The Butcher’s Nightmare
An Iskcon Play by Prajapati Das and Madhu Pandit Das
( Author’s and Copyrighted )
CAST: Patty Slaughter, Butch Slaughter, Frank Furtive, Priest, Doctor, Cowboy, Various Voices, TV Announcer, Mike Cleaver, Eileen Bacon. (Note: This script was originally intended for a video production)
(The telephone rings. Patty Slaughter, the butcher’s mother, puts aside her kitchen tools, wipes her hand on her apron, and answers the phone)
Patty: Hello? Hi, Chuck. Oh, nothing… just getting Butch’s breakfast together. No, he’s just here for a few days. His place is getting fumigated. I don’t think he keeps it very clean since the divorce. No, I haven’t forgotten. What kind a meat did you want him to bring home? Ribs. Just ribs? Well, then listen, I better let you go because I gotta get Butch’s breakfast ready. Okay, Chuck, I’ll see you tonight for the BAR-B-Q. Bye. (she hangs up the phone and turns on the radio. It’s Perry Como singing “Hot Diggity, Dog Ziggity.” She sings along) Oh Butch, it’s time for breakfast! Come on, your breakfast is getting cold! (Butch Slaughter, visibly disturbed, drags in with a briefcase and newspaper) Hurry up, son, you’ll be late for work. Why, you’re bleeding!
Butch: It’s nothing. I just nicked myself shaving; but I was thinking of not going to work. Would you call in, saying I wasn’t coming, that I was sick or something?
Patty: What’s wrong? Are you sick?
Butch: Mother, I’m all right. I just didn’t sleep well.
Patty: Oh, I’m sorry about the bed. I really should get it fixed.
Butch: It’s not the bed, Mother…it’s bad dreams.
Patty: Oh, my poor boy! But I’ve fixed your favorite, you’ll feel better after you eat some steak and eggs. Now don’t be like that! I fixed them just the way you like them — nice and rare. Besides, you have to go in today. You told me last night — you’ve got a new man to train up. You remember what it was like when you first started down at the butcher shop. It took quite a while to learn all the cuts!
Butch: All right, I’ll go. But I can’t eat steak and eggs. How about some fruit or a glass of milk?
Patty: And what am I supposed to do with the steak, throw it to the dogs? Butch, you’re killing me! Please, why don’t you just eat it?
Butch: I can’t. The very sight of it turns my stomach.
Patty: Do you want some Pepto Bismal?
Butch: All I want is some milk!
Patty: Milk? When did you start liking milk? I’ve always had a hard time getting you to drink your milk. Remember, I used to say, “If you want to grow up big and strong, you’d better drink your milk!”
Butch: Just skip it! I’ll pick up some donuts on the way to work.
Patty: Don’t forget about the BAR-B-Q tonight, dear. Your Uncle Chuck called this morning and asked that you bring some ribs home.
Butch: Maybe we could send out for some Chinese food instead?
Patty: What are you talking about? We’ve had this thing planned for the last three weeks! And since when do you like Chinese food? You used to get sick every time we ate it! Remember the time we had Chinese food for your birthday? You threw up all over my new cowhide chair! I just don’t know what’s happening to you.
Butch: I’ll call you at lunch and let you know how I feel. What was it Uncle Chuck wanted?
Butch: Ribs. (exits)
Patty: That boy is going to be the death of me. (she sits and eats the meat) I can’t throw it to the dogs…
(Behind the counter at Lard’s Butcher Shop. Large chart showing meat cuts. Frank Furtive, dressed appropriately for work, is banging out “The Halls of Montezuma” on the butcher block, as Butch enters)
Frank: Are you Mr. Slaughter? I’m Frank.
Frank: Furtive, the new butcher.
Butch: Have you been waiting long?
Frank: Half an hour. I thought we were supposed to start at nine.
Butch: Yeah, I’m sorry. I’m not feeling well.
Frank: Well, I’m rarin’ to go!
