Peter the Vegan - Image: Myna Meeting © CC BY-SA 2.0 by Thimindu Goonatillake
Myna Meeting © by Thimindu Goonatillake

I am but a simple man,

a vegan,

‘n self-denoted poet.

Who’s lived ‘n died in four prior lives.

Tho’ this, my first as vegan that I know it.

I am twice a poet.

Once a woman,

now thrice a man,

‘n once a lowly pig—

(which alone was enough to convert one to veganism.)

‘n in all these, I meagerly lived.

Hailing from the 16th, 18th, ‘n 20th centuries.

‘tho before that I have no clear recollections,

only foggy, surreal conceptions,

‘n the occasional startling nighttime impressions,

but soon these all go poof.


’twas the 16th century,

‘n I, the wife of a cobbler.

Tho’ one to be reckoned with I was.

‘n I was . . .

Burned at the stake for heresy ‘n witchery.

Indeed, I was guilty on both charge—

A Crown‘s punishment severe,

‘n unbefitting such petty offence,

of little more than defiance.

‘n for this to burn at stake?

O make no mistake!

’tis no way to die,

‘n no crime fitting

to burn a soul alive:

Foul stench of flesh ‘n marrow burning,

blisters raising, boiling, bursting,

lungs broiled to a tender,

by superheated air rendered.

‘n in my last, everlasting recollection,

’twas the sight of my femur splintering.

‘n the eager smug faces glittering,

of the bastards who stood nigh,

passing judgment in their god’s eye.


’twas day one of the 18th century,

that I was born unto rhyme,

in a much, much happier time.

A scanty life tho’ more than pleasant,

my life as a farming peasant.

Hard work ‘n a simple way,

with a woman to grace my night ‘n day.

When one day . . .

High atop the terraces of Guangxi China,

the evening sky fill with myna.

‘n at age ninety-nine I drop,

dead atop a lush rice crop.


‘twas the summer of 1918,

the war no longer raging.

The allies had won,

alas we were done.

‘n thru the Black Forest we ventured.

Our spirits set high,

with packs loaded ‘n shouldered

‘n rifles retained tho’ cautiously loaded.

In a troop of six we made a journey,

for the town of Freiburg Germany.

‘twas there I met a lady,

who sheltered us ‘n quite quaintly,

her acquaintance I fancied greatly.

We danced ‘til morning light,

our laughter echoed out from night.

O she was a beauty!

Of a sweet ‘n charming duty.

Her name I recall was Laverne,

‘n I swore to her I’d return

when my stint in the Army was over.

But as our ship sail for home,

a mine drifting not far below

found us at sea all alone.

‘n tho’ I survived the blast,

a tank of kerosene caught fast

‘n our ship soon fell to burning.

‘n once again. . .

I die burning.


‘twas an uncaring winter

when a factory pig delivered a boar.

Birthed on a cold hard floor,

on a frozen December eleven,

nineteen hundred ‘n thirty four.

Nuzzled beside my momma,

I suckled her teat

‘n welcomed the heat

of her coarse ‘n dirty pelt.

‘twas a brief love . . .

the only pleasure we ever felt.

Then one day a man he grabbed me,

O roughly he handled me.

Cut off my balls

clipped my tail

pulled my teeth

‘n slammed me—

‘n I tell you!

That burning to death dare not compare,

to the hell a factory pig bear.

I never saw momma again—

tho’ I heard her frightened cry

every now ‘n then, since then.

Locked in a cage for 200 days,

‘n with every painful hour past,

I prayed it be my last.

Till finally my time to walk the line

and welcome death at last.


With that I hoped all’d be over.

Let me die ‘n be. O please!

Tho’ here I am . . . again.

Damn Death!

Defying me, denying me

a sweet ‘n longed abode.

I, now with purpose left untold.

—To hell with Him!

Let Death have His eternal death!

If I must be

than it shall be

I’ll fight to my last breath!

. . . ‘n it matter not,

whether they wear fur, feathers, scale, or skin

it’s their peace I’ll fight ‘n win.

~Peter the Vegan

A Short Story – Chapter 1 – Peter the Vegan vs. the Honorable Honor


  1. Oh, Peter, I held my breath for the entire poem. What incredible experiences you are conveying and in a voice so extraordinary. I would love to know how you became aware of your past lives. You remember them clearly, horrifically. How did it feel as you were writing? Was it a tremendous drain, as I imagine. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I started writing Peter the Vegan, a compilation, about a year ago. I wrote it with the intent of an about page. I even put it up for a day, maybe two but then quickly took it down. I ran across it the other day and decide that it might make a good poem instead of an about page, taken lightly, not serious. But you’ve called my hand.

      You see, I’ve been raised a solid skeptic, and I’m my own worst enemy in fostering that mentality in years past, but my whole life has been a dedication in search of truth and answers, and with that I’ve opened up, but guardedly so to such matters that go beyond our strict cultural acceptance—I couldn’t find but a scattering of truth in what little they are willing to provide us with (look for more on this coming soon, tentatively entitled Oppression Slavery Religion). And even though I remain guarded today, I’ve accepted the consideration of these things. It’s tricky though. And I fear tricking myself and losing any credibility I might possess, that’s what keeps me guarded. I know there are many insincere people, frauds and those with overactive imaginations, some looking to make a fast buck; but worse, I don’t trust my own brain in it producing its own illusions. Now it is worth saying at this point that I don’t smoke, drink, use drugs, medications not even over-the-counter aspirins or vitamins, nothing—haven’t for decades now, and even then very little. Though I’ve only been a vegan a couple years, I put nothing in my system except healthy food, water, coffee, and exercise. I don’t visit doctors, unless I need mending of an accident.

