When the animals are gone. Thoughtcrime: A thoughtcrime is an Orwellian term used to describe an illegal thought. The term has also been used to describe some theological ideas such as disbelief or idolatry." – Wickipedia. The idea that elephants and carriage horses and other animals are not all being abused and are being driven from people and the earth, often to their deaths, is a thoughtcrime to many in America, a new form of heresy. This story is dedicated to the animals who have been taken away, who our children and grandchildren will never seen again. And to people who love animals and can still think for themselves.
The animals were all gone by 2025.
They came for the greyhounds at the tracks, then the race horses. They came for the carriage horses and the mules, they came for the lions, then the tigers.
They came for the ponies in the farmers markets giving rides to children. The polar bears died on the melting ice, the snakes and lizards and birds died in the great flooding. They came for the cows on the farms, and then, the came for the magic of the circuses and took away the elephants. They came for the old people with cats on their laps.
They came for the homeless people who slept on the streets with their dogs, and the two elderly sisters who rescued cats. They came for people who were poor, or old, or who had fences that were too low. They took their cats, and then their birds. It was now officially cruel to keep any animal in a cage.
They closed the zoos because they were cruel, and took the sled dogs away from the sledders. They came for the border collies who herded sheep because work is cruel, and the cats let outdoors, and the barn cats on the farms, and the cows and pigs and horses on the farms. They came for the dogs who sniffed for bombs – what could be more abusive? – and the ones who guided the blind.
They banned the donkeys who pulled carts of fruit in Baltimore, they banned the use of animals to entertain people or make them smile. They came for the rabbits in cages and shut down the pet stores in malls. They banned the breeding of dogs and cats, and then, the ownership of dogs and cats. They said animals could now only live on secret preserves, with nothing to ever do again in their lives.
Under Article 60, uttered by the Chairman of the Department Of Animal Rights, known to exist as a digital space only on Facebook and Twitter, animals could no longer be owned by the people, all animals must be returned to the wild, to nature, to their dignity and origins.
It was no longer legal to mention or discuss Climate Change, or the loss of animal habitats, or the decline of two-thirds of all animal species, which had been recorded and announced by the World Wildlife Fund in 2017. The fund was no longer legal, and had been abolished. It was not legal to say there was no "wild," or any nature for the animals to return to.
They talked about all of the preserves where animals had come. But the preserves where animals had been herded were closed, gone bankrupt or shut down by the Department of Animal Rights, Propaganda, and Revisionism. It turned out they were cruel places as well. And they were expensively cruel.
It was now a thought crime to speak or think of the work of animals, or to decry their disappearance in the world.
Big Victim, the leader of the nation of Atlantia, ruled a world that was perpetually polarized, continuously at war with itself, characterized by omnipresent government surveillance, public and media manipulation, the ubiquitous use of screen technologies, and under the control of a privileged elite that ruthlessly persecuted individualism, idiosyncratic and individual ways of life and independent thinking, all of which had been outlawed.
No one had ever seen Big Victim – Atlantia was by now a nation of victims now – or even knew for sure if she existed.But she issued new instructions every day, all on her Twitter account. It was against the law to question her existence.
The Department Of Animal Rights, Propaganda and Revisionism ruthlessly sought out and persecuted people who still had and hid their animals – in basements, barns, caves, remote hillsides – and loved them and prayed to them. If caught, the animals were seized and taken to "preserves" and never seen again, the people who owned them taken to re-education camps on the first offense, were executed on the second.
The former animal lovers claimed the animals were put to death, but it was not legal to say that publicly, or to write it.
The animal were stubborn and subversive people, said Big Victim, dangerous and willful. They would all be rooted out.
The animal lovers – labeled "deviants and abusers" – hid one another, organized secretly and dangerously.
They lived off the grid and away from the screens and video cameras that were installed in every home. They stole food to give to their dogs and horses, had a vast network of contacts and safe houses, were sometimes seen traveling or hiding in forests or woods, or abandoned factories, or basements. They comforted and supported one another, they missed the animals in their lives.
There were fewer and fewer of them every year, new surveillance technologies made it difficult for them to hide, and their need to find food for their animals often gave them away. When they vanished, they never returned.
Sometimes, people kept photographs of their animals on their cellphones, or more dangerously, in their homes. When discovered, or reported by the Secret Informers of the Ministry Of Animal Rights, they were confiscated. The lucky people were given final warnings. All photographs or books or articles about pets and people loving one another were taken and burned.
