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Behind the scenes of the fight for the protection of animals and workers and the preservation of the environment - my experiences as a Tyson slaughterhouse hanger/killer turned activist. Exposing the evils of factory farming, by Virgil Butler. If you have arrived here looking for the Tyson stories, view the early archives. Some of them are now featured on the sidebar for easy searching.
Thursday, September 04, 2003
Arkansas Democrat Gazette wrote a
column about me that was slanderous
and downright untrue. I have been
working ever since to have this issue
addressed and to tell my side of the
situation. Finally, yesterday they
printed a heavily edited response.
I'm glad for that, but it took them
awhile. Of course, my letter was
much smaller and his twisted side
of the story stood as truth for 13
days, but at least they printed something.
At first they weren't going to. First,
they denied having received anything
from me. I resent my response to
remind them. Then they sent me
this warm email:
This letter has not been published
because the allegations made therein
could result in litigation.
Meredith L. Oakley
After several emails back and forth,
with me demanding my right to answer
untrue allegations made against me
in their paper, and them stalling and
figuring out what to do about this
outraged person that obviously wasn't
going to go away, I did get a chance to
say at least something.
I can't link to it here because of the
way their site is set up, but this
situation illustrates the struggle I
have had since all this started.
Many will attack me in ignorance
of the true situation. This guy didn't
have his facts straight before he
wrote his story. He wrote about me,
but his source of information was
There were things like:
...Virgil Butler, who Tyson officials say
was dismissed nearly two years ago...
My last night was 11/12/02.
...Butler cited a list of purported poultry
abuses he supposedly witnessed...
Purportedly? Supposedly? Definitely.
...18 th Judicial District Prosecutor
Williamson, who has been aggressively
investigating Butler's story...
I have a friend that still works down there
that has been waiting months to be able
to tell his side of the story. The prosecutor
had not even talked to him last time I talked
...Many elements of his story are highly
How would he know? When was he last
down on the kill floor at Tyson?
And what would motivate a former
"kill floor" worker to compile such a list
some 20 months after losing his job?
Is he a man perhaps moved to action
by some higher chicken consciousness
and the torment of unbearable guilt or
something more down to earth?
Obviously, this guy has no conscience.
And it was two months after, not 20.
While the prosecutor wasn't talking
except to say he's still investigating...
So he doesn't know his side of it either.
Then how can he claim above that the
prosecutor is "aggressively investigating"?
Although I don't know the extent of
PETA's role in Butler's tortured chicken
saga, I may be detecting just a whiff of
At least he admits he doesn't know
something! Probably because Tyson
is still trying to figure out why I did
what I did, since they don't have a
I never heard from him asking for my side.
He even acknowledges that he got no
information from the prosecutor. His only
source was Tyson. I'm sure they were
just dying for the opportunity to come
clean and acknowledge their guilt. Yes,
they would definitely be the most likely
source of the truth. Aren't they still on
probation for paying off the head of the
Dept. of Agriculture? Of course, at the
time, Tyson explained the bribes as
I don't know the end result of the case
against them for smuggling illegals, but
I know they were there. Recently there
was a whole catch crew toted off to jail
and they confiscated the crew boss'
equipment for tax evasion.
Aren't journalists supposed to get both sides?
Or do they just print what they want,
without caring to check facts?
Maybe they only want the "facts" they
are comfortable with.
At least nobody can stop me from
telling my side of it here.