Butch: I see from your application you’ve had some experience before in the meat industry.
Frank: Yeah, I used to drive a truck for American Packers. I’d drive ’em from the forced feed to the kill floor. I tried to get a job as a head killer, but I could only get on as an apprentice.
Butch: So you’ve never done any cutting or cleaning?
Frank: I killed ’em, but I never cut ’em.
Butch: Okay. Well, I guess I’ll have to show you myself. We might as well get started. Why don’t you go get a side of beef — it’s on the first rack you see when you go into the freezer. You know, I haven’t done this for awhile, usually someone else trains the new men up.
Frank: Is this the one?
Butch: Yeah. Put it on the table here.
Frank: Whew, are they all as heavy as this Mama?
Butch: Get those choppers over there.
Frank: Choppers, huh? You know I was in a chopper in Vietnam. Were you over in ‘Nam?
Frank: Well, you’re lucky! Anyway, we were in this chopper, me and a bunch of other guys…
Butch: Now make sure the blade is good and sharp.
Frank: So our chopper gets hit by the Cong, and we have to jump out…
Butch: Now, look at the chart here. These are your basic cuts. We start over here at the short loin.
Frank: So, as soon as we jump out, one of the guys gets hit — my best buddy. (Frank chops into the carcass) There he is, holding his guts in his hands. He looks at me as though he wanted me to do something. There was nothing I could do! I never felt so helpless in my life. Butch: Be careful now, that you don’t get too close to the guts, I mean, ribs. See this layer of fat here — leave that on. It’ll give you a little more weight with your ribs. That’ll push up the price per pound.
Frank: As soon as we hit the ground, I feel like I’d broken all my ribs.
Butch: Right below the short loin is the flank. Cut upwards to the right at a thirty degree angle.
Frank: Before we know what was happening, we were under fire from both flanks. I was angry; I wanted to get even.
Butch: After you cut the flank, you switch over to this area called the round.
Frank: They must have fired hundreds of rounds at us before I spotted the sniper.
Butch: Maybe you shouldn’t talk so much while you’re learning this. You might not be able to remember it all later.
Frank: Holy Cow! I just started today, what do you want?!
Butch: Listen, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be so sharp. It’s just that I’m not into it this morning. Maybe I shouldn’t even… Now up on the top left here is the rump roast. Now, this goes for about $3.75 a pound, so don’t throw any of it away.
Frank: No problem. I had Marine training. I remember everything. And I’ll never forget how I circled around behind the gook as he was bending over loading his gun. So I let him have it right in the rump.
Butch: And while you’re circling around, why don’t you circle around here to the neck. Now take your knife.
Frank: I take out my knife and I run up and grab him by the neck. I cut his neck wide open and the blood squirts out and I reach down his throat, the blood pouring into my hand and I…
Butch: Stop! Give me that knife. Aren’t you getting a little carried away, Frank? Aren’t you getting off on this violence a little too much? You know, you’ll get along just fine here. You love to kill. You love the taste of blood. You love death. You and all the other millions of people… (the phone rings. Frank answers it)
Frank: Hello. Uh… Lard’s Butcher Shop.
Butch: Blood… Blood! So much spilled blood. So much suffering.
Frank: Oh, hello, Mr. Lard! I’m the new assistant here, Frank Furtive.
Butch: So many wars! The hydrogen bomb and napalm.
Frank: Yeah, he’s here, but I don’t think he can come to the phone right now.
Butch: Concentration camps… slaughter houses. Can’t they see the connection?
Frank: I think he’s flipped his lid.
