It rained again recently. As is often my habit after a hard shower, I took a walk to my favorite gastropod-observing slab of sidewalk. I was not disappointed; the snails were out in full force, frolicking in their wonderfully slimy fashion upon the wet concrete. My heart was contented by this happy sight.
A few hours later, I returned and my life changed irrevocably. Instead of a sea of snails moving lazily across the walkway and grass, I found a graveyard of broken shells and crushed bodies; every last snail was dead, killed by the brutish, bustling feet of negligent humans. My mind was overwhelmed by the shear destruction that had taken place in such a small amount of time.
Over the coming days, I struggled hard to discern the meaning of this molluskan holocaust. I searched my soul, desperately seeking some small sense of solace in the face of senseless tragedy. For a long while, no answers were forthcoming—I saw in this design only the hand of the pitilessly indifferent universe. No cosmic justice for my lost friends could be found. It was then that I realized my mistake. The universe was not responsible for this tragedy! No, this was the work of humans, specifically human feet. I knew then that if justice was what I sought, it would have to be justice of my own making. As I pondered this thought, I vision came to my mind and I knew what my next step would have to be.
This is what I know now: The time for pondering—of querying the universe in a futile attempt to the answer to the eternally unanswerable question, “Why?”—is over. There can be no answers except for what we make for ourselves, and I have chosen this tragedy to be the last, the one that will put a stop, once and for all, to the endless genocide of snails by careless human feet. To this end, I have formed The Gastropod Protection League (GPL). Our mission is captured by a simple motto: "We seek, by all means necessary, to remove the boot of indifference from the backs of the innocent."
GPL will have one main one goal, pursued using two distinct strategies. The goal is the protection of all Snail-kind by the banishment and destruction of all hard-soled foot attire. Our logical is simple: people step on snails because the sole that they wear protect them from feeling the true sensation of murder. Remove the shoe, and we will remove the destruction—for no one will again step on a snail once they have to feel slimy, crunching horror of their actions.
Our first strategy is that of political activism. We will lobby Congress, form Political Action Committees, organize protests, and call for work stoppages in the name of our cause. We will not stop until an Amendment is made to the United States' Constitution, banning all forms of footwear with rigid soles. Progress on this front will be slow and difficult. Of this I have no doubt. But if our cause is to have any lasting impact, we must have the power of legal force. In time, I am convinced that the American people, ignorant and selfish as they may often be, can be convinced of the wisdom of the changes we seek to implement.
Our second and most immediate strategy is one not of words, but of actions. We will form a paramilitary wing of GPL whose sole purpose will be the removal and destruction of as many pairs of shoes as possible. While our lobbyists and activists make changes to the law, this group will make changes on the ground. Let the purveyors of destruction know this: Your shoes are no longer safe. Your pumps, tennies, heels, high-tops, cross-trainers, wing-tips, flip-flops, and steel-toed boots have become our targets. When you wake up in the morning and find your Doc Marten's missing, you will know that we have been there. We will leave no calling-card save that of an empty-shoe rack, but this alone will be enough to get our message across.
This is my mission and these are my plans. I make no secrets of my tactics because I have justice on my side. To those reading this who envision this justice as I do, I say to you that, if you are willing to do all that is necessary to protect our shell-excreting friends, you will find a welcome place at my side in the Gastropod Protection League . Our goals will be achieved; nobody will stand in our way. I only pray that every action we take may be a small answer to the endless cries of "Why?" that, to this day, continue to emanate from the tiny lips of the dead and dying.