Prisoners with No Parole
I recently toured a prison,
Not many know it's there,
The captives never had a trial
And no one seem to care.
Their eyes spoke words no tongue could say,
They paced the floor or slept,
For a moment I put myself in their place,
Then I turned away and wept.
They're waiting, clinging to the hope
That this is their last day,
Without that hope their fragile lives
Would fade and slip away.
For these were never criminals,
They once roamed wild and free,
Like human slaves they were trapped and chained
and shipped to this country.
No contact is permitted between them
and loved ones left behind.
To their growls and screams to be released
Their guards were deaf and blind.
And now, huddling together
in bare, gray cement rooms,
They pace and dream their lives away;
These cells become their tombs.
Tomorrow is another day
and we'll live each a free soul,
But the ZOO is crammed with animals;
Prisoners with no parole.
I wrote this poem 35 years ago and our zoo has been improved since then.
However, there are honored institutions where animals are tortured in the name
of medical science like OHSU in Portland, Oregon, and very few people care
or are aware of their suffering. Experiments are repeated
even when the benefit to humanity is zero.
Industrial farms keep animals in tiny cages or pens and fill the animals
with antibiotics to keep them alive until they can be slaughtered
to become our food.
I am a great admirer of Albert Shweitzer, who promoted
the concept of reverence for life