      But more to your comment, I’ve always been a vivid dreamer, daydreamer too but that’s beside our point. I used to, when I awoke from a dream, write as much of it down as sleepiness allowed, then in the morning I’d fill in the blanks. Well, a fifty-hour workweek has killed that ritual. But, when a dream takes place in another time in history then it deserves more consideration, or does it (I’m skeptic, remember). This was the case for 1918; so vivid, so clear, so void of the surreal of most dreams I couldn’t ignore it, skeptic or not. I’m not a war buff; I seldom read about it, rarely do I watch TV or movies, and then hardly ever about war.

      I could write more about my dreams, but not now.

      When I wrote the part of the woman, I closed my eyes and entered what I hesitate to call a trance like state, that would imply something I’m not ready to admit, but I wrote the thing with eyes closed, possessing her body seeing what see saw, feeling what she felt, coming to one with the event then adapting it to a poem: The multiple rapes prior; the overwhelming fear; clothing drenched with water in an attempt to prolong agony; hands tied painfully tight behind her to the stake; picking up one blistering barefoot than the other to give a momentary relieve; struggling against the flames trying hopelessly to avoid them as they closed in; the smug faces of the men grinning, pointing and laughing from just beyond the lapping inferno that began its slow encircling and consuming; the stench; the passing recognition of skin blistering; head rolling to and fro trying desperately not to gasp in the superheated air that tendered the lungs painfully raw. Yes, it took my breath away to write it, it was an experience to say the least. But then again the skeptic in me says that is perhaps what a real writer or real poet experiences when they write. And I, some day, want to be a real poet and writer.

      Thank you, Susan.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You are a real writer, Peter, because you write and a real poet because you must write poems. I also think, from what you wrote in Peter the Vegan, and above in your comment to me that you are a visionary and you’re learning to open up to that process. Blessings for you along this challenging path. ❤

        Liked by 2 people

    2. It’s been jokingly (?) said that the light at the end of the tunnel is us being pushed out of another vagina. But it could be. And it could be that all our baby talk is us trying desperately to tell others of our past, but then by the time we learn to talk all remembrance is forgotten; just saying.


    1. Peter, I so enjoyed your story romp through your past lives- not something one gets to read about a lot…. and that sense that who you are in this one is so linked to your experiences from before. I love that idea, truly. Makes sense that your compassion and passion for animals and all beings comes from ancient.


      1. Hi Diahann,

        Is this who we are, a mixture of our past lives? Do we get better with each rebirth? I sincerely wonder, perhaps I even believe it yet hold reservations. Particularly as I see, both those of little understanding and those of greater understanding.

        To the Buddhist, rebirth is a paramount doctrine. While I cannot consider myself a Buddhist, I have studied it informally and have the highest respect for it.

        Here’s a condensed excerpt from Wikipedia on Buddhist rebirth:

        “Rebirth in Buddhism is the doctrine that the evolving consciousness or stream of consciousness upon death (or “the dissolution of the aggregates” (P. khandhas, S. skandhas)), becomes one of the contributing causes for the arising of a new aggregation. The consciousness in the new person is neither identical nor entirely different from that in the deceased but the two form a causal continuum or stream.

        “In traditional Buddhist cosmology these lives can be in any of a large number of states of being including the human, any kind of animal and several types of supernatural being. Rebirth is conditioned by the karmas (actions of body, speech and mind) of previous lives; good karmas will yield a happier rebirth, bad karmas will produce one which is more unhappy. The basic cause for this is the abiding of consciousness in ignorance when ignorance is uprooted, rebirth ceases. One of the analogies used to describe what happens then is that of a ray of light that never lands.”

        If this hold true, then I’ve a few more lives yet to live. Dammit. 🙂

        Thanks, Diahann.


        1. Thanks for this, Peter. I love what the Buddhists have to say. I also believe rebirth can happen more than once in a lifetime. People can totally change or give birth to themselves anew if they are willing!


  2. Peter, I like all of your stuff, but for me this is your masterpiece thus far. (I’m sure you will create more.) The storytelling, the images–visions, really–and the poetry are just so vivid and emotional. I do a lot of meditating myself and sometimes I slip into very deep, trance-like states where I experience visions such as these. Great material for writing, and of course that’s just the tip of the iceberg… Great stuff 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michael, thank you so. You admitting your own meditating and slipping into a trance like state comforts me. I’ve been reluctant to foster the experience; afraid I might slip into a nut case. But going forward, I think I’ll embrace it, keep one foot in reality and see what happens.

      Take good care, Michael, I look forward to more of your masterpieces.


  3. Dear Peter. Thank you for sharing your journey of journies.

    Your life as a pig brought tears to my eyes and an insight into your love of pigs and other species.

    Everything about your writing has been said in the other comments.

    I do, however, believe we can metamorphose throughout our lives/life.

    I feel I am a different person to who I was about 20 years ago ~ thank goodness :v

    All the best,


    1. Hi Emy.

      Pigs do hold a special place in my heart. Of course, all animals are special as are the people who care for them.

      I think you are correct in that we can metamorphose during a single lifetime. But not everyone does, obviously.

      Thank you, for your support, and all the best to you too!


    1. Hi Claire, it hurts me too to see them suffer so terribly, well them and all the other animals too. But pigs are among my favorite of all creatures. They are gentle, loving, and so very intelligent, yet so misunderstood and mistreated.


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