Connecting with the Cause

By Abraham Santamaria

Abraham Santamaria speaks about animal rights with other inmates after being thrown in prison and violently assaulted at a circus protest.

Abraham Santamaria speaks about animal rights with other inmates after being thrown in prison and violently assaulted at a circus protest.

Original, unedited submission (translation below):

nunca me habia sentido tan solo y privado de mi libertad, me iso sentir mas conectado con la causa que  estoy luchando, cada sonido y grito que escuchaba abeses eran de miedo, y aunque no se compara por lo que los animales pasan, me imajine el terror que vivien cada segundo de su vida,  a acada minuto preguntas y metomaban mis huellas, puerta tras puerta, de un cuarto a otro, privado de mi libertad y ay no acabo todo, cuando me dijieron que me desnudara no lo pude kreer, y no solo eso tube que exponer cada parte de mi cuerpo, me senti violado de mi privasidad, ni si quiera puedo imajinar lo que sienten los patos conejos y cada animal que son desplumados y arrancados de su piel, cuando todavia todavia estan vivos, que horror an de sentir, y al final de pasar tantas puertas y estar enserrado, lo unico que que me dio algo de felisidad fue los gays que estabas encarselados, no pude kreer que tengan energia para sonreir, pero cuando estaba empesando a sonreir, llego la primer comida yu no pude evitar derramar mi lagrimas, solo me imajine lo que estas personas me ivan dar para comer, cuando me dan mi plato exactamente lo que me imajine, ub pedaso de carne medio raro ni siquiera pude imajinar que animal seria, con leche y pankekes, oatmel y una naranja, mi companero de carcel se comio la carne y los pankekes y la leche y me regalo su naranja, nunca boy a olvidar esas fueron las 2 mejores naranjas que comi en mi vida, despues abrieron la puerta de la celda para salir con los demas presos, para mi sorpresa todos fueron muy amables,. cuantas historias que no se an contado, y que algunas nunca se contaran, pero cuando pense que las cosas se estaban calmando, el guardia nos grita ala pared es hora de comer, lo primero que me bino ala mente fue boy a morir de hambre, solo imajinaba lo que nos iban a dar de comer,  cuando nos dieron los platos no pude contener mi llanto y asco, el cuerpo de otros earthling leche que no nos pertenesia a los humanos, y jelatina que probablemente tenia huesos de animales que fueron torturados, lo peor que todos los companeros ansiosos esperban que les diera mi comida, lo unico bueno que me dieron una copa de frijoles, y los tube que lavar con agua x que no sabia con que los abian cosinado, fue una tortura no poder levantarme y comer solo, tube que aguantar con horror mientras todos comian, an pasado un par de anos que no me abia sentado a comer,  con alguien que comiera el cuerpo de animales inosentes en la misma mesa que yo,. Espero que sea la ultima bes que tenga que pasar esa esperiensia, aunque sorprendentemente cuando nos trajieron la comida varios de los compañeros de carcel me empesaron a preguntar que es lo que iba acer, incluso algunos empesaron a decir que si iba a ser una protesta ai adentro de la carcel, o que si me iba a amarrar con cadenas asta que me dieran vegan food, o que nos dieran a todos vegan food, y la reaccion de los que se sentaron en la misma mesa que yo fue muy sorprendente la forma que reaccionaron,  cuando les empese hablar de la realidad de sus platos, y sbre todo el sufrimiento que pasaron desde que nasieron asta el ultimo dia de sus muerte, asta incluso un compañero que tubimos una comversasion sobre los animales y que a el le daban carne especial por que uno de sus apeidos es judio, le tenian que dar kosher meat, y como el tenia control de las comidas que le traian a el, y despues de la comversion que tubimos le pregunte, que si a el le gustaba estar enserrado en la carsel, me dijo no kreo que aya nadie en este mundo que le guste estar enserrado, fue la mejor respuesta que me pudo dar, y le conteste EXACTAMENTE¡¡!!!!!!!!!!!! EXACTAMENTE!!!!! TU LO AS DICHO NADIE PERO NADIE LE GUSTA ESTAR ENCERRADO Y PRIVADO DE SU LIBERTAD, NADIE!!!!! LOS ANIMALES SE SIENTEN DE LA MISMA MANERA, Y ELLOS SON TRATADOS DE UNA MANERA TAN HORRIBLE QUE DESDE EL MOMENTO QUE  NACEN CADA MOMENTO DE SUS VIDAS ASTA EL DIA QUE LES QUITAMOS SUS VIDAS,  Y LO PEOR QUE ELLOS NO ISIERON NADA MALO, SU UNICO CRIMEN DE ELLOS FUE NACER DIFERENTE,  TU PIENSAS  QUE ELLOS LES GUSTA PASAR X ESO, ME RENPONDIO NO KREOO QUE LES GUSTE, LE RESPONDI  TTIENES  TODA LA RASON, A ELLOS NO LES GUSTA, Y ELLOS NO MIRAN LA LUZ DEL TUNEL, ELLOS NUNCA SON LIBRES DESPUES QUE FUERON TORTURADOS TODA  SUS VIDAS, ELLOS NUNCA  TIENEN  O VAN  A TENER ESE MEMENTO DE FELISIDAD  Y SER  LIBRE, al terminar la comversasion  le dije CADA VEZ QUE TENGA QUE COMER PIENSE EN LA MISERABLE VIDA QUE ESTOS ANIMALES VIVIERON, as lo que otros quisieras que isieran  x ti si ubieses  vivido una vida  asi, y cuando estabamos comiendo, se acerco ami y me dijo que si queria su cabbage, quee no tenia ningun dresing solo cabbage, le dije que muchas gracias la puso en mi pllato y que cuando yo saliera de la carcel que no se como la carne y que se coma la cabbege, y para ser honesto no boy a negar que senti temor antes de ablar y decierles que lo que estan asiendo no esta bien y que  que injusto lo que le asemos a estos animales,  la mayoria de ellos an estado en la carcel mas de 3 veses, pero asta parece broma de la vida, que la jente que a sido mas violenta son los que estan afuera de la carsel y no adentro.  let's not forget that what happen to me does not compare to any animal that is raised by the meet industry, or any animal that his skin has been stolen from them, or a animal that lives a whole life forse to entertain people,  or a dog and cats that never found a forever home, or the one who lost their family and never found them back, and cats and dogs that try to survive every day on the streets, and every animal that is surviving in this planet, that we are destroying, we have to make the best of every action, and not to ever give up,  siempre luchar, por que si nos asemos las víctimas los animales pierden.

