"Every year, chemical pesticides kill no fewer than three million farmers.

"Every day, workplace accidents kill no fewer than ten thousand workers.

"Every minute, poverty kills no fewer than ten children.

"These crimes do not show up on the news. They are, like wars, normal acts of cannibalism.

"The criminals are on the loose. No prisons are built for those who rip the guts out of thousands. Prisons are built as public housing for the poor.

"More than two centuries ago, Thomas Paine wondered:

" 'Why is it that scarcely any are executed but the poor?'

"Texas, twenty-first century: the last supper sheds light on the cellblock's clientele. Nobody chooses lobster or filet mignon, even though those dishes figure on the farewell menu. The condemned men prefer to say goodbye to the world with the usual: burgers and fries."


"They are the most important members of our family.

"They are gluttons, devouring gas, oil, corn, sugarcane, and anything else that comes their way.

"They own our time: bathing them, feeding and sheltering them, talking about them, and opening the way for them.

"They reproduce faster than we do, and are ten times as numerous as they were half a century ago.

"They kill more people than do wars, but no one condemns the murders, least of all the newspapers and television channels that live off their advertisements.

"They steal our streets. They steal our air. They laugh when they hear us say: 'I drive.' "