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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.
Friday, November 21, 2003
in what I have to say here. There have
been a few questions as to whether an
individual such as myself (with such a
history of violence and other problems
associated with the environment I was
in) could truly be an activist now.
This has been especially hard for those
who know me to accept because it seems
to go so far outside the realm of possibility
of what they would expect me to do. They
question my sincerity and motives. I have
even been accused of making a bunch of
money off this site. Boy, is that a laugh!
It costs me money to fight this fight. I
don't make money off of it. This fight has
cost me my job, and I have borne all the
expense of setting up and maintaining
this site. I can hardly call that making
money off of it.
I started trying to change things from
within the plant when I worked there. I
was always the one to speak up for the
workers that were afraid to speak up for
themselves. This whole thing started as
a way to get better working conditions
for us workers down at the plant back
when I still worked there.
Unfortunately, I didn't get much support
for my efforts, and was only rarely able
to accomplish very much. Anyone who
has read this entire blog knows how bad
the working conditions are down there
as well as how unsafe this type of job is.
I think I have made that abundantly clear.
It is a horrible job for little pay. Most
people don't stop to think about where
that meat on their plate came from.
They don't want to think about the
animal that suffered and died any more
than they want to think about the poor
guy standing there on the line at the
slaughter plant having to kill it for them.
I don't know how many times I have
heard a meat-eater tell me that they
couldn't do that kind of job for a living.
And that they couldn't understand how
Well, there are thousands of people that
do that job every day and every night so
that the general public doesn't have to.
They don't have to see the filth. They
don't have to see the blood spurt and
congeal. And they don't have to hear
the animal scream in pain and fear. These
plant workers do.
The more I started talking about every-
thing that happened down there with
my wife and others outside the plant,
the more I began to see that what was
happening was even more wrong than
I had previously thought. It had always
bothered me, but that first time Laura
saw back dock's hanging cage, I was
ashamed of what I did for a living. At
that time, I was still working there.
That was the first time I had ever been
ashamed of what I did for a living in my
life and it made me start to really think
about it. The guilt continued to grow
and eat me up inside for all the innocent
beings I had been part of killing for so
long. People that know me don't want
to admit it, but I think that deep down
they feel the same way, too.
When my first attempts failed to work, I
decided to take a different tactic. I
decided to see if someone cared about
what the chickens were going through,
since no one seemed to care about the
workers so much (at least not enough
to actually do anything).
My feeling was that if things were better
for the chickens, then they would be better
for the workers. At this point in my mind,
I cared about what the chickens went
through (always had, but was frequently
helpless), but I still ate meat and didn't
feel the same as I do today.
I have given some pretty graphic images
on this blog in order to bring attention
to the inherent problems with the factory
farming industry, which faces more and
more deregulation all the time.
Yes, through my work, I have quit eating
meat and have become more sensitive to
the plight of many other animals we share
this planet with. The feelings are genuine
and continue to grow.
Once you start down the path of caring,
it is hard to stop. And why should I?
Why would I want to? Why should you?