A vegan in the path of Irma

activist, author, former political prisoner

Camille Marino
September 8, 2017

We all just witnessed the devastation wreaked in Houston by Hurricane Harvey; the human toll gets enough coverage. I’m far more concerned with the nonhuman victims. I shared our community’s outrage over the companion animals left abandoned or tied up by their cowardly guardians who took their own sorry selves and fled for safety. And now I’m sitting home in Florida watching the monster Hurricane Irma bearing down on us. This morning’s projections have it hitting dead center inland coming straight at me. I’ve never experienced such an event before, and I’m not one to overreact. But what was initially a fascination with the atmosphere has morphed into an outrage that is almost tangible. But what about all the beings in this state who were put into bondage by humans who profit from their misery.

There are thousands of monkeys in cages on breeding farms in Hendry county. Can’t run. Can’t escape. Just sitting there waiting for almost certain death while their captors stay warm and safe, protected from the torrential winds and flooding. What about all the animals imprisoned in tanks at Seaworld? They will suffer alone, terrified with no protection, and possibly die in the tombs in which their captors made them live. What about the zoos? The petting and tourist photo attractions? What about every animal exploitation industry in this state? I’m sure it won’t be too much of an inconvenience for the architects of death. After all, these living beings are only property, most likely insured, so if they lose their lives, they will be easily replaced. After all, there’s no shortage of slaves.

All night, I heard the local news repeat “…and many people were forced to leave their pets behind when they had to evacuate.” Nice justification. Except they chose to leave these innocent beings to bear the full force of a Category 5 hurricane alone. To die alone. Right now, there are a few vegans left in the evacuation zones in south Florida because they refuse to abandon the animals. Not only their companion animals. I know of at least one woman who is risking her life alone to make sure she can be there for the street animals, dogs and cats, who have no one else. That’s a level of courage I can only admire in awe.

So I am now forced to leave my home. It’s no longer safe to stay here with my dogs and I would die before I would expose them to any danger. I will make sure we are all safe and I’ll survive. And I hope my little home will be standing when it’s over. But I have that choice. I will be with family where we will all get through this together. I also have another 48 hours before my community will feel the wrath of Irma. To my friends in Miami and the immediate evacuation zones, please stay safe. My thoughts are with you.

And, while I no longer find much value in expressing my anger with words, I’m willing to make an exception. To those leaving your companion animals to face the devastation alone, please don’t think we’re going to understand or empathize with your situation. We’re all in the same situation. And you’re nothing but a cowardly piece of human excrement who deserves exactly that which you are insuring your pets endure. You deserve to be hung up in the town square by your most sensitive body parts, covered in syrup, and have rats feast slowly on your flesh. Unfortunately, the most you’ll get is a slap on the wrist if you’re prosecuted.

But to the real perpetrators — the comandantes of the the death camps, the labs, the farms, and the entertainment exploitation industries, you need to be entombed in the exact same bondage that you demand your victims endure and left to struggle in the middle of a catastrophic natural disaster. I want to believe that the age of the super storm is nature’s way of balancing itself out, exterminating entire populations of the human virus. Of course, we could talk about climate change and how this is simply the obvious consequence of human-engineered ecocide. But I prefer to think of it as karmic. What we put out in the universe will indeed come back to us — to every single one of us. And if your great contribution to the universe has been to engineer the enslavement, misery, mutilation, and death of innocent nonhumans, I long for the day when you reap your just reward.


2 Responses

  1. Sharon says:

    Thank you for these words! Startling, authentic, painting such a vivid portrait of our mark on this Earth. I didn’t want to think of those animals left behind, the ones we don’t talk about (at least the media does not). Thank you for all your action!

    • admin says:

      Hi Sharon,

      Thank you for your thoughts. We all empathize with animals. But i think when we’re facing catastrophe together, it highlights their enslavement.

      The model changed this morning. I’m no longer in the eye of the storm. But even if i was, amidst all the human hysteria which seriously irritates me, those animals are just there, in bondage, at our mercy, at the mercy of the elements, and people are so self-concerned; it’s infuriating. People are ugly.

      I think mother nature is getting serious about exterminating the human parasite and balancing out the planet.

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