Sunday, February 10, 2013

Who Took the "Kind" Out of Humankind?

Toby, of Fauna Sanctuary

"It's for the good of humankind",
animals tortured in research labs.
Who took the "kind" out of humankind,
the same ones who poke and maim and jab?

They come with jolts and zaps and pokes.
They douse their eyes, terrorize their minds.
They feel like "well-intended folk".
"It's for the good of humankind."

They inject diseases into their arms.
They calibrate their work's "success".
They "never meant them any harm",
animals tortured in research labs.

They live in cages their whole lives long.
They know no sunlight, some go blind.
Their eyes reveal their mournful song.
Who took the "kind" out of humankind?

Some few are rescued and try to heal
but none forget the times so bad.
Who I'd like to see be caged for real,
are the ones who poke and maim and jab.

Because a few people have given me hope by writing to Hedgewitch's challenge to Write a Cascade poem, over at Real Toads, I challenged myself to attempt one. Right now, I am reading    The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, by Andrew Westoll, who spent a considerable amount of time   at a Canadian sanctuary for chimps rescued from research labs.  I am learning more than I want to know about the treatment of animals, especially chimps, in research labs. I cant stop reading, as I feel I must know, in order to do what I can to voice my objection that these situations exist at all. 

It  is not all heavy reading - there are humorous glimpses of what daily life is like to the chimps as the author develops a relationship with them. The humans in the sanctuary are marvelous beings, who  love the chimps, and do everything they can to make up for what they have endured.

The book describes how the animals are scooped from Africa (which means killing many of the tribe in order to take the one or two they "need"), a great number of them being sent to the USA,  where they spend countless years in cages inside laboratories where horrific things happen to them. This book is about some chimps who were taken from such situations and placed in sanctuary, where they are loved, and where healing is attempted. 

But, like inmates of any concentration camp, especially where medical experimentation has been done, no sentient being ever truly heals from such trauma. Bless the loving people who provide sanctuary. But I am appalled that there is not legislation to prevent these intelligent, feeling, sentient creatures from being tortured in this way EVER.


  1. Oh Sherry--this is just heartbreaking. For years I've refused to buy anything at all that doesn't say 'never tested on animals,' (which means a lot of searching and buying off brands and not wearing make up) but the medical research is worse, and there's not much you can do about that but write letters and sign petitions. It's good to know there are sanctuaries for some of the poor survivors, and people who care trying to help them.

    This is an intensely moving poem, and the form works really well, with those repeating horrific lines. Thanks so much for speaking out on this issue, and for sharing with us.

  2. Thank you for bringing this issue to light. I think lab experiments on any animal are horrible and unnecessary. Well done on the cascade form.

  3. Very moving poem, Sherry, and super well done to the form. I think there's just been a big release of lab chimpanzees in the States. I will look for a link and send it to you. Of course, for many of them it is after years. Let me see if I can find. The book looks very interesting and you poem works very well. k.

  4. Here's one link:

    (They are retiring 451 chimps to sanctuaries.)

    This also looks interesting:

  5. Sherry, I am impressed with how well you did with the Cascade form! Bravo to you for attempting it. The poem and information is heart-breaking. It is so hard to think about all that is done to animals in the name of research and product development...just awful really.

  6. A very meaningful topic Sherry, thank you for bringing it to light ~ Its sad that these things happen to the poor creatures ~ Wonderful work on the cascade form too ~

  7. gosh, the message is so strong that i didn't even recognize you were responding to the cascade challenge. that's a compliment on your wordsmithing! excellent writing, of course in addition to the importance of your subject.

  8. This kind of research infuriates me. Animals want their lives as much as we want ours.

  9. Dear dear Sherry,

    I am sure this breaks your heart, as well as mine. Sometimes, we read about things that seemingly is too much to take, but then we rise above it all and try to do something about it instead.

    That is so you, Sherry - who you are, and what you mean to all of us.

  10. Built of quotes and response, this hardly feels like form at all, but the underlying form actually brings the politic into a most effective cadence. Wow. Publish.

  11. I think you've raised a better question, Sherry. Who took the "kind" out of humankind?

  12. I know, kids. This sort of thing makes me CRAZY with distress. Manicdaily, thanks for the links, I am thrilled to learn that many are being retired. There is a much bigger problem, when we think of how animals are treated who are being raised as food for us - appalling conditions.....that whales are being killed, dolphins massacred, fins cut off of live sharks, the sharks discarded, animals skinned or ground up alive................and never any legislation to protect them, because the bottom line is always money. Very distressing. As a species, we have so much to answer for. Thanks for reading and caring, thanks so much!

  13. This is sick and makes me so sad~ We all have souls-It is always about $!
    Sherry thank you for this poem and sharing! It is important to speak, for them! Bravo

  14. It is horrible what they do to have written such a fantastic piece to showcase their plight.

  15. It's such a tragedy to be witness to such blatant disregard of love and compassion.It's a fault not of their own for being our 'nearest cousin' that it's convenient to experiment on them. Great of you to bring to light their plight in this forum, Sherry!


  16. This is a subject very close to my heart. I abhor cruelty to animals under any guise. Thank you for writing about it - it is easy to become complacent and bow to 'just the way it is'.

  17. It makes me cringe, breaks my heart to know these magnificent animals are mistreated! We have a sanctuary right here in Bend ... I visit often just to gaze at them, to communicate in some mysterious way.

  18. I think they would say, they follow a "higher" purpose. Surely we have learned, the furry creatures are people, too. You are brave.


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