Sunday, December 30, 2012
The Cash Cow by Demetra Fisher
At the sound of the bell, they all looked up with wide eyes, the fear and wariness in them clearly evident. Those who were creeping along slowly between the barriers looked up as well and appeared to be just as fearful, which only served to add to the unease. The line seemed to go on forever. There were so very many.
The “holding cell” was the worst. Some were pacing. Others were making odd little noises that resembled sobs but were even more pitiful. None made eye contact, but rather averted their eyes whenever the opportunity for connection seemed probable. They all knew exactly why they were there, so what would be the point anyway? There was nothing even worth trying to convey that would make it easier for any of them.
The silence was louder than any noise could have possibly been.
One by one, they disappeared, only to return a short time later, each one complete with some form of marker that made it clear why they were being herded in and out. Dividing them up only contributed to the general sense of tension that continued to build as the hours passed. Their eyes all held the same sad plea.
When will this be over?
Eventually, each one moved on to pass through the final station and then failed to return, the outcome being no surprise to any still torturously waiting.
One more number was up. One more life lost.
I’m told that they all innately know just when it will be their turn and when there is no option to turn back. The “handlers” make it easy for that to be next to impossible. The barriers become narrower with each step closer, making it more and more difficult to escape and as such, the eventual outcome is cemented.
Making it painless is only a by-product of the drugs that are administered. The real point of the medication is not to take away the pain but to ease the fear, so no one is tempted to make a run for it, at the last minute.
And it works like a charm. Not one of them attempted to escape. After all, they were just cattle. What else could you expect from them except that they should simply allow themselves to be guided along to an outcome that was predictable from the very start?
That makes sense, you say, because cattle are not humans. They can’t possibly know that they are being driven and channeled and convinced to move along - they’re just animals, right?
Except that these cattle are not animals - they’re human beings. Flesh and blood, and totally real, everyday people. People who also happen to be women. Women who feel shame and hurt and fear. Just like you and I do.
As I left the clinic, I asked myself several questions. Like, how much money does this place and others like it all over America actually make off the shattered lives of women? Not to mention, the probability that those same women may repeat the procedure again sometime in the future, some many times over, simply because it has become relatively commonplace in today’s society?
How is it that so many have become sensitive enough to the heartbreaking and tragic slaughter of innocent animals that they decide to become vegetarians while others remain desensitized to the means by which women are forced to endure the very same torture as those defenseless animals who continue to be shamelessly slaughtered without remorse? It hardly seems fair.
I have no answers.