<$BlogRSDUrl$> The Cyberactivist

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.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Help Me! 

There was one game that I enjoyed engaging in
and, although I am kinda ashamed to say it, it
was fun. The new-hires were, of course, the
specific targets for this prank, as they were for
most others. The difference between my game
and the other workers' games was that mine
didn't hurt the chickens, in fact, didn't physically
hurt anybody. Maybe it actually helped some of
the chickens, even.

You see, one night after about my first week of
work down there, I was hanging chickens as
usual when the guy next to me on the line
reached for a chicken and hollered real loud
saying, "Help me!" because he couldn't quite
reach the chicken and wanted my help in
pushing it to him. The chicken squawked at
the same time and sounded like it said the same
two words. It was weird. But it got me to

In an environment where the noise level is quite
high, trying to hear any one certain sound is
difficult to make out. It is hard to pick up
exactly what someone says because it gets
distorted somehow.

I started listening to see if I could hear it again
and it started to sound like all of the chickens
were saying, "Help me!" I know it sounds weird,
and it was, believe me! I'm not saying I went
nuts for awhile and actually thought the chickens
were literally vocalizing the words "help me." I
mean that, with the noise and distortion, it
sounded that way. So I decided to experiment...

The next new-hire we got I told, "Be on the watch
and listen, because if you start to hear the
chickens say, 'help me, help me,' you are starting
to lose your mind." It took a couple of nights of
reinforcing it, but it finally got to him. He decided
he was losing his mind. He quit.

After that, it wasn't long until we got a new-hire
that liked to bash birds. So, I started working
on him. I told him, "Every time you bash a bird,
listen, you will hear it, it will say, 'help me, help
me.'" It wasn't long until he quit bashing birds.
I don't know for a fact it was my little game
that stopped him or if he just decided he was
expending too much energy, but I like to think
that I contributed to it.

Well, I pulled this quite a few times over the years.
Most people just find it amusing that it happens.
There are a few that have actually convinced
themselves that they are losing their mind.

I wonder what makes me or anyone else hear
that. I mean, in my mind, I knew it was not real,
but it does get to sounding that way. Perhaps
it is some deep-down guilt because we know in
our instinctive ways that this is wrong. It can
make you feel real uncomfortable. Maybe that
is why it makes so many people downright mean.

Or maybe, just maybe, they really are saying,
"Help me!" and we just haven't been listening.
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