Why me?!, the pig grunts panicked before she succumbs to drugs that will soon sedate her. What did I do? Why us? Why me?, her lament is fading away.
And nobody listens as the men in scrubs cut into her now-limp flesh with scalpels and thus begin their daily dissection shenanigans. In every city, at every medical university a surgical fiesta of dismemberment through experimentation takes place, revealing a kind of death that knows no end and a kind of hurt that has no equal.
Here I am at the vet’s office today with my sweet compadre, Nuno the dog. A lady next to me is hugging her gremlin-like, funny-looking purebreed as if she’s going to lose him during their upcoming routine check-up. The poor dog is shaking and I have a strong feeling that it’s not only on account of the usual stench of death in the office but also because his clearly overprotective owner and the creators of the ridiculous breed have made him into a hapless whimp. Poor guy. She’s kissing him and it’s starting to irritate me and then the doc comes out to the waiting room to play receptionist and have what turns out to be an eerie conversation with the other folks crowded together and awaiting their turn.
Too bad I can’t shut my ears like my eyes.
Nuno’s doc is good at what he does. He saved Nuno’s ass on more than one occasion through both consults and surgeries. We’re grateful. Also, the kind and outgoing fellow that he is, the doc likes to discuss how surgeons do their thing. And so this time he explains some experimental procedure to us before it becomes evident a heavy bomb is about to be deployed on my unsuspecting ears.
Doc says how surgeons practice their craft and experiment routinely on pigs at the nearby veterinary university. Duh, the pigs even let human surgeons cut into them.Yeah, let. Doc wonders who eats the pigs later on — they do not survive the experiments since they’re experimented on until they can take no more. That’s the idea. So I look around the room and think to myself, yeah, you, you, and you, you all eat them.
Doc says you gotta sacrifice someone. You have to sacrifice someone. But, he says, at least it’s not Hitlerian experiments. And I break a sweat on my forehead because I smell Nazi-like justifications coming up.
You gotta have a sense of ethics, doc says. You have to do it in a certain way. You gotta have some rules. Facepalm: I think that’s what the Nazis said and did and had, doc.
The Nazis did just what you guys are doing: They consigned entire classes of sentient beings to extermination and then organized the process of their dispatch as efficiently as possible, making sure no possible benefit to the privileged elite of beneficiaries was lost. They even wore white coats.
But otherwise the surgeons would be experimenting on the patients, doc says. And no matter how much you love your own ass or that of your dog, that’s the way it should be. The pigs did absolutely nothing to deserve a death on the surgeon’s table. Nothing. Meanwhile, the patients have a vital motivation in undergoing experiments of their own volition: their lives depend on it. And many will die, but there is a sense of fairness to it. If you want to have surgeons, you must be ready and have the guts to get a scalpel in you.
I’m told that Barry J. Marshall, J. Robin Warren, the guys that got the 2005 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for the discovery of Helicobacter pylori and its role in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease, tested the thing on themselves. They tested the thing on themselves! Look at the guts on these folks! Admirable. You want to start cutting? Put your own neck on the block first.
Yet most of us are becoming just as soft as the disfigured dogs we breed. Take a fucking chance, as George Carlin used to say. More and more dependent on hi-tech solutions that weaken our constitution and resolve. More and more hidden behind an apparatus that condemns millions of innocent animals to death just so that we don’t have to face death.
This is what we are raised to be — to want to live forever and without pain in a world populated by violence and its crippled victims. And then folks come out and tell me La vita e bella. Yeah, if you don’t see the heaps of the dead made dead at your whim. Bella indeed.
We’re all always weak, but we must carry our own weight ourselves in the end. You gotta do it despite the fear. This is much easier in the absence of the whole Nazi-like apparatus of planned extermination of the sacrificed and support of the elite to fall back on. Without the neat death machine to protect and deceive you, it would definitely be easier to own up to weakness, mortality and death, both our own and our that of our dearest.
Because let me remind you of something most of us conveniently forget as we indulge in everyday nonsense:
We will all die anyway. Every single one of us.
To breed a class of beings for the sole purpose of efficiently exploiting them on the table and then killing and eating them is most emphatically something that would ring sweet and true to Hitler’s ears. So there’s no better way to conclude this than by quoting from Isaac Bashevis Singer:
What do they know — all these scholars, all these philosophers, all the leaders of the world — about such as you? They have convinced themselves that man, the worst transgressor of all the species, is the crown of creation. All other creatures were created merely to provide him with food, pelts, to be tormented, exterminated. In relation to them, all people are Nazis; for the animals it is an eternal Treblinka.