The Old Ranch By The Riverside (Injustice To Animals) - Poem by Bernedita Rosinha Pinto

Bulls, cows, sheep, horses, dogs, everyday
by the riverside find their propensity.
if one is grazing, the other is drinking water
the river their only faithful friend for years,
the rocks not their enemies but offensive
as sometimes over them they have to jump
to reach the other side of the mountain
not just to find greener pastures
but to mate with other cattle across the borders;
yet by the first sight of sun down
tired they limp back to their ranch,
their master counts them by names
they feel loved, they feel a sense of belonging,
they eat more feed kept in the barn
and fill happily bloated,
they sit and ruminate;
some by morning are sent to the abattoir
some are kept back due to milking udders;
as sheep skins get washed and dried by the river
the energetic horses fear their own fate
as over the high cliffs they are made to gallop
low lying plains they are forced to run
faster than wind and the whistling train
while the shepherd dogs though old
keeps watch over all like a soldier;
is this the game played on animals
between those who rear them and sell them
to men called butchers who
to earn their livelihood kill so many cattle
just to feed the carnivore nation?
or are those horse-racers any more gentle
to pay the price-tag and then go on
to win a jackpot in millions
by engaging an animal to race
against other animals of the same breed?
Will there ever be court halls of justice
to evaluate the plight and pains of animals
for the appetite and gains of mankind?

Poems by Bernedita Rosinha Pinto

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