Into Floyd Shivambu’s animal farm
South Africa is blessed with an incredibly diverse selection of animal species, and Commissar Shivambu could be the champion they need if he is ready to meet the moment.
Dear Commissar Shivambu,
I trust this email finds you dripped in Gucci. Loot may be temporary, but drip is forever and swag is eternal.
Please pass my #thoughtsandprayers to your brother Brian. I can only imagine what he must be going through. I too have been on the receiving end of arguably satanic letters from those Sars people. Apparently, I owe them a couple of thousand rand, two or three, I can’t remember. I hope your brother doesn’t owe as much. Excuse my ignorance, I’m a bit fuzzy on the details; I haven’t been keeping up with the news, just been pickin’ up stompies on Twitter. My pet psychic thinks it’s best I steer clear of the news websites until some of my colleagues, who shall remain nameless, ease up on that investigative anti-ubuntu stuff. Apparently, my dogs can sense the anxiety it causes me, and it’s upsetting them.
The other day they attacked a tiny miniature dog at the park just as its owner readied herself to snap a pic of her excessively furry little Instagram-engagement-magnet. This being the republic of Cape Town, a coven of Karens descended on me and my hounds to question my interspecies parenting skills. Such was the drama that I’m even considering getting red overalls and a red beret to wear on my doggy walks, as a sort of Karen-repellent. I don’t know what it is, but something about red overalls makes even the most anti-vaxx Covid-denying Karen very socially distant. If you have some of these red fits to spare, I’d really appreciate it. Come to think of it, why hide your stunning Louis V fits beneath workwear. As that famous 20th century singer, Madonna, once sang in her role as Eva Perón in the 1996 musical, Evita:
“I came from the people, they need to adore me
So Christian Dior me from my head to my toes
I need to be dazzling, I want to be Rainbow High
They must have excitement, and so must I.”
Indeed, the people need excitement, Commissar! Cyril has kept them under lock and key, Bill Gates wants to microchip them, Fauci wants them to hide their beautiful faces. Imported fashion was made for times like these. Dazzle them, Commissar! Let them be inspired by your figure in Louis Vuitton, let them watch you take that long walk to economic freedom in Ferragamo shoes. They need this more than they need their VBS savings.
Anyway, I digress. What I really want to chat to you about today is our mutual interest in animals. As a doggy daddy and an avid admirer of yours, I have found some of your recent tweets about animals a bit unsettling. However, I’ve learnt that one who wields the power of a qwerty keyboard has to be extra careful about their facts in these Rampedian times, and I just want to make sure that I didn’t misinterpret anything.
On the 16th of August, you tweeted, “The Rogue Unit will never cease to create fictions and distortions. They think that such will make us fearful and retreat from the war for total emancipation. The libels, lies, defamations and all nonsense will be dealt with at appropriate levels. We don’t fight pigs in the mud!”
Total emancipation! Yassss Commissar! Loves it! But as I mentioned above, I’m on a bit of a sabbatical from the newsy investigativey stuff, so I’m not quite sussed on what you’re on about. But I am concerned by the language that borders on speciesism; fighting pigs in the mud and all that.
Full disclosure, I am partial to a bacon rasher, or five, but I get mine from Frankie Fenner Meat Merchants, “Cape Town’s Ethical Butchery”, and I know those piggies are given a great life and they’re happy to give it all up for the sake of my low-carb, high-fat breakfast plan. That said, I do hope that what you really meant was that you don’t fight pigs, period. They are among the most peaceful and intelligent animals. For instance, you’d never hear of a pig manipulating or robbing fellow pigs. I’d go as far as saying that they have a code of honour among their species. Never mind the almost century-long misguided celebration of George Orwell’s delusional writings; data shows that pigs aren’t just tasty, they are noble, amazing and reliable.
I do hope that I misunderstood your tweet and that, indeed, you meant that you wouldn’t fight pigs on dry soil or mud. I love a bit of alliteration but, Shivambu Shivs Swine would not make for a flattering headline, not even for The Daily Voice, and I’m sure you know hulle mense skrik vir niks.
Shortly after the abovementioned tweet, on the following day, the 17th, you tweeted, “Not that it has any impact on me and what I know, but when hired guns and rented dogs were writing fictions and novels insinuating that I have problems with SARS, the revenue collector sent me a letter to confirm that all’s well. Am not under any SARS litigation & will never be!”
First, congrats on the rosy comms from Sars. Unfortunately, the letters they continue to send me remain borderline racist; penalties and stuff. However, I am concerned about the renting of dogs which you highlight. A part of me hopes that you’re referring to people who foster rescue dogs. Also, the dogs you mention sound exceptionally talented; I’ve yet to come across dogs so skilled and imaginative that they can write, never mind writing both “fictions” and “novels”. Let’s give a standing ovation to them talented bitches.
The average dog is a true and trusted companion, incredibly loyal and protective. Data shows that they do best when surrounded by consistency and family. The idea that people are renting out dogs is particularly concerning. I can’t imagine this is good for these loving, trustworthy, decent beings. Please do let me know who these rent-a-dog people are, and I will alert the SPCA. I suspect that the miniature fluffy Instagram-engagement-magnet that my dogs almost ate might also have been a rental.
The last and final tweet that gave me cause for pause was also posted on the 17th. You tweeted: “We don’t and will never fight lizards.” Thank you for this, by the way, thank you for taking a stand. I really appreciated it. Lizards are very misunderstood, and I am grateful for this contribution in the fight against speciesism.
But then, you typed on, “We are fighting crocodiles in their home ground and still will be victorious.” Oh no, Commissar! Please don’t. They are predators! Crocs may be trending right now but data shows that occasionally, very occasionally, they’ve been known to feast on humans. Especially on their home ground. What the hell were you doing in Stellenbosch? Please tell me you left immediately!
How did your encounter go? Are you okay?
A few months ago I wrote to our beloved Commissar Jules – I have yet to receive a response. I do understand he must be quite busy, but next time you see him, please let him know that, in me, he has a man on the inside, a safe space, as it were. I sincerely hope that, unlike him, you will respond to my mail, if only to reassure me that all is well; that I misunderstood your tweets, and that you stand with me in the fight against the scourge of speciesism that has our country in its jaws.
I’m sure you’ll agree that South Africa is blessed with an amazing variety of animal species, domesticated and otherwise, and they need all the love and support we can give them. On top of all their many amazing qualities, I honestly believe they also have much to teach us.
As humans, some of us, an elite minority, would rob the poorest among us, manipulate and take advantage while pretending to lead us to the Promised Land. These are the kinds of people who would pretend to be our freedom fighters while imprisoning us in poverty as they enrich themselves. Even on their best, most human day, data shows that such people have less decency than pigs and dogs, and they’re more predatory than the hungriest crocodile.
We have a long way to go; we have a lot to learn.
Eternally yours, in the fight against speciesism. DM/ML
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