window to the dolphins' tank and summon them (by stroking combs with our thumbs) just as the show was beginning. Then, our comrades in the audience upstairs would stand and unfurl banners protesting captive marine mammals.

We slipped downstairs, our heads full of plans, times, and escape routes, and gave the required signal. Silence, hearts pounding, straining to see through the tons of water. Then three dots appeared, getting larger, closer, swiftly gliding right up to the other side of the glass. The phrase, "Oh my God" rolled over & over in my head. We three "commandos" stood transfixed in wide-eyed, open-mouthed wonder, tears streaming down our faces. Then, after a long, electric moment, one of us (I don't know who), said , in a soft, quivering voice, ". . .Hi".

The muffled sounds of tumult wafted down from above, then the closer sounds of hurried footsteps in the bare concrete corridors. Uniformed guards burst in noisily through the double fire-doors. We never budged. The guards led us out like zombies, our heads turning to keep from breaking eye contact with the magnificent creatures until the last possible moment.

We were dumped outside, where our upstairs counterparts were angrily trading insults with the exiting patrons (the show was abruptly canceled), but I felt no anger, no pain, no logical thoughts at all. I felt like I had just had a religious, overpowering, humbling experience. The whole three hour ride home in the van, the others were pumped and preachin' to the choir. I never said (or heard) a word. Years later, I still haven't completely digested that moment at the glass. It haunts me. I'm grateful to have been there


 > Boring (& gross) but true: All through my teens and early twenties, I suffered from severe colitis. Nothing doctors prescribed helped. When I finally woke up and stopped eating meat (for other than health reasons), within a week the attacks of severe pain ceased and have never returned. Can I get a "Amen"?
> New promotional gimmicks from the flagging meat industry; Theme song, " I don't care what they say, I won't stay in a world without meat" / Pork hunts (ala Easter egg hunts)
> When you eat animals, you dream their dreams
> Make yourself a safehouse, not a slaughterhouse
> I'm a voluntary vegetarian. Some humans are voluntary carnivores


 > Upon learning that I was a vegetarian, a waitress once said to me, "I didn't claw my way to the top of the food chain to eat vegetables", to which I (wish I had) replied, "Well I did. I didn't claw my way to the top to keep on clawing". I think that winning the war frees you from the burden of further harming your adversaries. To be noble in victory flies in the face of "might makes right" (Another possible retort - "you didn't do any clawing, some hairy cave person did")
> When I'm at a protest, and some passerby yells at me to "get a life", I shout back, "get a conscience" (thanks to Diane for that one)
> You don't need to be informed to have a opinion about God, why should I need to be informed to have an opinion about animals? I know what I feel
> Oh no! I've been accused of liking animals better than people. Listen, I like pocket lint better than people. Call the thought police!
"C'mon, doesn't a juicy steak make your mouth water?" "No, it makes my heart break"
> When someone yells an insult at you, smile, yell, "Thanks", and give the thumbs up. It pisses them off and makes others think you got a complement


> Go Vegetarian : This is by far the most influential thing you can do for animals.If your worried about nutrition ( I'm not), you can research the topic on the internet. The more people turn veggie, the more industry will offer viable alternatives to meat
> You artists out there - write a song, or write a screenplay, etc., dealing with animal issues. It is an exciting, fertile, untapped source of material for artists in all media
> Write letters to your local newspapers defending animals and explaing why you support animal rights
> Learn about the issues, visit these web sites;
The Humane Society of the United States
PETA >> People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
> Learn about my Philadelphia-based organization, PUBLIC EYE: Artists for Animals

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