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Artwork by Fatema Rahaman, staff poet and artist

TW: animal abuse

No amount of sincerity will make you consider losing money to gain sobriety.

Don’t you see the irony?

You’re on the streets or in dorm rooms consuming THC and ethanol.

Erythrosine is our main drug and you’re the plug.

You advocate for ownership over your bodies yet you get to use ours,

as if you have not already put us behind bars.

You hang out and overdose in alleyways,

our skin is hung up in coat shops anyway.

We are not the same.

You complain about the injustice of the unhoused and eat the rich.

A society where bygones will be bygones and people stay polarized.

You don’t realize how much you feed each other lies.

Don’t you see the irony?

Do not tell each other that men are pigs or that a cat has got your tongue.

Such a civilized society like this one has squeezed all the air from our lungs.

If we can swallow your pills then you should swallow your pride and ignorance.

You compare yourselves to monkeys and still fail to see the difference.

Don’t you see the irony?

You by-pass the laws by going through a third-party

just so you can skin my fur into a winter hat for Barbie.

You poke, clip, cut, stab, break, snap, and tear us apart

just so you can turn us into a game you call art

and money.

No amount of sincerity will make you consider losing money to gain sobriety.

Don’t you see the irony?

AUTHOR STATEMENT: I chose to write about this topic because I am an animal lover and care deeply about their well-being. When I would go shopping with my mom for shampoo when I was younger (for us or sometimes for our dog) she’d often ask me to check if the bottle said “100% cruelty-free” or anything of the sort. She’d go on to suggest that I pay close attention when shopping for these kinds of products to the companies that tested on the animals. At the time, I thought that animal testing was a bunch of scientists using a dropper with a special serum on a rat’s fur or hiding a pill in a rabbit’s food and hoping it’ll eat it just like our dog does when we need to give her medication. However, I knew that in order to write and develop this idea, I needed to research what exactly occurs behind the scenes. I never would have thought that force-feeding, neck-breaking, genetic mutation, and cages were the central station of where our shampoos originated from. A deep sense of injustice filled me and I hope that spreading the word, perhaps through a poem, will have an effect.


Alternative cruelty free-brands:

AUTHOR BIO: Nina Fillari is from the Bay Area in California but is currently studying English and Creative Writing in Los Angeles. Her hobbies include photography, writing, reading, and going on hikes. She frequents the nearby cinema and coffee shops and spends additional time going on runs.

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