Translation:

I had never felt so alone and deprived of my liberty, but this made me feel more connected to the cause for which I am fighting. Every cry and scream I heard…At times they were of fear, and although this did not compare to what nonhuman animals go through, I imagined the terror they live in for every second of their lives, wondering every moment as I made tracks through door after door, from one room to another, deprived of my freedom— and that’s not all. When they told me to take my clothes off I could not believe it; I had to expose every part of my body. I felt my privacy being violated, and I can’t even imagine how ducks, rabbits and other animals who are plucked and skinned feel, as this happens to them while they are still alive.

What horror I felt. At the end of passing through so many doors and being imprisoned, the only thing that gave me any sense of joy was the gays who were incarcerated. I couldn’t believed they had the energy to smile, and just as I was starting to smile my first meal was served to me and I couldn’t help but cry. I imagine what these people were going to give me to eat, and when I get my place it is exactly what I imagined—a piece of medium rare meat which it is hard to believe was once a serious animal, with milk and pancakes, oatmeal and an orange.

My fellow prisoners took the pancakes and milk, and one gave me his orange. I’ll never forget it; those were the two best oranges I’ve ever eaten.

The door was opened so we could exit the cell and, much to my surprise, everyone was really nice. So many stories that have not been told, and some that will never be told. Just as I was thinking things had calmed down a little, the guards scream at us to line up against the wall because it’s mealtime. I was starving, but imagined what we would be served, and when we got the dishes I could not contain my tears and disgust. It was the body of another earthling, and milk that does not belong to us. The gelatin probably had the bones of tortured animals in it. Worst of all, my companions were hanging around, eagerly anticipating that I would give them my food.

The only good things they gave me were a cup of beans and a tube to wash them off with water (I didn’t know what the beans had been cooked with). It was torturous for me to not be able to get up and eat alone; I had to take it, with horror, as everyone around me ate. It had been a couple of years since I’d sat to eat with anyone who was eating the body of an innocent animal at my table. I hope that’ll be the last time I ever have to do so.

Surprisingly, when they brought us the food, some of the other inmates started asking me what I was going to do. Some even suggested that I might protest inside of the jail, asking if I was going to tie myself up in chains until they gave me vegan food, I was also surprised at how some of the inmates began to discuss the reality of their dishes, and above all, the suffering the animals had to endure from birth until the day of their deaths.

There was one inmate with whom I had a conversation about animals to whom was given special meat because his last name is Jewish, he had to have kosher meat. We talked about how he had some control over what was given to him. I asked him if he liked being in prison and he said he didn’t think anyone in the world liked being in prison.

I responded: EXACTLY! EXACTLY! No one likes to be imprisoned and denied their liberty, NO ONE! Animals feel the same way, and they are treated so horribly from the moment they are born until they day on which we take away their lives—and the worst part is that THEY DID NOTHING WRONG, their only crime was being born different! They are never free after they are tortured for their entire lives, they never have or will have a moment of joy or liberty.

At the end of the conversation, I told him, “Every time you have to eat, think about the miserable lives dead animals have lived, and imagine if you had to live a life like that.”

As we ate, he offered me his cabbage, saying there was no dressing on it. I said “Thank you very much” and put it on my plate. I asked him to eat the cabbage and not the meat when he got out of prison.

I’ll admit that I was afraid before I spoke and told everyone that what they were doing was not good, that they were committing an injustice against animals. Most of them had been in jail more than three times, but it seems like one of life’s jokes that some of the most violent people are found outside of prison, not in it.

Let's not forget that what happened to me does not compare to what happens to any animal that is raised by the meat industry, or any animal whose skin has been stolen, or an animal who lives a whole life forced to entertain people, or a dog or a cat that never finds a forever home, or ones who lost their family and never found them, and cats and dogs that try to survive every day on the streets, and every animal that is surviving on this planet that we are destroying.

We have to make the best of every action, and not ever give up.

Siempre luchar, por que si nos asemos las víctimas— los animales— pierden.

Always fight, because if we don’t, the victims— the animals— lose.

4 Comments