With all the recent media heat around 'animal rights' proponents, I think it's time to throw the following poem by the late great Czech poet Miroslav Holub (see sidebar) into the mix. It's from a volume of his poetry called Vanishing Lung Syndrome. Apart from being an excellent poet, Holub was also a renowned immunologist.
I have always believed that human beings have obligations in their treatment of animals and gratuitous cruelty upsets me, but the notions of 'animal rights' and even more so 'animal liberation' strike me as oxymoronic.
Pity for dogs
Pity for mice
Pity for earthworms
that wither helplessly
(Pity for protozoons
that sway their cilia
Pity for cells
that crawl away
Pity for the central nervous system,
with progressive amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
can just fuck off. They shouldn't have been born.
Hieronymus Bosch be with them
for ever and ever amen.