Dear Humans, We have heard that you have been in lockdown in recent months because of some invisible enemy called coronavirus. It must be very hard for you to stay at home all the time. We want to tell you that we know how you feel. We tried to tell you this before, but you didn’t listen. Now you may have a little more time to read our letter, and now you may understand us better because you, too, have restrictions on your freedom.
You must be frightened because you don’t yet understand what is happening around you. We felt the same the first time you took us from our native homes and put us in cages. We couldn’t figure out what we had done wrong to get such a lifelong sentence.
Although you have food and water, you begin to realize that it is not enough for your overall happiness and that freedom is more important than anything. You are certainly grateful for food and safety in your home because many humans do not even have that today, but you have only now begun to appreciate what freedom means in every sense. We also appreciate the food and water you give us, but we would gladly exchange it all for one slice of freedom.
I’m sure you can find a lot of positive things during this lockdown. You can spend more time with your family, meditate, connect with yourself and learn new things. We do not have these privileges. You know your lockdown will end one day and you will be free again like before. We do not have that hope.
You know you are in lock-down to save the world. You are there for noble reasons. We know we are in our lifelong prison only for people to make more money and to provide entertainment.
You know you will get psychological support if you become depressed and anxious because you are frustrated with living a restricted life, but there is no animal psychologist to help us. Veterinarians observe us and even recognize that we have behavioral problems, but no one does anything about it.
You make fun of those who fight for animal rights because you say that animals don’t have the same rights as humans, yet you know that we have feelings and that we are intelligent and social. Yes, social! Now you know how hard it is to be in isolation. Now you know how difficult social distancing is. We have known this for a long time.
You worry about having a job once this is all over and you worry about having enough money. We only dream of freedom.
You look at photo albums with memories from your travels, you remember how you used to enjoy discovering the world and how your kids were playing in the parks. Some of us have no memory of freedom because we have never known it. Some were born here, while others remember the savannahs and forests from where they were stolen, like episodes from a longtime dream.
No matter how hard your lock-down is, you have not lost your sense of humor. Some of you make jokes to handle the trouble better. That’s good. Nothing is fun for us though, because we are the objects of your entertainment and your experiments.
During this lock-down, you can think about the causes of everything. You can try to understand why this happened. You know for sure that these and similar diseases would never happen if people did not eat animals. If you did not eat bats, pigs, birds, cows, and other innocent animals, you wouldn’t get sick.
While you are in lock-down, the air has been cleaner and the water is clearer. Mother Nature was on a respirator but now she breathes easier. When everything goes back to what it was before, will you put nature back on the respirator too? Will you change your habits?
Please don’t think you have lost your mind during this lock-down because you are reading a letter from the world’s animals. We just felt that now is a good moment to reach your hearts and minds.
If you do not understand now how evil it is to imprison, torture, and eat animals, we fear that you will never understand that. We are afraid that it will be too late next time. You may not believe that we have so much in common. You may think that we are a lower species, less valuable, that our purpose is to serve you, but do not forget that we share something – only one planet.
Let’s help each other while there is still a chance.
The world’s domestic and wild animals
Dragana Vucic Dekic is an author of humorous short stories, poems and picture books. She holds a PhD in humor theory and standup comedy and has worked as a TV presenter and a cultural program producer. Dragana is also a professor of literature and has launched drama workshops that foster a sense of humor in children. Her children’s books promote animal rights and empathy toward all animals while encouraging creative thinking to dispel the various prejudices that exist in the modern world. She has won an award for her humorous travel stories which are published on her blog, momthemuse.com. firstname.lastname@example.org.