Lynne Goldsmith

Animal Rights Poetry By Lynne Goldsmith
An Animal Rights Poem from

Poems of compassion dedicated to the non-human animals who share this planet with us and the people who fight for them.

By Lynne Goldsmith

What if your name had a so-called prettier ring?
What if instead of Pig you were referred to as…
Aurora, Roman Goddess of Sunrise,
some beautiful show of streaming light?

“Pig” suggests dirty, some ugly thing at which to scoff.

It’s as if people don’t know who you are,
what you can do, how your heart can sing.

With your own kind, you snuggle close,
nose to nose you sleep, taking in everything.

Mother swine, when nursing, you sing to your young.

Piglets answer your calls to them by name.

You eat slowly and not proverbially “like a pig.”

And “sweat like a pig” isn’t something even possible
since your glands are few.

Being clean is what you prefer; it’s in how you live.

You roll in mud for cooling off,
and that’s if no water is available.

You are most quick to learn,
your intelligence almost matching apes and dolphins
according to reports.  Yet what do humans know?—
cruel species whom you’ve saved from drowning and fires.

There’s much unspoken about the essences
that humans take and make from you:

gelatin for marshmallows, drugs, and photographic film;
ingredients for surgical sutures, industrial lubricants,
explosives, antifreeze, candies and chewing gum,
insulin—more than forty medications;
materials for burn dressings and violin strings;
xenotransplantation, rennet for cheese making,
fatty acid and glycerine for matches,
pig hair for paintbrushes,
pigskin for leather goods; more ingredients
for linoleum, pet food, phonographic records,
pig bone china, drum heads and football coverings,
and on and on the examples

along with your being sacrificed in times of war
as mine sniffers to die for humans.

Yet you, with gestational mystery
of three months, three weeks, three days
before natural timing of birth,

you are Holder of answers, beauty,
inscrutability for awakening the world.

The importance of Pig, Suidae, Sus:

I wish we could let you live. 

[Poem originally published on Journal for Critical Animal Studies, Volume 17, Issue 3, 2020 - reprinted with permission.]

curious Pig
Image from JakPost

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