The Ministry Of Love And Compassion worked tirelessly to rewrite the historical record, issuing a stream of instructions ordering workers and citizens to correct the false history of animals and people, once rumored to share the earth together and work together to build civilization and to life one another up.
The true story of animals was abuse, the Ministry said. They were all abused. Animals should never be owned, or used to love or entertain people.
The Ministry said it was not ever true that people and animals lived in harmony, or that many people loved them or treated them well. It was not true that children loved the magic of the circus, or that lovers melted in the back seats of horse carriages in Central Park, and came from all over the world to ride in them. All mention of 4-H activities or projects was forbidden.
The Ministry said these fond memories were forgeries and falsifications. All animals were victims of people, their abusers driven to the edge of society, forced out of work, had their homes taken from them, were appropriately harassed, denounced and dehumanized.
The Ministry worked relentlessly – and successfully – to destroy all documents relating to the love of animals and people for each other, or the rumored rich history of people and animals working together.
No poof existed any longer that the government might be lying, or that the Department Of Animal Rights had destroyed the true history.
A group of animal lovers had marched on the capital to plead for the return of animals to a life with people, they talked of official deception, secret surveillance and manipulation of history by a political entity that had become authoritarian and totalitarian. They were all arrested and disappeared.
The images of animals were permitted only in the Holocaust Memorial For Animal Slaves, a virtual museum that existed only on social media, a chilling and emotional monument to the mistreated animals of the world – horrific photos of tortured elephants, the ponies, the carriage horses, the lions and the tigers, dogs and cats. The animals that had been exploited so much, said the museum, because they had been forced to pull carriages in Central Park, entertain children in the circus, offered unconditional love and support to people.
It was, said the museum, torture for horses to pull carriages or give rides to children, or for elephants to appear in circuses.
None of that was permitted anymore.
"This museum is a monument to the Age Of Animal Abuse," said the museum's website, "ended in our time by Big Victim. Animals are no longer permitted to be owned by people, to live and work among them, and above all, to entertain or uplift them. They have all been returned to the wild, given their dignity, they are living happily in nature."
There were chilling black and white photographs of horses pulling carriages in Central Park, of elephants parading in a circus ring with their trunks raised, of dogs on leashes and poodles sitting on the laps of smiling people. There were photographs of racetracks, shuttered, demolished now. There were countless archives showing abused elephants, horses, dogs in the most graphic way. "No one who watches these images," announced the Ministry of Love, "could ever wish to live with or work with an animal again."
People fought to keep their dimming memories of the animals in their lives, the ones they had lived with and worked with. But time and the totalitarian government was against them. Thoughtcrime was a serious crime.
It was no longer safe for animal lovers to keep these images anywhere but in their own minds. The elephant trainers in the circuses and the horse carriage drivers were especially hard hit, targeted by the Ministry and Hunted Down, one by one. They were especially dangerous, it was believed, because they had come too close to the magic and the truth, they loved their independent way of life, they were a threatening disease that could spread.
Big Sister especially hated independent ways of life, they threatened the very idea of Atlantia.
Sometimes, children wandered off-limits online and saw a photograph of a puppy, or an elephant parading down Main Street on the way to the circus, or a puppy playing with a child, or a pony giving a first ride to a little girl, or a carriage horse trotting through Central Park, an orange plume darting in the wind on his head.
The child would ask if he could go to the "wild" or one of those "preserves" and see a horse or an elephant, one what wasn't on You Tube or on the Animal Holocaust Museum website. Sometimes, the children would cry, it seemed this pull towards animals was a part of them.
The mother or father would shush the child and tell him or her sternly to never mention this subject again. The animal preserves were all closed to the public, for the sake of the animals, so they could have the peace and good life deserves. There were no more zoos, all the museum exhibits had been taken away.
People, who had abused animals so wantonly and for so long, were never allowed to go there and see them.
Then, sometimes later, on a walk or a swim or on the way to school, the mother or father might, if they wished, pull the child aside and tell them: "Listen to me, there are no more animals in the world. The Ministry Of Animal Rights got all of the ones who lived with us, the world changed. There are no preserves, there is no nature, there is no wild. Do not ever mention the animals again. There are no more animals."
It seemed at first, that they only came for them. Over time, and bit by bit, it became clear that they were coming for me and you.