Call Us by Our True Names

The last time you ordered me for dinner,
you forgot my true name.

I am not some wonton.
Please call me by my true name -
I am "Pig".
I wish you saw how lovable I was.
You might have given me a personal name too.
Please remember I was killed unhappily,
even as you eat me happily.
For I loved my life, just as you love yours.

I am not some nugget.
Please call me by my true name -
I am "Chicken".
I wish you saw how lovable I was.
You might have given me a personal name too.
Please remember I was killed unhappily,
even as you eat me happily.
For I loved my life, just as you love yours.

I am not some burger.
Please call me by my true name -
I am "Cow".
I wish you saw how lovable I was.
You might have given me a personal name too.
Please remember I was killed unhappily,
even as you eat me happily.
For I loved my life, just as you love yours.

I am not some fillet.
Please call me by my true name -
I am "Fish".
I wish you saw how lovable I was.
You might have given me a personal name too.
Please remember I was killed unhappily,
even as you eat me happily.
For I loved my life, just as you love yours.

I am not some foie gras.
Please call me by my true name -
I am "Goose".
I wish you saw how lovable I was.
You might have given me a personal name too.
Please remember I was killed unhappily,
even as you eat me happily.
For I loved my life, just as you love yours.

Before you order me for dinner next time,
please remember my true name.

Shen Shi'an, of Singapore
Inspired by a poem by the well-known author Thich Nhat Hanh titled "Call Me By My True Names".