My Mad Debauch & The Pig Who Sang..


My Mad Debauch


In the Silence of my Mad Debauch

I Listen to the sibilent


of the Reptile Rain.

As around me in a tumble-down

of idle books and dusty dreams,

old Tiamat the Dragon of Chaos comes,

yes She reigns once more Supreme!


Slithering on shifting scales

She makes her serpent way amidst

my vain ambitions, rusty trophies,

through my hollow pride.

Sly, she bids me take the reigns,

(the Illusion of Control!)

and bids me ride

for Far Horizons,

Yes, ride

my Lover,



  Book of the week;

The Pig who sang to the Moon” (Vintage Books, 2005)


Jeffrey Masson, former Sanskrit scholar and Projects Director of the Sigmund Freud Archives has written a number of books examining the emotional lives of animals. This book however is focused mainly on the miserable lives endured by factory farmed animals.

This was a hard book for me to read. Perhaps because I’m a poet, I empathise strongly with animals and I find reading stories of their suffering to be a heart rending experiance. Particularly when, as is so often related in this book, much of that suffering appears to be both unneccessary and cruel.

But this book will also move to tears with its moving stories of animal dignity, courage and love. But wait you say! Aren’t these terms applied exclusively to humans. Aren’t they emotional states only humans are capable of experiancing/expressing? Myself I’ve observed animals too closely to ever try to deny acknowledgement of their sentience, and this book supports my suppositions in spades.

The Pig Who Sang to the Moon documents numerous instances where animals demonstrate loyalty, affection, courage. This is not anthromorphisim children, this is recognition of our shared heritage. Researchers have rediscovered that animal brains are quite as capable as the human brain of demonstarting complex cognitive abilities.


This book takes a strong stand against the misconception born of ignorance and/or arrogance, that somehow animals are some sort of unfeeling robots. That their suffering is somehow less than ours.. Among the many stories gathered by the author is a classic interview he did with a dairy farmer, who denied his cows showed any emotions. Later he contradicted his own opinion when relating later how cows and calves suffer when they’re seperated. Factory farmers must suffer an enormous amount of cognitive dissonance as they seek to ignore the evidence of animal suffering presented before their eyes every day. No wonder they get so angry when challenged as to their “farming” methods- they must carry an awful lot of unresolved guilt.

 Now I’m an omnivore. I include meat eggs, etc in my diet. But at least I buy free range eggs & meat where-ever possible, despite the extra cost to my limited budget, and we always thank the animal for providing the meat. Its my family’s pagan way of saying grace I guess.

Like a growing number of people I am disgusted in particular with the egg industry’s treatment of caged chickens.( I must admit of having this fantasy of kidnapping a factory farmer, caging and “debeaking them”-see how they like the treatment.But I am a man of peace) Anyhoo,I only ever buy accredited free-range eggs when I need to supplement our own backyard chicken’s supply.

Having had the privilege of sharing my life and backyard with these gentle creatures,

I can’t stand the thought of participating or supporting in any way the barbarous egg industry’s barbaric treatment of caged factory hens. Bastards.


Perhaps ultimately this is the point of the book. You may not be moved to vegetarianism by reading it, but you will be moved to consider how you get the meat on your table, and hopefully to change your buying patterns. Consumer sentiment is a powerful force and we have seen some hopeful signs lately as to its efficiecy, for example Woolworths is giving more space to free range eggs on their shelves. Hopefully in time we will see a full phase out of cage eggs.

Some may dismiss the stories told in this book as merely anecdotal evidence, but I say anyone unable to see the value of anecdotal evidence is incapable of inductive reasoning.

I also think its a good idea to get your kids to read this book, so they don’t have any illusions about how that porkchop got on their plate. Ignorance isnt much of an excuse.


The Reverend Hellfire is an award winning Performance Poet

and an Ordained Minister of the Church of Spiritual Humanists!



~ by reverendhellfire on October 17, 2010.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: