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The Shape of Things to Come?

He picked at the yeast block listlessly.  It was meant to resemble meat, but in truth, the manufacturer had missed the mark by a country mile.  Meat tended not to be crunchy.

He got it, he understood.  No more meat, no more slaughter houses, no more livestock.  No more hunting.  Meat is murder and all that.  The fields where cows and sheep grazed were now used for wheat and soy.  Cows and sheep were extinct.  Literally.  So were the pets; no more hamsters, no more goldfish.  It had been judged cruel to ‘own’ animals, slavery in all but name.  Abuse.  The Animal Rights people had won.  Politically astute, masters at alternative facts and negative PR, they had lobbied and warped the truth until all the governments caved.  No more meat, no more pets.  No more ‘abuse’.

The meat he didn’t really mind, killing animals for food had always bothered him.  But he missed his puppy, he cried on the day she had been taken away.  The AR people had arrived one morning and ripped her from his arms.  He told them he loved her, told them he cared about animal welfare; screamed that he gave money to charities.  They sneered, told him that humans had no place owning animals.  His puppy had been released back into the wild, to fend for herself.  He had no idea if she had survived.

He looked out his window.  It was time to go shopping, he had delayed it for as long as he could.  Outside, the dogs, the ones returned to their natural state by the activists, roamed, starving and feral, attacking any human dumb enough to go outside unprotected.  He smiled to himself, a grim humorless grimace.

Once upon a time, the letters P, E, T and A had stood for the vanguard of the AR activists.  Now, in this world, the acronym stood for Personal Electrified Tactical Armor.

Copyright © 2018 by Richard Meldrum (from an idea suggested by S. Kirkby)

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