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A teddy who needed to see the moon

Every so often a story comes our way that again confirms my belief that things come full-circle. Here's one from the UK.

Amy was born in 1993 – the year I first walked onto a bear bile farm in China. From childhood, she had always taken her teddy to bed and, according to her mum, had kept the curtains open in a touching ritual that allowed her bear to see the moon while she slept.

Recently Amy learned about the plight of the moon bears for the first time – and the day after crying herself to sleep, she decided to use her tears of sadness, and her talent in art, to help them.

Amy’s stark work, "Bear Bile", was the main painting in an exhibition she held at college. It should have the bear farmers on their knees in shame with the “role reversal” image showing how their egregious practice would translate to human suffering. Her poem, "If only I could speak", is equally stunning, confronting and beautiful.

Thank you Amy, and I hope your talent and passion will soon translate into beautiful freedom for the bears.

If only I could speak

I have spent my life in this cage,

incarceration is all I know.
The bars clenched tight to my body,
they are my tomb and my home.
Veiled by terror and sorrow,
there is barely room to breathe.
To think of anything but the inevitable end
would be senseless and naïve.

I have seen my friends before me.
I've heard their gasping breath.
Dragged across the bile stained floor
as they arrive at the valley of death.
Inside I rage and scream,
but externally I cower.
For to draw attention to myself
would bring closer my final hour.

If this is all I'm good for,
Just ceaseless, needless pain,
then why gift me with a life?
Why must I remain?
Can't you hear our shouts for justice?
Can't you hear our mournful cries?
Can't you witness our fear-ridden bodies?
Please God won't you open your eyes?

I cannot fathom your reasons,
behind this sickening game.
We all feel hurt and emotions
and our hearts they beat the same.
People who are so eager,
so willing to take a life,
if the tables were turned I'm sure you too
would beg them to drop the knife.
You think you have right of privilege,
to do with us what you please,
because you have left us defenceless,
begging on our knees.

If I could only speak,
then these are the words I would say.
It doesn't take much to realise,
that it should never have been this way.
Give us a chance to feel safe,
let us feel life's glory.
Look into my eyes,
gaze upon the despair
and please listen to the words of my story.

- Amy-Le Owens

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