Caitlin Black is an illustrator living in Toronto. She has currently completed her fourth graphic novel entitled “Mary of Mud Creek”. We are pleased to present three excerpts from her engaging and riveting work. Caitlin says of her graphic novel:
It is a fictional story about a little girl growing up on a modern-day industrial pig farm in rural Ontario. In this sense it is a modern day “Charlotte’s Web” of sorts.
Please visit Caitlin’s Art Corner.
* Double click images to enlarge
1. After a fire has killed a majority of the pigs on Mud Creek Farms Mary decides to confront her father about abuses she has witnessed. (four panels)
2. Mary flees from the farm where she has seen the pigs being violently abused. She spends the night confiding in celestial pigs she has befriended in her imagination. (three panels)
3. Mary makes a last ditch attempt to rescue the remaining sows the night before they will be sent to slaughter. (six panels)
John Robbins, The Joy and Tragedy of Pigs, The Animals’ Agenda (January 1989).
Winter at Pig Island
by Anne Griffin
Cold, crowded and scared
Frigid winter air
Blowing through the vents
We huddle together for warmth
A moment of relief
From the bone chilling breeze
Friendly faces approach from the windows
Some people pet us, some take pictures, some cry
Could it be true, is help finally here?
For a brief time
If only we could speak
Please help us, I would ask
Our journey then continues
As the truck pulls away
Destiny unknown, I fear, I dread
Natalie Marconi’s biography: I had never protested anything in my life. I knew right from wrong, but to know that, you have to actually ‘know’ what is really going on. The day I viewed Farm to Fridge was the day I knew I had to go out there and tell everyone else the truth. What a hideous truth it is and it’s so hard to grasp that such atrocities are happening.
I remember my first Toronto Pig Save protest. The truck pulled up and I looked inside and saw such sad souls. I felt sick to my stomach and tears started streaming down my face. I couldn’t move and I thought oh my God, how can we let this happen?
Animals have always inspired me, but mostly it was the dogs and cats because those were the animals I always knew. When I found out about the forgotten 99%, the farm animals, my circle of compassion just ballooned beyond what I thought was possible. Every day I think about the poor souls who are living in horrendous conditions and being slaughtered for no good reason whatsoever. Things really have to change and I am going to do my best to help in that change. I give thanks each day for my transformation and I ask the universe for help in transforming others as well.
Two things inspired me to write this poem. A t-shirt slogan of which I have used in the first two sentences and this quote by Pythagoras: “As long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap the joy of life.”
I use to eat beings, they were called meat.
My fork was a weapon like a gun on the street.
Then one night in my darkest of dreams, coming down the road I heard their screams.
The pigs in the truck all staring at me.
Crying for help, hoping I’d see.
My eyes wide open for the very first time,
to the pigs, their plight and the hideous crime.
The animal horrors are not on show.
Its all based on lies, that’s what I know.
I use to eat beings they were called meat.
Now that I eat plants there are no guns on the street.
There is a place called hell
It exists for all farm animals born
Coming into this world is full of sorrow and pain
Feeling unloved, cold and lonely
Wanting only to be healthy, happy and free
But that’s just a wild and crazy dream
While waiting to die a torturous death
Please ask your friends to GO Vegan!
Anne Griffin’s poems about pigs are a heart-rending cry for animal justice. Originally from Manchester, Anne lives in Toronto. Anne says,
I like to focus on farm animals by volunteering for Canadian Coalition for Farm Animals and doing vegan outreach. The last two lines of the poem were triggered one day by my cat lying in my arms being petted while I was on the internet and I saw a picture of a starving child in Africa. There are many pets being spoiled and pampered while children are dying but I translated this to tortured and murdered factory farmed animals.
Wishing for a taste of freedom
No room to crawl
Amid cold concrete walls
We long to run wild and fast
And to frolic and play in the grass
Oh to have some sunshine
And decent food to dine
We like to root and wallow in mud
But down the road people will taste our blood
We long to be free
But slaves we were born to be
To be a pampered cat or dog
Instead of a factory farm hog
Death Becomes Us
We’re all seen as food machines
Not living sentient beings
Brothers and sisters all here
We wait and quake in fear
As we hear the screams of those ahead
Further down the line they’re all dead
After a life with no fun
Bacon and ham we all become
Pigs in Misery
A bare, single bulb
No fresh air or sunshine
An overwhelming stench instead
Cold, bleak concrete walls and floors
Surrounding metal bars
Not enough space for comfort
Many lives spent in this misery
Does anyone hear our pain?
But, alas, we’ve no voice
That’s why we need yours
Maybe, just maybe someone will listen