The Moment

“I had a pet pig growing up, who I loved with all my heart. One day, my parents made me help them slaughter him for dinner. It scarred me permanently. I don’t have the emotional capacity right now to face how I’ve betrayed that memory for an entire lifetime by paying others to do the same instead. That torn scab would be too painful and bleed too much to ever heal again. It hurts less to pretend I never cared and never will.

But bacon.”

“I’ve struggled, my entire life, to bring up my children to value love, life, gentleness, fairness, respect, responsibility, and care. Admitting to myself that I’ve been teaching them to directly perpetuate the cruelest tortures of the most innocent creatures would undo my entire life’s work of trying, with every cell in my body, to be a good mother and matter to anything in the universe. To take my children from my trust is to take away my life.

Don’t look.”

“For most of my existence, I’ve suffered alone, in silence, because nobody understood me or thought I offered anything of value in friendship. After twenty years, I’ve finally discovered true kindred spirits who I feel born to cross paths with, and I will never in my life find their equals. They’re the only thing that kept me from killing myself. But if I challenged our delicately cultivated atmosphere between us, I’ll lose them and hate life all over again.

Mmmm, yum.”

“God gave life and life’s meaning. Without her, my birth, humanity, and the universe itself would be cold voids of Godless unconsciousness. Therefore, I am—and only am—a vessel for God, as long as I still breathe. What she teaches, I repeat; what she demands, I obey. She is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, and her holy wisdom taught me something that guarantees what you’re saying, whoever you are, is wrong. Who are you compared to God?

Get a job.”

“I’ve seen limbs blown off of men in hailstorms of bullets. I’ve watched my friend bleed out in my lap because of a collapsed lung—from a stray bullet I fired myself. I haven’t had restful sleep a single night of the dozens of years I’ve lived after the one I served. I’ve had nightmares. And they look sickeningly like those on your screens. All I can process when looking at those images is the utter ignorance and disrespect you show in parading such horrors for your cause.

There are worse fucking things to worry about.”

“My life’s legacy and greatest works—how I’ll be remembered by all my peers—have been made possible only by my particular intelligence and worldliness in this dimension of chaos, fools, shortsightedness, ignorance, and complacency. Everyone in my life has told me I’m a rare example of a successful and enviably conscious human being, and the evidence of the world proves them right, sadly. What does a bright-eyed child have to offer me but naivete?

I love chicken.”

“I’ve been a vegetarian for forty years—I love animals more than anyone I know. But after a lifetime of my living my ethics—proudly—who is it that insults my integrity in front of all my friends and family and refuses to share a table’s meal with me? My ’one-week-vegan’ granddaughter. Considering my forty years of being a pariah and ethical black sheep amongst wolves, I hope she realizes the people she actually insults are those who fought for eons before her.

Attention whore.”

The moment we can’t empathize with those we talk to is the moment we lose another life.

Not theirs, but an animal’s.