Tag Archives: Vegan

The Night-Watchman

“Oh no, you don’t, sunshine.  Stop right there!”

At the sound of the night-watchman’s voice, the slender figure in black raised its hands.  The beam of light from the night-watchman’s torch danced around the scene.  At first glance, everything seemed to be intact – then how had the bugger got in?

High above the intruder’s head, a skylight was ajar, letting in the chilly night air.  A rope ladder dangled like a broken pendulum.

“Don’t you bloody move!” the night-watchman threatened.  He sidled to a nearby control board, twisted a key and pressed a red button until it turned green.  The skylight whirred and clanked into place.  “Right, sunshine,” the night-watchman shone the full beam of his flashlight into the intruder’s face.  Only the eyes, blue and squinting, were visible; the rest was covered by the coarse wool of a balaclava.  “What the hell do you think you’re playing at?”

“Three guesses, grandad.”

A young woman’s voice.  The night-watchman chuckled.  “You’re from the university, aren’t you?”

“Might be.”

“You kids and your idealistic nonsense.  Animal liberation, is it?”

The intruder didn’t reply.

“Look, love, you’re barking – up the wrong tree, I mean.”

“I’m not your love!”

“You should be so lucky!” the night-watchman laughed.  The young woman gasped, aghast.  “What I’m saying is, you’ve got it wrong.  There are no animals here.  Not even a mouse.  This is a strictly controlled environment.  Air quality, temperature, light – well, it was until you forced your way in.”

The young woman jutted her chin in defiance.  “Don’t feed me your lies, grandad.”

“Now you’re being ageist!” the night-watchman interjected with a look of faux offence.

“I’m sorry,” the intruder faltered.  “But I don’t believe you.  Everyone knows what goes on in here.”

“Do they?”

“Yes!”

“Are you sure about that, lo –  I mean, are you?”

“Well, it’s wrong, isn’t it?  Everybody knows that.”

“Wrong?  Wanting to feed people is wrong?  I may only be a part-time security bloke but even I know there’s a food crisis going on.  I don’t claim to know all the science behind it but it seems to me the boffins here are heroes.”

“Bah!” the intruder crossed her arms.

“No, hear me out.  They’ve come up with a way to provide meat for everyone on the planet.  Healthy, sustainable meat that doesn’t decimate the rainforests and – this is for all you bleeding hearts – doesn’t involve the harming of a single living creature.  Now, you tell me what’s wrong with that?”

The young woman opened her mouth, stretching the fabric of her disguise, but she couldn’t reply.

“That there,” the night-watchman directed his torchlight at her boots, “That tank you’re standing on fills this entire enclosure.  It’s the width and breadth and depth of a swimming pool and it’s full of ethical protein – or will be, when it finishes growing.”

The young woman looked down.  She was standing on one of the narrow metal walkways that crisscrossed the tank.  A pink substance, glowing faintly, pulsated beneath the clouded Perspex.

“It’s wrong!” she persisted.  “It’s Frankenstein food!”

“Think of it, love!  World hunger solved!  Deforestation halted!  Factory farming a thing of the past!”

The young woman put a hand to her brow and shook her head.

“Come on, love,” the night-watchman held out his hand.  “In the spirit of compassion, I’m going to let you go.  I’ll take you to the way out and no harm done, eh?”

“I –” the young woman’s knees buckled.  The night-watchman rushed to catch her.  He steadied her on her feet and helped her along the walkway.

“You’re bleeding,” he observed, as red drops landed on his hand.  “Must have cut yourself when you forced that skylight.”

“I’m – sorry –” the young woman sounded dazed.

“You just be sure to tell your friends at that university not to trouble us again, OK?  You can do that for me, can’t you?  And let that be an end to it.”

The young woman nodded weakly.  The night-watchman took her through an airlock and the car park beyond.

“Releasing you back into the wild, love,” he laughed.  “Off you go!”

“Sorry,” the young girl was downcast.  She shuffled away.  When she was some distance from the compound, she straightened and laughed to herself.  Job done!

The night-watchman returned to his office and put the kettle on.  Kids, eh?  They mean well but they should do their homework first.

On the bottom right screen of a bank of monitors, unnoticed by the security guard, the intruder’s blood seeped through a tiny crack in the Perspex.  Beneath the lid, the pink mass darkened and trembled.

And an appetite for human blood was born.

torch

 

 

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Percy

“Good morning,” said Vicky, looking her next client up and down. The woman didn’t seem to be carrying an animal or trailing one on a leash.

“Morning,” grunted Mrs Davies, pushing her way past the veterinarian and into the surgery. She lifted a shopping bag onto the examination table.

“Oh, I see!” Vicky closed the door. “One of those, is it?”

“One of which?” Mrs Davies blinked.

“A Chihuahua! They’re adorable. I know it’s the fad to carry them around in bags – all right, I suppose, as long as they get enough exercise and you don’t mind pooh on your purse.”

“What?” Mrs Davies frowned. “I think you’ve got your wires crossed, love.”

