David Arioch – Jornalismo Cultural

Jornalismo Cultural

The call of the animals

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Within seconds, it turned into a euphoric little pig that grunted and turned around its tail

File_2581, 7/26/12, 12:34 PM, 8C, 5720x3815 (7+2036), 100%, Repro 2.2 v2, 1/25 s, R111.1, G81.5, B97.1

It was a landrace pig that ran through my face with his tongue (Art: Cari Humphry)

The memory still fresh of the last time I ate meat. My friends offered me a hamburger, something I spent even months without eating, and I accepted. After all, it was a friday night. “All right, just today”, I thought. I bit slowly, and without the pleasure I once had. The food that was brought had a variety of meats – chicken fillet, red meat and bacon slices. It was huge and barely fit in my hands, even though they are not small.

After eating, I looked the white paper surrounding the burger. I crumpled it up and threw it in the trash can. A long time ago, I got used to not overeating, because I see no sense in going beyond my needs. While sitting there, I lost interest in continuing to read a book that hitherto pervaded my thoughts and ramblings. I felt myself bloated, not by the amount of ingested food, but for some motivation that I believe is biologically inexplicable. Suddenly, my mouth went sour as if I had received a dose of gall. I went to my bedroom, looked in the mirror and I did not recognize myself. My eyes were translucent and in it I saw something suddenly moving, as if motivated by overblown discomfort.

I took my hands to my abdomen and I realized that my stomach had become unrecognizable, misshapen and soft. Involuntarily, it was distended in a careful concealment. It was incomprehensible because I had not eaten much. When I turned my attention to my face in the mirror, there were some risks in my carmine sclerotic. I closed my eyes for a moment, and when I opened them had vanished. The same happened with the marks that appeared on my stomach, remembering paw touches. “What a strange thing! What’s happening to me? “, I questioned scared.

I turned off the computer, turned off the light and lay in bed. I was tired, but sleep overcame my desire to stay awake. I looked at the ceiling and I noticed that it was moving slowly. I could not be dizzy because my space notion persisted accurately. Beside me, I could see everything with precise clarity. As soon as the ceiling opened, as if it were moved from place without causing any kind of noise, clutter or dirt, the fresh rain threw diligent over me. I moved on the bed with the swiftness of those who were suffering from hypnic jerk. Standing and mesmerized by the moonlit sky that was lighting up my room with an azure light, I continued in silence, inert.

The beauty of autumnal morning offering a variegated aroma of leaves and flowers was overshadowed by miasma, brought by a flying little cow with a pig snout and crow’s feet. After all, it was a beautiful animal in its disharmonious uniqueness. I remembered the paintings of Corine Perier and Chris Buzelli. The difference was that they did not smell of death. When the little cow landed beside me, the pestilence intensified. “I didn’t drink! How bizarre is that? Am I freaking out?”, I thought. She watched me soundlessly. Her eyes grew and decreased. It looked like a heart beating. And the stench only increasing. Suddenly she gave a mooing, mixed with a cackle and groan. Then she leaned over to massage her head.

One of them jumped on my pillow and began to chirp as if he wanted something (Art: Dan Kosmayer)

One of them jumped on my pillow and began to chirp as if he wanted something (Art: Dan Kosmayer)

Before I touched her, the little cow left the same way she arrived – flying and throwing from her breasts, some gushes of thick milk mixed with blood. A portion impacted on my head. I passed my hand and I perceived my greasy hair, with stench of curd and rust. I breathed deeply with closed eyes, trying to restore my calm. When I opened my eyes, everything was gone except the smell of death which was in fact emanated from my body, not from her.

I went back to bed suffering from a stomachache – gave me the impression that the hamburger was turning my stomach. I slept less than an hour because I heard an unusual noise which was repeated every five or ten seconds. Troubled, I bowed my head under the bed and I felt a damp warm thing caressing my complexion. It was a landrace pig that ran through my face with his tongue. In the dark, his eyes glistened as if they had their own light. He smiled and that was intriguing.

Paying much attention to me, the pig stepped back quietly, as if he was sorry. He tripped over his own feet and cried. His tears streamed down his muzzle. Cornered in a nook beside the door, his fear highlighted even more than his rosaceous skin. I was confused and startled when the pig asked me a question with a faltering voice: “Why did you eat my mother?”

The question was not repeated and I thought I was delirious. I did not answer. I preserved the silence until the sudden arrival of retching. Pale, I saw my hands turned diaphanous. Something rose in me while my body was warming and cooling. When I opened my mouth, the bacon bits were released as one-piece to the floor. They joined as if they were magnetized.

