Larson - Creative Writing, Week 4
Eatquality - A Descriptive Writing Story
Maureen Scott, 6th Period
September 24, 2012
For Power Poetry: I am not sure this is a 'poem', however I thought it was interesting to reflect on some of my first writings and to see how obsessed I was as a vegan, any criticism is welcome but this is really just being posted for self-reflection. I wish I didn't group factory farms and family farms together in this.
A baby is born. The hospital room floors squeak with a sterile clean. They are linoleum and white, with a texture that resembles grey sprinkles, like a sundae no one would eat, or a pasty ivory-skinned man's chest. The sound of medical machinery engulfs the passageway, as do the heavy equipment's wheels, cords, and pushers. All these contraptions are beige, with clearly outdated screens, displaying the most minute amount of information in the most complicated way. The accompanying clatter from employee's white tipped, freshly painted and manicured fingers punching into a keyboard to run these machines is so minuscule in the midst of this cacophony, it could almost be said encircling. Functional pants and loose shirts from thin, clean materials match the functional white sneakers and clogs, probably leather, or the faux-like, line this hallway, up until the delivery room, OB576.
In this room, you hear screams, the bellowed cries of a natural birth. The agony in these pleas for new life are so prominently deep yet hopeful, that they are nearly indistinguishable from that of a man in some other form of physical pain. Hearing these cries firsthand, the other people here are covered head-to-toe in a powder blue outfit, commonly referred to as 'scrubs', their hair, or lack thereof, is covered in a smock as well. All of these people's facial expressions are descriptive of the situation at hand. There is excitement and joy in their dilated, fascinated pupils, some even wet with tears, opposed to the fear and annoyance in their downturned heads, scrunched noses, dropped jaws, and plugged ears.
Machines surround a woman, sitting up in a stirrup-ed chair, also adorned in clinical-type clothing. These machines constantly beep, pulse, brighten up, become dark, are prodded and pushed on or off continuously. It is apparent that this is very routine, as the doctor, a tall male, middle-aged with all his brunette hair (surprisingly) and the eyes to match, possesses a calm demeanor. He is comfortably standing beside the woman, as well as another man, firmly grasping her palm as their newborn child enters this world. The woman looks anything but calm, unlike her partner. She is experiencing what could be the single most physically strenuous event she will ever have. Her face glistens with sweat, as does her hair nearly drip with her perspiration. In addition to the healthy, sweating glow, the soon-to-be-mother's face is strained as much as humanly possible for her. Her teeth grind, wrinkles form in every quadrant, arising a redness in her complexion. Her husband is comparatively sweating from just being in contact with his partner. He has the shared look of excitement and fear of his family, but instead with a tight hold on his wife's hand, and encouraging words pouring from his mind, racing through his thoughts.
Children and less-familiar faces await outside, for this room is exclusive to bloodline. The waiting room is filled to the brim with anxiety of this birth, and curiosity from the fellow children whom cannot yet understand their surroundings - they run around, exploring all they can, looking to their mothers with admiration and comfortability. When they grow tired, the mothers pick them up, rocking them asleep, while reminiscing of said child's birth and upbringing so far. Through worn down makeup, tired eyes, and serene smiles, there is a gratitude seen in the fatigued mothers' faces, a mutual contentment in creating something so beautiful as life, as well as a mutual hope for their dear friend's current experience with this - happening just a few yards away.
As the most-recent child comes into the fluorescent, beaming light of what is now their hospital room, their eyes squint, their tiny hands squirm around their face. The yelling has subsided, and reduced to a harmonious calm, tranquility. Their family members look at them with wonder of how delicate, how new, this individual is. Her father cries as he grabs the baby girl's hand and holds her football-sized body with the effort he would hold onto a cliff, salvaging his life, for this infant life, is now his life. The mother then holds her newborn for the first time, rocking her slowly to sleep, pondering their future upbringing, gaining, for the first time, a pure gratitude for the life she herself was given, and now for the life she has produced. The baby begins to breastfeed and their maternal bond is slowly arising. Forevermore, this child is ingrained in the lives of these people. Her rights, her happiness, and her well-being will come first to theirs, as well as others, as this child grows older and develops relationships as she pleases. She is raised by everyone, her family, her society, her peers.
A calf is born. The barn house floors rustle in the accompanying wind, hay flies away throughout the stable. The sound of a rooster's morning crow has filled the air, along with the sound of golden-belled alarm clocks, distant in a man's home. The sounds colliding are frightening, the natural, echoing ca-caw of a bird, in conjunction with the hellish scream of an industrially-produced alarm clock. In reaction, pigs, confined to crates no larger than their small, furry bodies, begin to squirm and acquire bruises. One black-spotted hog's benign, pink, curly tail becomes entrapped in his metal confinement - he squeals out in cries of pain, a horrendous, high-pitched yell, but no one hears him. Not because his plea is high frequency, but that the subdued farm animals, just given their overwhelming daily dose of man-made antibiotics, aren't very attentive. Overweight, foggy-eyed chickens attempt to peck the ground, but their seared beaks can not grasp that of the floor - a noxious, disgusting mix of straw, carcass, and manure, inside of a crate roughly the size of their owner's shiny, new e-tablet, the iPad 2.
