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Exploring the feelings behind the worldview theme--another project WORLDVIEW  theme song...   

song for theme #44B: Animal Rights

“Expecting to Die” by Stephen P. Cook

Sung to the tune of “Expecting to Fly” by Neil Young / The Buffalo Springfield


Confined you are to gestation crate1

Expecting to die2

Uncomfortable you can’t turn around

You won’t even try

Factory farm breeding pig

By the winter you are nursing

Piglets you can’t see

Confined to farrowing crate3

To spare injury

Babe, piglet you can’t see4

Babe, piglet you can’t see



Your life cycles on and on

Three litters a year and you’re spent

To the slaughterhouse you smart animal

To market holiday ham is sent

Pork production farm5

Ham and bacon

I’ll live without you6

For me, pigs won’t die

Give animals like Babe respect

Please give it a try

Babe, please give it a try

Babe, please give it a try




1—Metal crates measuring 6.6 ft long by 2.0 ft wide used in intensive pork production to house the sow (which may weigh up to

     900 lbs) during pregnancy (meaning most of her adult life).  Typically lined up row after row in large sheds, to opponents of

     such factory farming they are unhealthy and inhumane. Given floors made of concrete slats that manure falls through, the

     animals live directly above their own waste.

2—In the 1983 novel The Sheep Pig (which the 1995 movie Babe was based on), the border collie Fly, who comes to treat the     

      precocious pig Babe like her son, is glad Babe has no idea of the fate in store for him: his owners initially plan on fattening him

      up to be a Christmas ham.  So despite his intelligence, Babe is thankfully spared from learning this knowledge by the other

      farm animals and is not “expecting to die.” Happily both his intelligence and social nature make him so useful and win him

      respect that his life is spared.  Unlike factory farm pigs, Babe is not confined to a tiny space but mostly runs free.  The

      remarkable intelligence and behavior of feral hogs, whose growing numbers infest places like rural Texas, suggest they know

      the fate in store for them if caught —explaining the extreme precautions they take to avoid capture. Of course whether pig

      “intellect” and consciousness is such that they expect to die if caught is debatable!

3— A few days before giving birth, sows are moved to farrowing crates. Here piglets will be nursed.  Despite providing room for

      piglets to play, they are designed to separate piglets from their mothers, whose weight might otherwise crush them.  So they

      restrict the sow—and she can’t turn around to see her piglets.  

4—This line imagines Babe’s life beginning as a piglet on a factory farm with a confined mother who, although able to provide

      nursing, is unable to see him.

5—Every year around six million breeding sows populate factory farms in the United States.

6—Not surprisingly, many who respect animal rights are vegetarians!

 Comment: The behavior associated with this theme provides emotional armor in that it allows those who empathize with and feel compassion for animals (as in the song) to better sleep at night knowing their feelings and actions align. Beyond that, one doesn’t have to look far to find the strong emotional driving force behind both anti-abortion and animal rights movements. It could be that among the strongest defenders / advocates for both protecting the unborn (theme #44A) and extending humane treatment to animals are people who have themselves felt unwanted, unloved, weak, powerless, and generally at the mercy of stronger adults. Living for so long with those feelings, they often identify strongly with unwanted fetuses or animals.

                      back to theme #44B

the above song is part of The Worldview Theme Song Book: Exploring the Feelings Behind Worldviews--click here for more information

Musicians--We'd love it if you perform this song!  Please contact us!