Butch: You think I’m crazy, do you? Here, let me have that phone. Mr. Lard, listen, you fat pig. You and this whole meat industry are nothing but a vehicle for mass murder, and I don’t want any part of it anymore. I’m getting out right now — I quit! (Butch slams the phone down. He takes off his blood-stained apron and throws it in Frank’s face as he exits)
(Interior of Church. Priest is inside confessional, unseen. Holy music. Butch is saying rosary)
Butch: Dear God, please help me understand what’s happening to me. I just walked out of my job. It just doesn’t seem right. It seems I’m… maybe I’m… I don’t know… Maybe I am going crazy! I’m just wondering who’s responsible for all the suffering in the world — God or man? (Butch genuflects and kneels outside confessional) Bless me, Father, for I have sinned. I confess to Almighty God and to you, Father. It’s been three weeks since my last confession. Father, I’ve been killing. I’ve been mutilating innocent, helpless beings. I’ve been a part of a vast murder conspiracy.
Priest: Good God, man! Do the police know about this?
Butch: No, I’ve just realized it myself today.
Priest: How many people have you killed?
Butch: It’s not people, it’s animals. Thousands and thousands of innocent animals.
Priest: Animals? What are you, crazy or something? In the Ten Commandments “Thou shalt not kill” doesn’t mean animals. It means people.
Butch: But doesn’t the Bible say, “As ye sow, so shall ye reap?” Doesn’t that mean that violence breeds violence?
Priest: But man was given dominion over the animals.
Butch: But doesn’t dominion mean love and responsibility, like an older brother has for his younger brother? I mean, aren’t we all creatures of God?
Priest: Yes, but if you kill to stay alive, it’s no sin. Animals have no soul.
Butch: No soul? But what makes them grow? What gives them consciousness? Look, I’ve been a butcher for fifteen years. I’ve seen them kill the cows. They cry out and scream just like a human being, just like you would, Father. I’ve seen the calves as they were forcibly separated from their mothers with big tears streaming down their cheeks. You can’t tell me they don’t have a soul!
Priest: Well, I don’t know what to say. Is that Butch Slaughter out there? I can sort of recognize your voice. How is your mother, lad? Is she still in the hospital?
Butch: No, Father Angus.
Priest: Well, listen, Butch. It sounds to me like you’ve just spent a little too much time on the job. You’re overwrought. I think you should go to see a doctor.
Butch: I’m not crazy.
Priest: I’m not saying you’re crazy. I’m just saying you’re working too hard. You need a break. Why don’t you take a few weeks off. Give yourself some time to think. Go see a psychiatrist and get some counseling. A lot of people are doing it nowadays. Is that all of your confession?
Butch: Yes, Father.
Priest: I don’t need to give you an absolution for that, but say an Our Father and a Hail Mary, it can’t do any harm. Okay?
Butch: Father Angus, tell me honestly: don’t you see a connection between the millions of animals killed and the wars we’re forced to fight every twenty or thirty years?
Priest: Don’t bother your mind too much with that stuff, Butch. Anyway, there’s a football game about to start. Come on over to the rectory and we’ll watch it together. We’ll have a few drinks and you’ll feel a lot better. What do you say?
Butch: No, thank you, Father. I have some other things I have to do.
Priest: All right, then. We’ll see you in church tomorrow. Now don’t be a stranger.
(Well-appointed psychiatrist’s office. Doctor is at desk)
Intercom: Doctor, you next patient is here.
Doctor: Thank you. Send him in, please. (Butch enters) You’re Mr. Slaughter?
Butch: Dr. Guernsey?
Doctor: I understand you’re very upset. What seems to be the trouble?
Butch: Either I’m crazy or the whole society is crazy!
Doctor: Please sit down. What do you mean?
Butch: I’m a butcher. I’ve been slaughtering innocent animals for fifteen years, and I just realized it today. I’ve been having bad dreams. I couldn’t eat the steak my mother fixed for me. I had to train up a new butcher and all of sudden the meat wasn’t just an object, it was dead flesh. I went to my priest, and he told me I had committed no sin, but in my heart I feel guilty of murder.
Doctor: Now, how long ago did you have this dream?
Butch: I had it again last night.
Doctor: Do you have any history of mental illness?
Butch: Sometimes I get headaches.
Doctor: Can you tell me about the dream?
