Monday, 11 November 2013

Genocide by Naomi Elana Zener

Every Senator and each Congressman and woman was in attendance to listen to me deliver my speech. CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and every international media outlet, of which I could conceive, had filled the press section, providing both a microphone emblazoned with their logo to line the dais and a reporter to cover the story. Certainly, it is not every day that one stands before the House of Representatives, on a global platform, to plead with the government to end one of humankind’s worst atrocities: genocide. After decades of bearing silent witness to this problem, one I first observed as a young child, I could no longer stand idly by as an innocent bystander doing nothing to put a stop to this horror.

“Madam, the floor is yours,” the Speaker of the House advised.

“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I am here today to lend my voice to the innocent and most vulnerable victims of the most heinous crime known to man. Genocide is the systematic and organized annihilation of a population who cannot speak for themselves, nor appear before you to plead for their lives. It must be stopped and this population protected by those courageous enough to both advocate for their welfare and put an end to their demise. Like any living creature on this planet, great or small, not one asked to be born. We each only ask for the right to be respected and to co-exist peacefully with everyone else. Life was thrust upon us all without being given a choice, but once here, we who are the strongest must use our voices to defend those too weak to defend themselves. I am here to stand up against an annual mass slaughter of one group in our society, who are murdered only to satisfy the needs of others. Each and every one of us is complicit in this holocaust. We all have blood staining our hands and it is incumbent on legislators in every country where this massacre is perpetrated every year to put an end to it once and for all.

“Excuse me madam, but I have not seen any one group killed annually in the United States, nor in Canada for that matter,” Mr. Speaker interrupted.

“You most certainly do!” I exclaimed. “Do you have any children or grandchildren?”

“Why yes I do,” Mr. Speaker advised. “What does that have to do with genocide?”

“Every year, to satisfy children’s insatiable hunger for candy and need to dress up in a costume, millions of pumpkins are harvested, sold and carved for these children’s sheer amusement and delight, as part of a pagan ritualistic celebration of Halloween, only to be abandoned after the sugar high has abated. Each one of these poor defenceless pumpkins, once simple living beings wanting nothing more than to grow from their seedling roots into plump juicy pumpkins, to provide sustenance to human beings in the form of delectable pies, jams and spiced lattes at Starbucks®. Not a one wanted to be cut down in their prime, to have their skin slashed, meat carved into, insides gutted, all in the name of sport between fathers attempting to dazzle their children with their carving skills.  Values in our society have sunk so low that we glorify the man who can fashion a Disney princess’ face into the side of a pumpkin over the man who can merely create a rudimentary triangle and square smiley face.  As if suffering through this barbaric branding ritual was not enough, the morning following Halloween, these poor pumpkins find themselves lining the streets sitting beside, inside or atop of garbage cans, discarded as if they were offensive soiled toilet paper. Other pumpkins aren’t so lucky and meet with a fate worse than death. After being ravaged and pillaged, they fall victim to the shenanigans of neighbourhood hooligans, misguided tweens and adolescents, who are too cool for trick-or-treating, who flex their muscles smashing pumpkins into smithereens on streets and sidewalks in every city in this great nation.

If my plea to relieve the pumpkin from its plight has fallen on deaf ears, perhaps I can sway you by appealing to your desire to save a buck or two. If you prohibit the farming, harvest and sale of pumpkins for anything to do with Halloween, then not only will everyone save money by not buying a pumpkin to butcher for the holiday, but think of the annual reduction in the number of knife wounds rushed to emergency rooms in the United States resulting from the practice of slicing pumpkins.  If pumpkin carving is prohibited, so much money would be saved by HMOs and PPOs by not having to waste precious dollars on stitches, saline, needles, doctors, and nurses, not to mention administrative staff that has to process these pumpkin patients. As well, there would be money saved by not having street sanitation crews clean up the millions of pumpkin road kill bits that have to be scraped off of the asphalt every November 1st. Those savings will add up, such that it could be used to better fund and serve controversial programs, such as Obamacare. If you won’t pass my bill out of the kindness of your hearts to put an end to pumpkin genocide, then vote yes so that your fellow man and woman whom, without Obamacare would otherwise die because they cannot afford health insurance, are each able to get necessary medical care, whether to cure a pesky case of herpes or to save their life, when they need it.  Thank you.”

© 2013. All Rights Reserved. Naomi Elana Zener

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