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“Przekrój” is a lightly-put digital magazine that observes the world with a kind and playful eye. 

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Mao and the Sparrows Mao and the Sparrows
Photo: CC BY-SA 3.0

Mao and the Sparrows

A Communist State’s War Against Nature
Agata Kasprolewicz

In 1958, Mao Zedong ordered the killing of all sparrows. The mindless war on birds unleashed terrible plagues, exacerbated the Great Famine, created a fatal chapter in China’s history, and underscored why respect for animals is the path to freedom.

The general held his breath when the auditorium suddenly exploded in thunderous laughter. He didn’t know what had so amused those gathered in the hall, just as he was about to start speaking. The unexpected mirth was the fault of a cricket who lived in a small cage of dried gourd, tucked into an inside pocket of the general’s thick coat. Who would have thought that at such an inappropriate moment he would want to sing, and his joyous trills, magnified by the microphone, would ring out through the entire hall? Abashed, the general apologized to the assembly. Forgive me, comrades, that I allowed myself to be tempted by this ‘small amusement’.

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