This morning, I was late for work. Later, even, than usual. As I drove down the highway, I was distracted and feeling rushed. So I'm not sure how long I had been following it, but it was just as I was about to pass it that I finally saw the huge, dirty, gray truck. I recognized it as soon as I focused on it - the tiny slats in the sides, the shit spattered beneath those slats. The shape and feel and finality of it. Even if I had not seen the "Cattle Drive" logo near the top of the box, I would have recognized the looming sense of loss about it. It was a slaughter truck.
Through the meager air slots I saw, dimly at first, a tangled puzzle of lives and oppression: legs and hooves, the dangling tufts of tails. The bits and pieces of animals, already turned from subjects of their own lives into pieces of machinery, cogs in the grinding wheel, the unwaged slaves on whom our way of life is built. Commodities. Crammed from end to end, this cattle car was haunted inside with shadows. No, not mere shadows, but living beings. Beings with thoughts, dreams, desires, lives of their very own. Not mere means to our ends, but being used so just the same.
I wanted there to be some way to save them.