We must face the tragic fact that the Rodent is still not free. The life of the Rodent is sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. The Rodent lives on a lonely island of poverty in the vast ocean of material prosperity. The Rodent is still languishing in the corners of pet stores and finds himself in exile in his own land.

So we have come here today to dramatize an appalling condition.



Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of Rodent justice. Now is the time to open the doors of opportunity to all of God's children. Now is the time to lift our world from the quicksands of Rodent injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.

It would be fatal for the world to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of the Rodent.


The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundation of our world until the bright day of justice emerges. But in the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the water bottle of bitterness and hatred.

We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.

Go back to Petco, go back to Petland, go back to Petsmart, go back to the slums and ghettos, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed. Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American Dream.


I have a dream that one day the world will rise up and live out the true meaning of the creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all creatures are created equal."

I have a dream that someday all the little animals imprisoned in pet stores and laboratories will be set free.

I have a dream that Rodents will no longer be forced to live in cedar or pine bedding, in cramped quarters, or in any living conditions not suitable for their well-being.

I have a dream that all Rodents will be taken to the vet when they are sick, and treated with the same respect as their cat and dog friends are when they are ailing.

I have a dream that my Rodent friends will not be judged by the color of their coat but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

This will be a day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring in every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black hamsters and white rats, jirds and gerbils, puppies and cats, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thanks God Almighty, we are free at last!"


Copyright 2003 Karen Biehl
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