Butch: No, I can’t. All I know is that when I woke up, I found I was in a cold sweat, I was shaking, frightened, my head was reeling. I couldn’t concentrate. I felt like I’d been through hell. Nothing like this has ever happened to me before.
Doctor: Have you ever experienced hypnosis?
Butch: I’ve seen it done on TV. A guy holds up a shining object and swings it back and forth… and people bark like dogs.
Doctor: What I would recommend is that you let me induce the hypnotic state to review that dream and try to see what triggered this melancholy.
Butch: Doctor, I don’t know if I want to go back to that dream.
Doctor: Trust me. Believe me, you’ll experience a very heightened state of relaxation. You’ll merely be reviewing the dream as if you were observing a movie. It’s a common phenomena in the psycho-analytic process. Shall we begin?
Butch: Well, you’re the doctor.
Doctor: Just lean back and relax. Close your eyes and feel that all the tension is flowing out of your body. Listen to my voice. You are floating back, back to the dream. How does it begin?
(Dreamscape. Strains of pastoral music as Butch enters carrying the veil of the Cow, who is dressed for May Day with ribbons and colorful long robes. They come in like a procession, but dancing. Butch garlands her and pins on a blue ribbon. The Cow takes out a jeweled tablecloth from her picnic basket, and together they spread it out and they sit. The Cow then pulls various dairy products out of the basket and hands them to Butch, each one accompanied by the appropriate offstage intonation:)
Voice: (singing) Milk. Butter. Cheese. Yogurt. Ice cream. (Butch is in ecstasy. But then there’s a phone ringing. The Cow takes a phone receiver from the basket and hands it to Butch)
Voice: (different from the “milk” voice) Hey, Butch, this is Mr. Lard. It’s time to go to work, Butch. (Butch mechanically takes out meat cleavers from the basket. Then he realizes what “work” means. Music changes to a kind of ominous, rhythmical knife sharpening)
Another Voice: How now, Brown Cow?
Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!
For our pleasure you must bow.
Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!
We like to drink your milk so sweet.
Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!
But our heart’s desire is to eat your meat.
Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha, Ha!
(enter Cowboy, swinging rope and singing)
Cowboy: Yippie ti-yi-yo, get along, little doggie.
It’s your misfortune and none of my own.
Yippie ti-yi-yo, get along, little doggie.
You know that my stomach will be your new home.
(Music changes to “Rawhide.” Cowboy chases Cow and finally lassoes her and brands her. Butch is aghast, but helpless. Music changes)
TV Commercial Voice: Jack Sprat could eat no fat;
His wife could eat no lean;
And so betwixt them both, you see,
they licked the platter clean.
(Cowboy forces Butch to sit by Cow, over whom he has placed the tablecloth)
TV Commercial Voice: Yes, friends, we put the whole cow in Jack Sprat Hamburgers… nothing is wasted. Enjoy one today, you’ll lick the platter clean. (reprise of Jack Sprat song. Cowboy forces Butch to eat hamburger. Butch is sick. Music changes to scientific-sounding electronic commercial)
Another TV Commercial: Enzyme Grow. Fatten up your livestock. Miraculous Enzyme Grow! (Cowboy injects Cow with large hypodermic needle. Music changes. Sound of auction. Cowboy is auctioneer. Leads Cow in big circle as Butch helplessly follows. Finally Butch buys the Cow. The two are reunited at last. Cowboy exits. When phone rings, Butch answers)
Voice: Hey, Butch! What’s the matter with you? You’re late for work! You’re just killing time, killing time, killing time… It’s killing time, Butch, killing time… (nightmarish music begins. Strobe lights. Like a zombie, Butch chases the Cow with meat cleavers. Kind of like a bull fight. Just as Butch kills the Cow, the Cow becomes Butch’s mother, Patty, and screams)
Patty: Butch, why did you kill me?
Butch: I didn’t kill you — at least, I didn’t mean to — I thought I was just killing a cow…
Patty: Don’t you know that the cow is everyone’s mother? I nourished you with my own milk ever since you were a tiny, little boy. I am the mother of all the children of the world. Didn’t you drink my milk? Didn’t you? Didn’t you?