She reached into the shopping bag and pulled out a parcel, wrapped in greaseproof paper.

“Packed lunch?” ventured Vicky. She was beginning to wonder whether she should alert the receptionist. Sometimes people could get a bit funny. Especially if their pet had kicked the bucket. Sometimes they blamed the vet for not doing enough, or for doing the wrong thing.

“Don’t be disgusting!” Mrs Davies snapped. She unwrapped the parcel. “Please!” Her eyes implored. “Do whatever you can to help him!”

Vicky peered at the contents – a pink, oozing chunk of flesh direct, it looked like, from a butcher’s slab.

“Is this some kind of joke?”

“You think this is funny? My poor baby! This is all that’s left.”

Vicky shook her head. “I’m sorry; I don’t understand.”

“Percy,” Mrs Davies wailed. “My pet pig. My husband – my ex-husband, I should say – he threatened he’d go through with it and now he’s gone and done it. Sold it to the butcher. Of course, people snapped it up, on account of my Percy being so well-cared for. No additives or chemicals, you see. I brought him up proper. And now this is all that’s left.”

“I’m awfully sorry, I really am, but I don’t see what I can do about it.” Vicky edged toward the door; the woman was obviously deranged from grief.

“Clone him!” Mrs Davies cried. “There’s more than enough cells left there, and whatsit, DNA. You can make me a new Percy. Please! He’s all I’ve got.”

“I’m sorry. That’s just not possible. I don’t have the – Well, the technology just doesn’t exist.”

“Liar! I’ve seen it on the telly. There was that sheep.”

Vicky opened the door. “I am truly sorry for your loss but there really is nothing I can do. I’m afraid I must ask you to leave. I have other patients.”

Mrs Davies bundled up the greaseproof paper and thrust the remains of Percy into her bag. “I know you think I’m crazy,” her eyes blazed. “Keeping a pig as a pet. Well, they’re just as intelligent as dogs, you know. More so, probably. Why should it be one rule for one kind of animal and another for the rest? It’s discrimination, that’s what it is. I shall be writing to my MP.”

She trotted out of the surgery and slammed the door to Reception behind her.

Vicky let out a sigh of relief and leaned against the wall.

“Trouble?” said Claire, the receptionist. “I wouldn’t have let her through if –”

“It’s OK,” Vicky waved dismissively. “Nothing I couldn’t handle. Poor cow. Think I’ll take an early lunch.”

“Don’t blame you,” said Claire. “Got you your favourite. It’s in the fridge.”

“Yum!” said Vicky, rubbing her hands in anticipation.

A nice cup of tea and an Alsatian sandwich would set her up for the afternoon.

bread-pic-md

 

 

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Vegan Justice

The old judge peered over his half-moon spectacles at the defendant in the dock. The child was fidgeting nervously; he had turned himself in and was now awaiting sentence. As always in such cases, the judge was predisposed to be lenient.

“You admit you trod on the snails, albeit accidentally, as you were passing through the alleyway that links your street to the public park.”

“Yes, your honour.”

“It was dark and the alley is poorly lit – if at all. The deaths of the snails were accidental. You are free to go, but rest assured I shall be having strong words with the Council about the installation of street lamps in that alley.”

The usher steered the somewhat stunned but exhilarated youth from the court. The next case came in to be heard.

The defendant had caught a fly in her kitchen. Instead of letting it out through a window or door she had crushed it. Her pleas of accidental slaughter were unconvincing. Oh, thought the old judge, you have blood on your hands all right. The sentence was three months of community service in an animal sanctuary.

Since the world turned Vegan, violent crime had all but disappeared. Every life has value was the widespread belief and the law protecting every creature had to be seen to be upheld. It was found that those who revere even the tiniest creeping thing were unable to inflict pain on their fellow man.

The old judge could remember the time before, when life was cheap and the planet was ailing because of industrial farming. Half the world starving to death and the other half obscenely obese and dropping like flies – fat, bloated bluebottles engorged on crap. Things were much better now. Everyone was well fed and healthier for it at both ends of the scale. Peace had come to the planet at last.

Then came the third case of the day.

The accused had caught, skinned, cooked and eaten a rabbit, and seemed altogether unrepentant about this foul and calculated murder. He stood, unfazed by the old judge’s withering stare, sneering as the list of charges was read out and smirking at the gasps that went around the appalled courtroom.

When all the evidence had been heard, the old judge retired to his chamber. He consulted some leatherette-bound law books for guidance. This was one of the most sickening cases he had encountered in decades. If he had his way, a life for a life would be the sentence.

But on a Vegan planet there is no capital punishment. That barbarity went the way of abattoirs and factory farming.

So what was to be done about the rabbit-killer?

Life imprisonment was such a burden on the state. Community service did not seem stringent enough. A fine, perhaps…

The old judge lowered himself into his chair, weary of his work.   He reached into a desk drawer for his stash of wheatgrass wafers.

They tasted like ashes in his mouth.

gavel

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