<$BlogRSDUrl$> 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.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

"Rocky" 

The following post is dedicated to "Rocky" -
a great rooster with an attitude.


Yesterday's post got to me to thinking about
the chickens we had when I was growing up.
I lived in the foothills of the Ozarks on a
family homestead where we all had our own
family farms.

We had a couple of milk cows, some goats
for clearing brush and briers out of the cow
pasture, and a dozen speckled hens with a
big Rhode Island Red rooster we named,
"Rocky." He outlived every one of his hens.

Rocky was named this because of his tendency
toward picking on anything that got close to
"his" hens. They lived in the yard and had a
little house in the barn loft that they would
fly into at night. The hens also had their nest
boxes up there to protect them from the various
egg predators.

My uncle had a menagerie of hounds of all sizes
and shapes. He probably had about 15 of them
that he used for hunting. He lived right across
the field from the barn.

He had one old dog he called "Oscar." Oscar
had a thing about eggs. He liked eggs a lot. It
was so funny. It reminded me of that Foghorn
Leghorn cartoon. Oscar followed me to the
barn one afternoon. Normally I would have
seen him and sent him home, but I was kinda
late getting home and it was getting close to
dark. He followed me up into the chicken loft
up the ramp I put there so that I could get up.

I was down on all fours gathering eggs and the
next thing I knew Rocky hopped of his perch
onto my head and then onto the floor. Then,
he and the dog started going 'round and 'round
the room. I stood up with a basket full of eggs
in my hand and both of them went between
my legs. Well, the next thing I knew I was on
the floor with the basket turned upside down
over my head. I was about eight.

Rocky chased that dog across a 20-acre field
and up and under my uncle's porch before he
finally came back to his perch. Until the day
that dog died, he never went anywhere near
that barn! Rocky literally "ruled the roost."

I am telling this story to show the contrast
between my post yesterday and the way I
grew up thinking chickens ought to be raised.
Not to mention the contrast between the
way they behave in a factory farm setting as
opposed to the way they would behave in a
somewhat more natural setting where they
are allowed to be chickens.

It really shows a lack of humanity in the
callous way these birds are treated, not only
during their short miserable lives, but also
at their slaughter. Every time I hear someone
say that they are "just chickens" it just shows
their utter disregard for the suffering of a
fellow sentient being. Even when I ate meat
I cared about the way it was raised and killed,
as do the majority of people if you ask them.

The problem is that the industry has so far
managed to keep the general public somewhat
brainwashed as far as this is concerned. KFC's
defense against Pamela Anderson's latest
effort to get them to listen was met with an
extremely lame defense (and anyone that has
read even a portion of this blog knows is no
defense at all) that said that they bought
their chicken from reputable companies, like
Perdue, Tyson, and Pilgrim's Pride.

It seems to me that by admitting that they
buy from Tyson (which they at first denied)
they have now admitted that they support
the cruelty I have written about here.

What do you think? Should chickens be
raised more like Rocky and his hens or more
like "pre-processed product" in big warehouse-
like sheds in filth and disease? Let me know
what you think. Then let KFC know.
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