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For The One Hundred And Fifteen Million

Susan Richardson has been World Animal Day’s poet-in-residence since 2015 and always writes a specially-commissioned poem for the occasion. Her poem for 2019 is on the theme of animal experimentation. At the bottom of the page, you can click on the link to hear Susan reading it. 

‘This year’s poem is dedicated to the estimated one hundred and fifteen million animals on whom tests are carried out in laboratories globally each year. It’s shocking that well over three million animals continue to suffer annually in research labs in England, Scotland and Wales alone. As well as drawing attention to the animals’ pain, I wanted to express the fact that alternative testing methods, including the use of technology such as computer modelling, are available and should be widely adopted.’ 


For The One Hundred And Fifteen Million 


Let us recognise the rabbits
blinded for our vanity
and keep in mind the mice
groomed for tumours and cocaine. 


Let us leak chemical tears
and let our skin sear in sympathy
with the primates climbing
                                and falling
through their forest of tubes and pain. 


Let us grieve for the unnamed,
the unknowns caged in secrecy,
killed on account of our craving
thick lashes and clean drains. 


Let us mourn the gentle beagles
bred to be force-fed pesticides,
forewarned of their torture
by the number tattooed in one ear. 


Let us refuse to excuse the brains
that spurn computer modelling
and all humane alternatives
to kittens furred with fear. 


Let us never forgive the hands
injecting and infecting
yet neglecting to
                        raise themselves
to volunteer.


Click on the following link to hear Susan reading the poem

Visit Susan’s website

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