In the mother cow's quarters, the only noise audible, is one of the most horrifying imaginable. The sickly, pregnant cow, her black spots slowly diminishing, is giving birth for the 5th time this month, if she remembers correctly. Despite her previous births and inseminations, the internal pain has not lessened, especially due to her current infection. Her small pen is lined in her own feces, causing pus to continuously, excrutiatingly drip from her utters, as well as almost consuming her orpheces. Her caretakers have taken the job, however, of giving her more antibiotics to prevent the side effects of this infection from becoming testable in their milk.
The calves she is awaiting mustn't worry. If male, he will immediately be taken to a grotesque scene of a slaughterhouse, to produce some veal for a French-Italian influenced chain restaurant 5 states East - luckily, his carcass will transport via semi-truck, so though it may omit more poisonous gases into the land base his ancestors once lived on, that we currently live on, his meat won't decay as fast as it would on a bike. If female, her diet will be comprised of genetically modified grain feed, as there is no natural grass for her in this industrial farm, and she will follow suit of her mother, in yielding dairy milk for populations around the continental United States, and releasing pungent, foul, and toxic methane gas, more frequent as she is not on her natural, pure diet.
These procedures are nothing new, nothing special, so the farmer and his employees are quite accustomed. The aging landowner, whom inherited this depleted farm from his father, is actually pondering what he'll eat for breakfast now that the morning sun has arisen, shining a luminescence throughout this melancholy scene. He may have eggs, from his sickly, dying chickens, scrambled in oil to his liking, accompanied by bacon from the fat of the hog he is watching, laughing as he attempts to free himself, or at least his tail from the crate. The look on his face is sinister, and of intent, as he prods his stunner in the hog's backside, almost blinding him. His co-workers laugh, then continue to watch the bleeding from the pig's emaciated body.
The first young calf, of three, is delivered quite easily. Her mother screams in authentic fury as she is led away to a separate area for antibiotics dosing and labeling for another dairy farm. The mother's pain is exerted in a kick to the thin farm boy's kneecap, producing a loud crack of bone, causing him to fall. There is a rip in his dark wash, old blue jeans, and a small cut where the rip is centered. The cut isn't bleeding - but it stings! As the older cow struggles to break out, to save her new daughter, as she did the others, she is stunned by a sometimes-lethal electric gun to her forehead. The shock from the farmer's stunner produces an erratic reaction, where her two other children fall to the ground in a matter of seconds. The first is a boy, he is cleaned off of the hay and led to a separate room, to be sent to the slaughterhouse, a fate his mother knows all too well.
Sadly, the young calf's father could not be present. He was conceived by means of artificial insemination, as his father was off serving his time at the slaughterhouse, and later a hamburger eating contest, where thousands of humans, devoured his body with no sacrifice or notoriety. They did, however, offer a gift card to eat his brother as a consolation prize.
The second calf did not survive the crash from his stunned mother's body, or perhaps from the means it was surviving in - a sick, abused body. The gender is now regardless, and the lifeless, limp body is thrown in a special pile, now about 4 feet high, for the sicker cows, deemed unfit for slaughter and sale, but fit for consumption of children and seniors in government run food programs.
As the mother awakes from her stun, and traumatic birth, she is at an unfamiliar place. There is a tag around her neck, the location reads as "Kaplan Slaughterhouse", along with a batch number. Her children are gone, she is confused, inebriated, lost, but physically conscious. Although she is unknowing of her reason for death, she is relieved, for her body has slowed down. Her injured face speaks the pains of cruelty and violence, as does the burn covering what was once her ears, and the majority of her head from the stun. Her brittle body cries the song of death. For her, there is no man slamming down his wooden hammer to mourn for her, to offer 'justice' to her offspring. In reality, she is put to death, for she retaliated against her young being captured, every time. She produced thousands of children, and thousands more gallons of milk - but there are billions just like her, who maybe won't kick so hard.
As the knife nears her neck, the cow is sped. It has become 'her time', although her life span decreased to less than 1/3 of what it should have been. She falls to the ground, upon the bodies of her fellow cattle, maybe one of her daughters. Luckily, she didn't live through the decapitation as many do, then a worker's kneecap could've gone out once more from her fearful kick. The lifeless meat is picked up, put onto a conveyor belt, and sent for extraction. Her coat will be discarded, for it wasn't bred to be soft enough for the honor of gracing a socialite's back.
For a moment in time, this being will be embodied in someone's dinner. Her rights and freedoms were not acknowledged, nor were the close, loving, warm relationships she produced, or would have, with her multitude of children, or friends in the distinct groups that her species is proven to form. However, the flavorful taste of her rotting flesh satisfied the wants of the human child during a road trip a few months later. She is survived by no one.