Within seconds, it turned into a euphoric little pig that grunted and turned around its tail. As he entered, the pig jumped on her and, eagerly, licked her. The two were there together, so close that I had the impression that they shared the same breath. When I looked away quickly, they disappeared. I lay in bed again. I slept for two or three hours until I saw an animal playing on my back. He was light and smelled like corn grits and soybean meal. There were three chicks walking over me.

One of them jumped on my pillow and began to chirp as if he wanted something. The animal started to scratch on me, trying to convey a message. I stood and watched him climb up my arm like a bridge. Over my shoulder, he chirped softly, communicating with the other two who repeated the path. In a burst, the retching came with everything. From my mouth, came out a few small pieces of chicken fillet. Before falling to the ground, won the shape of a chicken that flew short flapping her wings and making a scrannel shambles.

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Only an ox who introduced himself as Pastiche spoke to me (Art: OuShiMei)

The chicks jumped on him and the four ran out the door in the silent darkness of the morning. I didn’t follow them. With my arms flat on the bed, I watched everything with battered and half-closed eyes. Exhausted, I fell into bed and fell asleep. In deep sleep, I saw myself eating the hamburger from last night. With every bite, I felt the pain of finitude, the uninterrupted scent of death. All the sadness of the passing was absorbed by my body, making me experience occasional chills.

There was fear, anxiety, stress, helplessness and agony. The dead animals concentrated all in their flesh wich fillled my lunch, vibrating inside me the agglutination of unintentional and solemn negative energy emanated by the certainty of decline. The pain ran through my essence and made me watch the final moments of cattle, pigs, goats and poultry. Many were weeping before the execution because they recognized that their vitalities were will be inhibited early.

Death created a tortuous path that subsisted in me. “See my pain, feel my pain. A world with so many animals and less lives. One day men will suffer like us. The meat shall remain, but there will be nobody to feed. So, the world will rot, surrendered to the unrestrained excesses of production”, echoed in my mind a voice that although well articulated simulated a syncretism of animal sounds of various species.

“I was born in these days. Just look at my size, I grew up. And tomorrow, I will have to die because that’s what my creator wanted”, said a resigned chicken in a plastic cage, before having his feet chopped off by a machete. The more gullible, who did not know their fate, fluttered in vain. They were badly wounded, but they were fighting for freedom with innocence and awkwardness, since unaware of another reality other than confinement.

In a large farm out of sight, the pigs commented that there was a great slaughter the next day. One of them managed to escape and reveal the plot to other animals imprisoned 50 and up to 100 meters away. “We were created to die! To die! Only that! Nothing more!”, shouted a young clumsy pig. During the night, the animals got together and dug a ditch mammoth. In sequence, they jumped on the hole and asked dozens of horses from the stud farm to cover them with soil.

“At least we’ll die with dignity”, argued one of the highest rated pigs of the property. They chose to kill themselves because they believed that they would lose their souls. when they were served as food to men. The next day, everyone was dead – the little ones, young adults and older animals, embraced regardless of species. In front of the huge makeshift tomb there was a scratched sentence on the earth – “The speciesism is like a snorting candle in the rain.”

I woke up again when I heard a scream. I found myself behind bars being transported on a truck. I searched my hands and I could not find them. I looked down and realized I was no longer a human being, except for my own conscience, psychological and emotional condition. Physically I was a sturdy black ox flanked by oxen. Most remained silent. Only an ox who introduced himself as Pastiche spoke to me.

The time is coming, my friend. Our journey came to an end. Pasture, feedlot and slaughter. It is our fate”, he lamented, articulating a mournful and prolonged bellowing. Suddenly, everyone was silent, with their bulky heads in their own paws. I heard a strange and unison sound. It was like a ritual I did not understand because I was not a real ox.

I recognized the weight of death when the truck driver lost control and fell from a cliff. Down there, where the grass penetrated my nostrils and reluctantly invaded my mouth, I saw the broken and open body  of the truck. Around me, my traveling companions were killed, including Pastiche that brought an expression of satisfaction in the midst of misery. There was a smell of narcotic blood, manure and feed based on corn.

With few injuries and abrasions, I got up and ran across the green meadow. My ears recognized the lofty oxytone sound of a flock of swallows. I kept running without stopping, for an infinite land where man could never reach me. Awakened again from a dream, I was startled, with my heart pounding, feeling in my lips a taste that seemed to be of my own flesh. Ensnared, I saw that there was still at my side the hamburger’s white paper, an unforgettable memory of an avalanche.

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