How Can I be Sad at a Cookout? By Elle Phillips
By Ellie Phillips
An Animal Rights Poem from

How Can I be Sad at a Cookout?
By Elle Phillips, Art From a Vegan Heart

How can I be sad at a cookout? you asked me

Well, you didnít ask me because I do not go to your cookouts so you could not have seen my face

Why do I not go to cookouts?

Because I do not see what you see I do not smell what you smell

I do not celebrate the way you celebrate with meat on a grill

No I do not ever miss the taste of the meat you are grillingÖ I do, however, miss the bliss that your ignorance and denial bring you

I wish I could still feel that I wish my children could have experienced that feeling

But we canít because our eyes have been opened to what was inside that cellophane-wrapped package

To us it was never a dinner meant for the grill nor something to make our stomach rumble or our mouth salivate

To us it was a baby calf named Lucas and his mother Ruby nuzzling each otherís soft black faces and mooing back and forth

To us it was a pig named Wee Wee and his best friend Scooter who laid in the sunshine and let us rub their bellies and scratch them behind their ears

To us it was a chicken named Helen who we held in our hands and pet her silky white feathers and felt her warmth while her newborn chicks pecked at the earth so unaware of the fate that could have been theirsÖ if today had been their day to be invited to your cookout.

So why do I not join in your celebration?

Because I cannot be happy at your cookout I cannot look into your eyes without filling up with sadness and anger and rage and disgust and hatred and I know you will see all of this in my eyes and I might ruin your cookout

I have to worry about ruining your cookout when it is me who cannot even look at your dinner without seeing the flesh and dead bodies of my friends and know how completely unnecessary it was to put them on your plates instead of fruits or vegetables or beans or bread or any other food, ANY OTHER FOODÖ

You canít eat that food?

You donít like that food?

You canít live without meat?


You killed my friends so you could have a cookout!

You think this is fun?

It is not fun for me!

It is not fun for the animals who wanted to live and have their bellies rubbed and feel the love of their mothers and snuggle with their babies

It is not fun for anyone who cares or feels an ounce of compassion

I do not take a breath and smell your ďdeliciousĒ meat

I smell death and fear and hatred and gluttony and greed and murder

The scent of meat cooking on the grill means someone I love has died and you killed them

So no, I will not be at your cookout

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