By John Page

The council shall start now, Mr. Wisprr do you wish to start?” The councilman said to the assembled delegates of the Atigonian inter species society. Mr Wisprr stood up. He was tall for an Animalkin, about four foot three, with the features that resembled a chicken mixed with a bear. His feathers with a dull brown with grey patches. He wore a dull grey robe and a top hat on his head. While he looked slightly quaint and old fashion to most, he moved with the grace of one who knows his exact role in life. He was the mayor of the most productive agricultural town in the whole Gull sea. Without towns like his, the great Human, Orc and Yawi cities could never feed themselves. Despite this power he was humble. This was the relationship between humans and other more aggressive species and the more pastoral species like the Animalkin

Mr. Wisprr looked at his notes and started talking, “ Here I have letter from the leaders of the Animalkin communities ‘We are all Atigonians here. Whether we are Man, Asi Elf, Yawi, Animalkin, Orc, Gillian or any other of the dozens of species who call the empire home. We all work together to build the best society. Still, despite our general good history of the humanoids trading protection and items for food, the Animalkin people are unhappy with how humanoids were acting in their lands. The complaint we have is complex but an obvious element is wanting to indulge in meat eating with us around. We Animalkin do not eat meat. We respect life and only take what we need. We do not eat those who resemble us. We try to be understanding and welcoming to others. When a humanoid comes we serve them as we would a family member but have had problems when you want meat. We try to avoid making this an issue but we need you to stop asking for it. To let you understand why this is an issue for us picture this situation. You have a visitor come to your home. You offer him your best food but he wants grilled monkey, when you tell him that you would prefer not to be in the same room as that. They keep trying to insist it’s good and you should try it. You are sick of it and want them to stop. We want everyone to agree to not try to make us eat meat and to not mention it to us.

We want to help make society run smoother, please listen to us
. Signed
the Animalkin of the twenty counties.’

This issue may seem small but we want others to understand something that has been bothering us for hundreds of years. We do not want to cause a fuss but we have had enough.”

After he gave his speech Mr. Wisprr bowed to the group and paused to ask questions. I felt odd as I am one of the many humans who asked an Animalkin , in my case it was one that resembled an ox, if they had any steak. I should have realized that the Animalkin would object to that but they are very polite. In all my years I have never seen an Animalkin raise their voice or do anything aggressive. They are some of the most kindest beings you can meet. Mr. Wisprr speech is like a call to war compared to that. The sheer shock of something like that shows that they are really that upset by this issue.
Before I can say anything a scaly hand is raised. Mr. Wisprr nods to the woman and she stands ups. She is the Secatary General of the Western Seas, Mrs. Wouyghbdunkn. Not only does she run the largest city of the underwater portion of Atigonian empire, she is the youngest Gillian to reach that post. The fish like Gillian motions with her lower set of hands to the speaker and says, “ The honorable mayor is right, there are issues of culture and food that we as a society need to address. Many Gillian are unhappy that they are referred to as fishes. We are not fish despite living in the sea. We are much more related to dragons. Calling us fish is like calling a human an ape or a Minotaur a cow. It’s not appropriate for an advanced nation like ours to have citizens be slighted like that.”
As she talks I feel odd. I knew about the fish nickname being an issue and I was wondering if that would come up. I had never called anyone one any kind of name besides their given name. Despite this I have heard of inter-species issues.
Once these two issues where brought up each delegate started bringing up the different issues that were causing concern. The Asi representative wished for the others to stop linking them to the Tallern empire.

“While we are the same species as the Tallern, we have lived this land for thousands of years and are loyal to empire.” Was a summary of the Elf Asi’s concern. Similar issues of identity and courtesy are brought up by each member.

When it is my turn I talk about how humans are not unified in their views and I while I can only speak for my self I know that most humans want to make our society more fair and pleasant. The fanatics of the purity party may be loud but are a fraction of a percentage of the human population. What humans want is to have others undetstand that the few bad apples do not speak for all of us.
A long and very productive meeting later I have determined that the best thing to eat around any group is some kind of porridge and do not make any comments about a background or culture. This should be obvious but it wasn’t clear to me. Such is life for a human. We try but still offend others.


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