Butch: Yes, yes, yes…
Patty: And this is how you repay me?
Butch: I was just doing my job.
Patty: Your job means my death. You’re a murderer, Butch. (Patty exits, Butch gets hysterical)
Butch: I didn’t know. I’m sorry. I didn’t know. Oh, God! I’ve killed my mother! (breaks down sobbing)
(Doctor is trying to calm Butch. He helps Butch back to his chair)
Butch: I see! I see it all clearly now — the cow is like my mother. When my mother can’t give me milk anymore, the cow takes over and gives me her milk. Why should I kill her? Why should anyone kill her?
Doctor: I’m not sure it’s quite that simple, Mr. Slaughter.
Butch: Yes, it is! It’s very simple! I have to do something! This is very urgent! Everyone is blind to the fact that they’re killing their mother. I have to tell everyone!
Doctor: Mr. Slaughter, I think your analysis is incomplete at this time. I think we should investigate the dream further. You are a very sick man, Mr. Slaughter. I think we should continue these sessions before you do anything else.
Butch: Maybe I am sick! But so is everybody else. A world that produces pollution, millions of starving people, nuclear holocausts, a false economy which forces people to buy a bunch of junk that they don’t even want or need… just for the great God Almighty buck. That’s what the whole damn thing is about… and to make their buck they’ll even murder millions of innocent animals… what to speak of murdering millions of their own unborn children… and I say that’s sick. And you think I’m sick? Well, what about you? Are you happy? You can’t tell me you are. And what makes you think you’re so great that you can say who’s sick and who’s not? Have you solved all the problems of life? Then how can you pretend to be… to be…
Doctor: I would like to prescribe some psycho-pharmaceutical medication to relieve these symptoms of stress. I think it would be helpful in your case…
Butch: Drugs? Oh yes, Doctor, that’s a great idea! Just give me a big dose that puts me on a totally mindless level — like a zombie! That way I could just go through life without seeing the hypocrisy, the futility of the way we’re living nowadays… or feel the suffering that these innocent beings are going through. I could just go to work without any emotion. I won’t mind murdering! Can’t you see there’s something wrong with what you’re doing, Doctor?
Doctor: Please calm down, Mr. Slaughter. Take one of these now, and one every three hours. Now they may cause some confusion and temporary memory loss, but…
Butch: No! I’ve been confused for too long. For the first time in my life I’m not confused… I know exactly what I must do.
Doctor: Don’t do anything rash, Mr. Slaughter. I want you to come see me tomorrow morning…
Butch: No! There’s too much to do. Thank you very much.
Doctor: Mr. Slaughter, wait! What about paying your bill?
(TV Talk Show. Theme music for show)
Announcer: And now from fabulous Hollywood, the entertainment capital of the world, it’s the “Meet Cleaver Show.” (applause) Mike’s received some complaints that lately the show’s been too tame, so tonight’s first two guests should fire the works up brilliantly. It’s vegetarianism versus meat-eating in the classic David and Goliath struggle. The unlikely advocate of vegetarianism is an ex-butcher from the Chicago stockyards, who’s started the “Save the Cow” crusade. Opposing his point of view will be a well-known nutritionist who says that meat is an absolute necessity for human health. And now, here’s your moderator and whole hog host, Mike Cleaver. (applause)
Mike: I’ve been called a ham a lot, but no one’s called me a hog since, since… since my last meal! No, ladies and gentlemen, I’m not a hog, but I am your host, and we’d better move on to the subject at hand before this show turns into a squealer! We have a truly great debate coming up tonight, but before we jump into it, let’s take a quick poll. How many in our audience are vegetarians? Hands down. How many eat meat? Thank you. The meat eaters have it. We are a nation composed overwhelmingly of meat consumers, but there is a man on our show tonight who’s trying to change all that. His successful efforts have been making headlines all across the nation. Not since Upton Sinclair published The Jungle in 1906, which exposed the unsanitary conditions in the meat-packing industry, has any one individual so shaken the meat-consuming habits of America. In 1906, Americans decreased their meat consumption by 50% after learning from Sinclair’s book that rats, sawdust, grossly diseased animals, and even human flesh were common ingredients of that day’s packaged meats.
