Kindness begins at the top

It’s been weeks now and my heart is heavier than muddy boots. I walk the mountain and the kangaroo families flee from potential danger. Yesterday I met a woman who said, I have lived near here for forty years. They are starving. The cull must go on. I looked at her weathered face and then at the green grass growing peacefully on the slope. I wanted to speak but replied,  I don’t want to talk about this. She continued, they are only animals, more are killed on the roads. I cracked. I had seen the new housing development from the peak. Humans in competition with another species. What else should we do, she asked. You don’t expect us to put a gun to our heads. Perhaps we should, I flung in her direction as she turned and walked home to safety.

I read that 11,000 kangaroos have been killed on the mountain and buried in shallow graves since 2009. Not counting 14,000 killed by the defense force. Enough is enough.

They ran,

Away from the

Footsteps that

Smelt like man.

I paused.

One foot close

To a white bone death

They caused.

You know,

It’s nothing.

Be afraid of

The truth we sow.

We lie,

In hope of

A better way

To live and die.

They run,


In our hearts

We carry the gun.

I stop


That kindness begins

At the top.




6 thoughts on “Kindness begins at the top

  1. Sunshine Jansen

    This reminds me so much of the wholesale slaughter of the mustangs (wild horses) in the western part of this country. Sadly I too have a hard time visualizing a time when we admit that we’ve no special rights above our fellow animals…


  2. Yeah, hearing people talk about inflicting death and suffering ‘for their own good’ always makes me want to puke, whether the unwilling victims are animals or humans.

    But I’ve gotta admit I’m far more laid back about kangaroos spending months or years with their mobs in the bush only to be gunned down and die quickly than I am about domestic animals being held in filthy, inhumane cages and pens only to be packed into trucks with their panicking fellows and herded into slaughterhouses reeking of blood and fear. Sometimes we treat people that way too.


  3. How we treat other animals leads to the way we treat other humans. There is no disconnect.

    Liked by 1 person

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