Gershon Hepner

Human Predators

Human beings are the most ubiquitous

predators on earth. Although I’d rather

that they weren’t hunters, which is quite iniquitous,

but only ate the food that they can gather,

the die is cast, for long ago the Rubicon

was crossed, and human beings now are fated

to play the hunting role that they don’t look upon

with guilt, most people wanting to be sated

with what they fatally love eating, flesh.

Most think the source of food is all the stores

where they obtain the flesh that’s rarely fresh,

more often frozen, like perception doors

closed to reality behind dead meat.

The big exceptions, known as vegetarians,

aren’t predators. A lot of Jews you meet

keep separate dishes, meat and dairy ’uns,

acknowledging meat-eating makes them predators.

To prove this they don’t eat meat with a dish

that’s dairy — not a rule the Bible editors

insisted on! — but they consider fish

as neutral fare to which some aren’t humanitarian,

even strong supporters must admit,

unless their view is radically contrarian.

The bottom line is that they try a bit

to recognize that animals that they consume

deserve respect when eaten, and they slaughter

with care what once had lived inside a womb—

not fish, though, since it only lives in water.

The water where most fish live is less deep

than that in which calumniating predators

force Jews to live till sacrificed like sheep

in anti-Jewish columns, of fake facts the editors,

killing sources of our food a paradigm

forbidden by God to all flesh and blood

before what Genesis implies was not a crime.

God drowned most human beings in the Flood,

an act of divine warfare far more huge,

than one involving atoms split by fission,

a flood concluding, after the deluge,

with blood-free eating of all meat permission,

together with God’s promise to shine rainbows

to teach us that like Him we should be willing

to spare the lives of people acting foes,

unless they threaten human lifeblood spilling.

Gen. 9:4-6 states:

אַךְ־בָּשָׂ֕ר בְּנַפְשׁ֥וֹ דָמ֖וֹ לֹ֥א תֹאכֵֽלוּ׃

You must not, however, eat flesh with its life-blood in it.

וְאַ֨ךְ אֶת־דִּמְכֶ֤ם לְנַפְשֹֽׁתֵיכֶם֙ אֶדְרֹ֔שׁ מִיַּ֥ד כׇּל־חַיָּ֖ה אֶדְרְשֶׁ֑נּוּ וּמִיַּ֣ד הָֽאָדָ֗ם מִיַּד֙ אִ֣ישׁ אָחִ֔יו אֶדְרֹ֖שׁ אֶת־נֶ֥פֶשׁ הָֽאָדָֽם׃

But for your own life-blood I will require a reckoning: I will require it of every beast; of humankind, too, will I require a reckoning for human life, of everyone for each other!

שֹׁפֵךְ֙ דַּ֣ם הָֽאָדָ֔ם בָּֽאָדָ֖ם דָּמ֣וֹ יִשָּׁפֵ֑ךְ כִּ֚י בְּצֶ֣לֶם אֱלֹהִ֔ים עָשָׂ֖ה אֶת־הָאָדָֽם׃

Whoever sheds human blood by human [hands] shall that one’s blood be shed, for in the image of God Was humankind made.

About the Author
Gershon Hepner is a poet who has written over 25,000 poems on subjects ranging from music to literature, politics to Torah. He grew up in England and moved to Los Angeles in 1976. Using his varied interests and experiences, he has authored dozens of papers in medical and academic journals, and authored "Legal Friction: Law, Narrative, and Identity Politics in Biblical Israel." He can be reached at
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