But tonight’s guest, who is igniting a similar phenomena in America, wants to stop meat eating entirely. His appearances on nation television have gained him a large and sympathetic following. This man has struck a responsive chord in the heart of many Americans. However, not everyone is happy about his success. Last night as he addressed a packed house of over 25,000 people at New York’s Madison Square Garden, a minor riot erupted in the audience. Reliable sources are alleging that the violence was sparked by provocateurs from the beef industry, which has suffered drastic cuts in their beef sales over the past few weeks. So now, ladies and gentlemen, let’s welcome the former butcher and author of the best-selling book The Meat Conspiracy, Butch Slaughter! Glad to have you with us tonight, Butch. How are you feeling?
Butch: I’m very well, thank you. I appreciate your giving me the opportunity to share my message with your viewers.
Mike: All right now, Butch. You have a best-seller on the market, The Meat Conspiracy, and last night you addressed a sell-out crowd at the Garden. Tell me, did you expect your “Save the Cow” crusade to be this successful in such a short period of time?
Butch: I won’t consider it a success until all the cows are safe at last. When I began, I never even thought of it in terms of success. It was just something I had to do.
Mike: Along with your success, Butch, I understand you’ve made a few enemies as well. Haven’t there been some threatening letters and even an attempt on your life? How do you account for all this negative reaction?
Butch: It is so difficult to understand? We present a threat to the greed and profit motive of the entire western culture, which is geared to simply satisfy the desires of the senses without consideration of others. The United States alone produces enough food grains that what we waste alone could feed the rest of the world. And yet we dump it in the ocean in order to keep prices up. Is it any wonder we needlessly slaughter millions of animals simply for sensation on the tip of the tongue? One psychologist who has joined our movement calls it blood lust.
Mike: On that note, why don’t we bring in our next guest? This lady has been one of the strongest opponents of the “Save the Cow” crusade today. The New York Times has quoted her as condemning the total vegetarian diet, for she states that meat is a natural, healthy, essential ingredient for balanced nutrition. Former publicity director for the National Meat Packers Association and now a member of the U.S. Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs, let’s welcome to our show, Dr. Eileen Bacon! Good evening, Dr. Bacon, welcome to the show.
Eileen: Thank you very much.
Mike: Dr. Bacon, many Americans are now vegetarians, and the number seems to be increasing as the “Save the Cow” crusade gains momentum. But you say that it is necessary to eat meat. Why?
Eileen: First of all, let me tell you the basic dietary requirements for those viewers who may not be aware of them. Protein is the most essential part of the diet. And meat is the prefect, complete source of protein, whereas vegetables require special planning, purchasing, and cooking to obtain just barely enough protein to survive on. In fact, in our studies at the National Research Institute, we have noted that most vegetarians are protein deficient.
Butch: Most meat eaters get at least twice too much protein and are therefore always on edge; consequently, they must drink large quantities of alcohol to take the edge off. And furthermore, meat is not pure or even perfect protein, but only about twenty-five per cent. The amount of meat absorbed by the body is only sixty per cent, compared to eighty per cent for milk.
Mike: Butch, in your book you have also mentioned the economic considerations of a vegetarian diet.
Butch: Yes. If the land used to grow grain for feeding cattle were used to produce crops for human consumption, it would be enough to feed the entire world.
Eileen: What about the thousands of people you’d put out of work in the meat industry, if your crusade is successful?
Butch: There will be lots of work in the agricultural industry. I’m not only talking about America, I’m talking about the whole world. We can show everyone that…
Eileen: This type of idealism may be good for making your book a best seller, but this nation has been founded on logical, rational understanding. And may I remind you that we have survived over two centuries with the majority of Americans adhering to a basic meat diet.
