Dependence Day

earth worm

July 4th, we call “Independence Day.”
Each day, in fact, is our dependence day.

We need the other creatures of the Earth,
beginning with the first day of our birth.

If our own mother’s milk is not enough,
we get from mother cows the same good stuff.

We take the eggs of hens who would be mothers.
We take the life and then the flesh of others.

We take the milk from nursing mother cows.
We take the flesh (and end the life) of sows.

We take the honey from hard-working bees
and take the fruit from many kinds of trees.

We take our fellow creatures from the seas
to eat. For them, we’re far worse than disease.

The fish, shrimp, octopuses, eels, clams, crabs
have lives we like to think are ours for grabs,

forgetting Genesis 1:29,
words stating God’s benevolent design:

“All seed-bearing plants . . . will be yours for food.”
(That’s what The Creator declared was “good.”)

“Everything that has breath of life in it,
I give every green plant for food.” That’s it!

We don’t need living creatures’ flesh to eat.
The fruitfulness of trees will give us meat.

We find, in Exodus 20:13,
the words, “You shall not kill,” which clearly mean

not to kill fellow creatures that share breath
and not to live our own lives, causing death.

We surely should be vegetarians.
We kill, however, like barbarians.

So many animals, we kill for meat
or just to get their fur, if not to eat!

Depending, thus, on animals to live,
we get from them far more than what we give.

We are the Earth’s most deadly predator.
So, put that in a headline, Editor!

Robert Cable: Born in 1940 and raised in rural South Dakota, USA, Bob Cable graduated from Harvard College in 1962, then declined a U.S. Air Force commission to teach for two years instead as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Peru. For 20 years he continued teaching English in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; in Isfahan, Iran; and in four regions of the USA (Minnnesota, Texas, Washington DC, and Massachusetts), followed by a decade of work as a medical transcriptionist / secretary in the Boston, Massachusetts area, where he currently lives. Concomitantly, Bob did direct care work in Human Services for 30 years. He has three children with his first, Palestinian wife and enjoys three cats with his current life partner, Lorraine. Bob has always loved poetry and, since retirement in 2015, has written about 300 poems. Email:

Copyright 2023, Robert Cable


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