Sunday, May 4, 2008


Wanda the Wonder Cow Gives Sixteen Gallons of Milk on Some Days

They’ll start the tour by telling you

this land of milk and ice cream

is a haven for girls. Bull calves?

Who needs ‘em? It’s the heifers

they love, so if you are born

that fortunate gender, you will be

coddled and bottle-fed, brought inside

the kitchen on frosty nights.

And it’s true, they love you

for your easy-going nature,

they put you in a pasture

where you’ve got wide open spaces

and endless blue sky

and can eat grass all day long.

You are encouraged to grow fat

and lazy. The only thing

they ask is that you stand politely

while they hook you to a machine

that will tug and swallow, send

your bodily fluids rushing down

small pipes, then larger pipes,

then into the belly

of the pasteurization machine

that you will never see, because by then,

you will be back out in the pasture

grazing sweet grass, chewing your cud,

strolling with a friend to the water tub.

You are happy to give. You are

not burdened with calf-rearing

or barn-cleaning. Could there be a better life?

Only, eventually you’ll begin to feel

something is missing. You’ll get bored

and start gazing across the fence.

Is this really all there is?

Couldn’t they at least bring a bull

over to play instead of just inserting

an artificial insemination needle?

And the calves – after a hard labor,

would it be so bad to be nuzzled and nursed?

You’ll try to get their attention

by withholding milk,

but they won’t understand.

They’ll just give you a slap

on the rump, tell you not to worry,

send you back out to that damn pasture

with its 500 thousand volts

keeping you in.

- Irene Latham

"There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread."

- Mother Teresa

1 comment:

  1. Very intense, Irene! Makes me feel a little sad about drinking milk:(

    I hope that you had a wonderful weekend!



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