Butch: The animals who live here are also Americans, and they also have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Mike: Dr. Bacon, in your article in the Times you completely refute the argument that meat eating is unhealthy.
Eileen: Yes, we have practically eradicated all danger of food poisoning through meat consumption.
Butch: But the long-range effects of meat eating have proven to be disastrous. You may be able to preserve the meat until it gets to the consumer, but once he starts to cook it, he immediately starts producing cancer-causing agents. And furthermore, man has long intestines like all natural vegetarians, unlike the short intestines of natural carnivores. Put meat in long intestines and fermentation and disease is the result. But the main thrust of our crusade is not nutrition or economic, but humanitarian compassion. Dr. Bacon, you’re a mother, aren’t you?
Eileen: Yes, but I don’t see what that has to do with anything.
Butch: If one of your children were a little slower than the others, would it be okay to kill that child?
Eileen: Why, of course not, but that isn’t…
Butch: But the same thing applies to animals… for science has shown us that they have the same intelligence as a two- or three-year old child. Would you kill a baby and eat it? Or a pet? And I bet if you had to personally kill a cow before you ate it, you’d be a vegetarian, too.
Eileen: But, Mr. Slaughter, you have to kill the plants to eat them.
Mike: Yeah, Butch, I was just talking to my pet petunias this morning… Don’t plants have feelings, too?
Butch: When you pick an orange or a tomato, you don’t kill the plant.
Eileen: What about grains?
Butch: What you have to understand is that there are different levels of consciousness. It’s not that we can stop killing altogether, but we can prevent the senseless shedding of blood while still meeting the needs of our bodies. In that way it will be possible for the human race to finally be in harmony with the laws of nature, the laws of the Supreme. Now, I have a poem here by George Bernard Shaw… (TV theme music has begun)
Mike: Well, it seems we’ve run out of time! Thank you very much, Butch Slaughter and Dr. Bacon. We’ll be right back, after these messages, with two gentlemen who claim that the universe is in the shape of a coconut, half-filled with water, and that the moon is further away from the earth than the sun!
(Mike rises, as do Butch and Eileen Bacon; they shake hands, as the lights fade)
(Large auditorium stage, podium sign says “Save the Cow,” crowd is chanting same slogan. Butch arrives and is greeted by standing ovation. He walks to podium)
Butch: There are lots of crusades around today: Save the Whale, Save the Seal, Save the Endangered Species. That’s good… we can’t keep killing animals and expect there to be peace in the world. Actually, there are laws of nature at work here which are inescapable… laws of God which are controlling our lives. And if we’re going to make so many campaigns to save this animal and that animal, let’s not make campaigns just because they’re going extinct. That means we want to save these creatures not out of compassion, not out of mercy, but just because we like to have them around for our own amusement. I don’t think that’s the real reason we should want to save animals. Mainly, I think we should protect the animals because they happen to be God’s creatures. We have to realize that wherever there is consciousness, there is a soul present there — whether in a tree, or an insect, or human, or animal — and we have no right to unnecessarily disturb any soul, in any kind of body. We shouldn’t even cut down trees unnecessarily. We shouldn’t even kill a fly unnecessarily, what to speak of the cow! Let’s face it, ladies and gentlemen — of all the creatures that God has put under our dominion here on this earth, no creature is as generous as the cow. Practically speaking, all of us grew up and became strong by the mercy of the cow. And you know, I don’t think I’m just being sentimental or crazy to say that in one sense the cow is like our mother. Every one of us was nourished by the cow. Therefore, if we’re going to be kind to every creature, let’s start with the most generous creature. Let’s be grateful. Let’s actually show that we have a higher, spiritual awareness. Let’s wake up from the nightmare of the most widespread injustice of all. Don’t be fooled by all these fast-talking politicians. Our