Feral Manifesto (signed Pig, Cat, Pigeon)
by Glena Trachta
You will leave us alone.
You will leave our food sources (including your “garbage” which is often full of nutritious and tasty items) alone, and not put poison in it.
You will not shoot at us for knocking over your garbage containers.
You will not feed us glass.
You will not shoot us, burn us, feed us Drano, drown us, wring our necks, or set your overbred, enslaved dogs upon us to tear us apart.
You will not run over us with machines.
You will not castrate us. Imagine someone telling you that you’d have to lose your sex because there were too many of you already?
You will not torture us in the name of science, like you once did in the name of God.
You will not call us vermin, rats with wings, demons with fur, or razor-backed hogs.
You will stop aligning us with the devil. The only devils we know are you.
You will stop calling us dirty. We live on your streets, in abandoned fields filled with your garbage. The dirt you see on us is yours.
You will stop calling us invasive. Did we kill off the passenger pigeon? Are we killing off the wolverine? You have a lot of crust, calling us dangerous to your precious native species. You can’t even let your own wolves live, and you’re building a wall to keep your own jaguars and tortoises out of their homes. You tear the tops off of mountains and you fill entire rivers with flammable crap. And as for your so-called conservationists, their double-standard would tickle us, except that they write manifestos in their peer-reviewed science magazines about how we’re to blame for the loss of some imagined paradise, and we wind up with bullets in our brains and poison in our guts.
III. YOUR OBSESSIONS
Stop thinking about money so much. What is it, anyway? It doesn’t even smell good. We piss on it.
You will stop killing us.
You will stop killing your own.* Especially, you will stop hounding those humans (you call them homeless) who live outside, with us, and don’t understand money, like we don’t. You will learn that not everyone can live inside four walls. You’ve only done it for a fraction of your history and it’s made you crazy. Honor those of us who choose sky over roof, and who occupy your abandoned factories, your poor neighborhoods, your polluted river banks, your destroyed scrub-lands, your broken machinery, your tunnels.
*We are amazed at how badly you treat your own species. We find it impossible to understand. In fact, it causes us despair, because if you treat yourselves so bad, there’s no hope for us. But be warned. We will rise up, even if your own won’t.
We do not ask for your love, because as far as we can tell, it kills. We demand your respect. We demand to be let alone. We ask that if we choose to love you again, like some of us once did, that you let us approach slowly, that you leave the door open, so that we can come and go.
About Glena Trachta
Glena Trachta is a former dancer turned lawyer and writer. She’s worked with wildlife rehabilitators for the past five years, and hasn’t met many non-humans (even scared, injured ones) that she didn’t like. Her prose and poetry have appeared in various venues, including Narrative Magazine, Foliate Oak, and Pirene’s Fountain, and is upcoming in Stance on Dance and Chrome Baby. She’s currently working on a comic verse play about plastic in the ocean. (How is that comic, you ask? We’ll see.) She lives with ten formerly feral cats and a feral human.