Zorg: Why? What’s wrong with me?
Priest Vito Cornelius: I try to serve life. And you seem to want to destroy it.
Zorg: Oh, Father. You’re so wrong. Let me explain.
[Puts and empty water glass on his desk]
Zorg: Life, which you so nobly serve, comes from destruction, disorder and chaos. Now take this empty glass. Here it is: peaceful, serene, boring. But if it is destroyed
[Pushes the glass off the table. It shatter on the floor, and several small machines come out to clean it up]
Zorg: Look at all these little things! So busy now! Notice how each one is useful. A lovely ballet ensues, so full of form and color. Now, think about all those people that created them. Technicians, engineers, hundreds of people, who will be able to feed their children tonight, so those children can grow up big and strong and have little teeny children of their own, and so on and so forth. Thus, adding to the great chain of life. You see, father, by causing a little destruction, I am in fact encouraging life. In reality, you and I are in the same business.
(Taken from the movie ‘The Fifth Element’)
The most dreadful thing that has to be considered, if we have already taken the big step and begun considering these horrible situations, is the fact that an animal that is kept imprisoned, seeing animal friends shriek in pain and die, knowing that a similar fate is imminent, this animal has no idea what is happening exatcly and why. It is funny that those who dismiss that animalistic notion of helplessness by the empty claim that animals do not think like we do are those who are fortunate enough be spared of the vast knowledge about the way a dying animal looks like when she is unable to move or even process that she was just hit with a fatal blow, asking nothing but “why?” with her agonized facial expression. Years ago I have read an article about several boys and girls who enjoyed torturing animals, and this was the moment they were all looking for, even more than the killing itself.
Youtube is full with videos of people who tell us about how they have stood in the grim face of death and saw the afterlife. We can find numerous “testimonies” from religious people who claim to have seen hell and come back alive to tell us their story. We, the audience, need these stories because we cannot find logic in hell or even comprehend what eternal suffering is otherwise. If we can consider even for a brief moment that hell is real, it is going to be a shocking experience to the unfortunate souls who will find themselves imprisoned there. We describe Hell with as many details as possible, but every detail we add has the same basic flaw that is unavoidable – that detail has come from our own finite human imagination, built on our limited understanding of, well, everything. If you let a person design a hell, and you let a god design a hell, we can all agree that the human-made hell will be much more tolerable, since we humans could understand everything that is happening there. Just look at a painting of hell by Hieronymus Bosch. It’s fantastic, it’s horrifying, but it is easy to explain with words, but how does a realm that exists beyond our grasp can be explainable?
And we, we have built our own hell for the animal kingdom. Our own city of DIS, manifested through countless facilities in which we imprison animals, torture them, kill them and process them. Animals can not process their situation in its entirety, and we use this knowledge in order to magnify their stress and torment, multiplying it by their horror of being unable to grasp their new, forced, human-made reality. They don’t just face death and torture, they face something they will never understand.
I have written before about horses being sent to war, not even knowing this simple fact or the reasons to it. An even worse scenario was unfolded recently in town not far from where I live. That town, Qualqilya, is a Palestinian town, where the Palestinians’ only Zoo stands. Animals taken to zoos suffer from our worse form of cynicism, as we convince ourselves (and them, hopefully), that we are giving these prisoners a worthy way of living, when in fact we imprison them inside of a degenerate and poor costume of nature. Just recently in another Zoo in the USA, the staff have celebrated the birthday of a polar bear, bringing him man-made ice in order to make him feel as if he was “home”. In Qualqilya, however, the situation was much worse. During battles with the Israeli army, animals inside the zoo have died in their cages. Imagine this apocalypse. You are being taken into a cage you can not understand, living your half life by wondering why humans are staring at you and laughing, and then dying in fear and in pain by – something, something unimaginable to the animal mind (to the average human as well).
But every apocalypse has its post apocalypse. In this zoo the animals were stuffed and put back in their cages, and this mausoleum of a zoo has now turned into a fully functioning operation that owes its existence to the death of its inhabitants. The world has ended, and this new world now stands on its ashes.
Mishak henner’s Post apocalypse is even more horrifying, because it’s alive. Henner shows us post apocalyptic scenery; taken from satellite photos of different facilities we have built in order to destroy the world. The photos of slaughterhouses show us sceneries that we could not have imagined, gaining their pulse of unlife from the constant feeding of agony and death.
Isaac Bashevis Singer has said that In relation to animals, all people are Nazis; for the animals, it is an eternal Treblinka. I agree with this statement although I think it is lacking In that Holocaust victims were able to understand and process, to some degree at least, the vile, hostile and hateful surrounding they were forced into, while animals cannot. I believe that to animals we are far, far worse than Nazis, as we show them death, torture and imprisonment far beyond their ability to grasp. Hell, for these reasons, would be a much fitting comparison in my eyes. Hell offers no real stories, no real hope and no way back into the living world.
Zorg: I don’t like warriors. Too narrow-minded, no subtlety. And worse, they fight for hopeless causes. Honor? Huh! Honor’s killed millions of people, it hasn’t saved a single one. Tell you what I do like though. A killer. A dyed-in-the-wool killer. Cold blooded, clean, methodical and thorough.