modern leaders are trying to keep us in darkness and exploit us. Of course they’re gonna tell you it’s alright to kill the cow — because it’s good business for them. Why should they care? Why should they care what your karma is going to be? Why should they care what’s going to happen to you? Why should they care about your consciousness — as long as they can get the money out of your pocket? Therefore we must be prepared to struggle, to enlighten people about the real purpose of life, which is spiritual — about the laws of God, which forbid the unnecessary killing of any creature. And the real leaders are those who are willing to stand up at any cost and tell you these things. So let’s stick together. Let’s give the cows and all innocent beings our protection. We must stand up for the rights of our fellow citizens of the earth who can’t stand up for themselves. Let’s take this to Congress. Let’s close the slaughterhouses. Let’s boycott the restaurants and supermarkets. Let’s speak out. Let’s distribute our literature. Let’s change people’s minds. Let’s change people’s hearts. Let’s save the cow. Come on everybody. Don’t worry what your neighbor may think — Save the Cow! Save the Cow! Now I want everybody to say it along with me… don’t be bashful…SAVE… THE… COW…
SAVE… THE… COW…
(as the crowd roars with approval, a man with a ski mask covering his face runs in, and at close range shoots Butch three times. Screams. Blackout. Almost immediately there is the TV music of the “Meet Cleaver Show.”)
(Same as Scene 7 — a later episode of “The Meet Cleaver Show”)
Mike: Ladies and gentlemen, to finish off tonight’s show, I’d like to pay a special tribute to a man who appeared on our show last week. This man single-handedly started a crusade to awaken America to an issue which he believed was so important that he risked and eventually gave his life for it. That movement was to “Save the Cow,” and the man was Butch Slaughter. Last night at the San Francisco Cow Palace, as Mr. Slaughter was addressing over 100,000 people who had gathered together to hear his plea, he was gunned down by an assassin. The assassin has been apprehended, and it is believed that the police are linking him to the American Meat Packers Industry. Whether the “Save the Cow” crusade will go on without Butch remains to be seen. But I’d like to say for myself personally, and judging from the response we had from his appearance on the show, I think that I speak for a good majority of the American people that Butch Slaughter touched our lives. We get so wrapped up in ourselves that we fail to consider the suffering of other human beings, what to speak of the animals. And Butch made us aware of that.
Last week on our show, Butch wanted to read a poem, but we ran out of time. I’d like to read it to you now as a tribute to Butch Slaughter. This is by George Bernard Shaw and it is included in Butch’s book, The Meat Conspiracy.
We are living graves of murdered beasts,
Slaughtered to save our appetites.
We never pause to wonder at our feasts,
If animals like men could possibly have rights.
We pray on Sunday that we may have light,
To guide our footsteps on the path we tread.
We are sick of war, we do not want to fight,
And we gorge ourselves upon the dead.
Like carrion crows we live on meat,
Regardless of the suffering and pain
We cause by doing so, in this we treat
Defenseless animals for sport or gain —How can we hope in this world to attain the peace we say we are so anxious for,
We pray for it o’er hetacombs of slain,
To God while outraging the moral law,
Thus cruelty begets its offspring — war!
This is Mike Cleaver on behalf of Butch Slaughter. Good Night!
This Play Could be Suitable for Temple Hall Production With the Consent of the Author’s.
The Butcher’s Nightmare
An Iskcon Play by Prajapati Das and Madhu Pandit Das
( Author’s and Copyrighted )
All Glories to Our Jugat-Guru Srila A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Who has given us All Knowledge to Over come All Situations, ( Srila Prabhupada KI-JAi )
Hare Krishna To All Peace-loving Souls May this Play Convince Others to Become Vegetarian and Finally Krishna conscious, May the Lord Bless You in Many Ways.
Hare Krishna: editor bhakta Roger Rodpush
Edited and Republished for WORD.COM for
Rodpush – ISKCON at <https://rodpush.wordpress.com >
by bhakta Roger Rodpush of Brisbane, Australia.
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