what i began to understand when my daughter wrapped her arms around me, weeping bitterly

“we’ll all die from SOMEthing” my colleague says, voice light
biscuit pack in hand
“you should take one”

the ingredients are written in czech language, he translates
…butter, milk, eggs

“i’m so sorry but–”

“it won’t harm you”

“that is not the reason”

it is in her eyes
the color of soft soil after a storm, raindrops spilling from her skin,
her third child —-taken
to the slaughterer (like the two others)
&her milk, thick with hormons, antibiotics
pumP_pUmp_PuMped through disinfected pipes,
pacKed up,
labeled with a highGloss_meadowTreeFlow’rHappy cow
the moment as her kid dies

&their blood spills from my fingertips,
covers my lips, chest
as i pour it in my müsli

“it won’t harm me” i say, “it will kill
everything i—“

like the chicks/ bad luck – born male /they’re useLess
for the egg production,
wrong sort to roast crispy on a skewer in warm summer nights as well,
too bad—-produced

to die,

“that’s why—“

my colleague nods,
turns around&

pLopp PlopP ploPp
tiny, yellow balls on a conveyor,
soft like dandelion fluff
eyes wide with what life may has to offer

Fall into a shredder

i walk back to my computer, work–

&in my ears
wiping out the printer’s hum

cLuck, CluCK_clucK

—the sound of griNding


…in march 2016 I went vegan after my daughter had showed me some documentaries about the meat/dairy & egg industry. i had no idea how the animals were treated in mass production& I just couldn’t bear the thought of causing and adding to their suffering by consuming those products – so – I went vegan overnight – and have never looked back. If you have questions, ask them in the comments – I’m happy to answer &will link (in the comments) to some of the documentaries I watched as well – just in case you’re curious – smiles


26 responses to “what i began to understand when my daughter wrapped her arms around me, weeping bitterly

  1. I have been there too.. but have decided to go for more mixed food, but I do try to eat as much as possible what has been produced in small scale… For me it was always the resource waste of first growing things and then feeding it that stood out… but I might go back one day… Goatmilk is even worse… the male kid is burned because there is too low demand for it’s meat.

    • yep – growing things and instead of feeding it to the people, we feed the animals – and even more perverse when you think that those stuff is often grown in places where people matter of fact don’t know how to feed their children and go to bed hungry
      if we fed all the grain and corn to the people instead to animals, no single person on this planet had to suffer hunger

  2. Whew– a very moving poem. I have been vegetarian for many years; not vegan, but I understand the impetus. We are very lucky where we live (in the mountains) as we can get local food grown on small farms nearbye. (I agree with you re factory farming for sure and am probably not careful enough never to eat that food. We try to buy the local stuff, but sometimes I’m not here.) It really is just terrible.

    The poem is very effective. Hope all well. YOU DO DRAW!!! ha. All best, k.

  3. The backlash against factory farming has grown in SoCal…open range items are highlighted in many stores now…but that only addresses part of the problem.

    • true that – if we would produce all our meat, eggs, dairy open range – we would need another planet cause the earth has no where near enough space for that

  4. Blah blah and blah times 100. Soooo glad I don’t drink milk, my body hates it anyway, so I always thought dairy was scary but now it truly is after much of that video. Blah. Don’t eat beef either. Dairy industry sure has many brainwashed.

  5. An excellent write! We really don’t know where our food comes from. And the whole milk process is unbelievably cruel and inhumane. Plus it really does not help us with calcium… Thank you Claudia for in your usual quiet way speaking the loudness. (That was a great twist on that word) 🙂

  6. If more people watched those films, we might develop a more conscious society. Way to go, Claudia. The animals are treated brutally. Plus a vegan diet is gentle on the planet, unlike meat and dairy consumption.

    • oh yes – i agree – factory farming is a giant economical disaster – they talk a lot about that in “cowspiracy” – and that was a huge point for me as well to go vegan

  7. I’ve been hypocritically vegetarian for many years. I’m a coward and haven’t had the courage and honesty to go vegan. I know I must.

    • for me it was a process as well – i heard this and that over the years -but was not brave enough to really check the facts for fear of the consequences

  8. Works best without the links – believe me! – when interpretation is up to the reader; and having said that, it is one of your best poems, the imagery is very, very strong, the language carries it perfectly.

    It is a long time since we were, as a society (as a species, if you like), close enough to the actual production of food for its processes to be commonplace to us. Living, as we have done now for several generations, specialised lives, we have developed a sentimentality towards the animals involved [committed] that we did not have before. Animals were once, to us, something utilitarian; now, as we are remote from the daily facts of slaughter, we tend more towards the philosophical view of them as anything in the spectrum from conscious entities that feel pain and fear, all the way to ‘cute’ (we can thank marketing for that more than Beatrix Potter!), and we are horrified by the realities of how our food is produced. Our food being plentiful, we can afford the luxury of choice, we can opt for vegetarianism and veganism. We see it as a matter of morality. The facts have not changed, we have.

    • you know – i think both has changed – we have changed – and food production has changed as well – a lot

      sometimes I think it’s perverse how people care so much for an animal they have at home as a pet and and on the other hand they’re totally cold towards other animals sufferings – I think that is not natural – I think it’s deeply human to have compassion for other living beings – be it animals or people – if we have lost this, something went awfully wrong

  9. I see the reasons why people do change their eating habits and diets. I like your post. Unfortunately…or not…due to my open heart surgery and being on blood thinners I have to eat protein and because I am gluten intolerant and lactose intolerant it has come down to chicken and fish. I do eat better now than I have in my lifetime (low sodium also) as I fix most everything fresh. I never thought I would be a label reader but I have become one. I was never a big protein eater but have become one…of a sort…to keep my level of blood thinner where it should be. It is awful how many strange things they put into processed food. Nice to see you post when you do.

  10. Not totally vegan, but more and more so. I definitely cannot eat pork any more, and very seldom eat beef. A bit of fish. I have seen those documentaries too. Chllling. So much of the meat industry has a bad effect on global warming. Not to mention, as you said, how the animals are treated. And the effects on one’s health. The food you make looks so delicious. I think that vegan-ish eating is becoming more and more popular I am glad you have never looked back after having made your decision!! Nice to see your poetry again!

  11. I applaud your choices. I am not a vegan but I like to make conscious decisions about food. It’s nice to see you posting. 🙂

  12. Hi Claudia! As livestock farmers, our livelihood is raising beef…for consumption. We feed hungry people the protein they need to thrive. And we try to treat our cattle well…because they treat us well. Just saying’ 🙂

    • heya lynn – i hear you… my uncle had a farm and he treated his cattle also very well – unfortunately farms like his have disappeared almost completely here in germany… sad – either you go big or die – he had to give up… rgd. protein – i thrive on vegetable and legume protein – and i feel fitter than ever.. just saying… smiles