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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.
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
This blog was set up to serve as a source of information and as an attempt to network together to share information, and to empower activists from all over the world. I am glad to see that this is bearing fruit. The Internet has been quite empowering for the "little guy," giving every person the ability to make his/her voice heard. And, we should all be heard if we have something important to say. It shouldn't just be the ones with money, fame, and power who are telling the world about the "facts" when there are many of us people on the lines who know all too well exactly what those "facts" really are.
You know, I started this whole business because of that very attitude - the attitude of corporate greed and the government's policies of protecting their profits in exchange for campaign contributions and other perks. All I know is that there is way too much deception of the public going on, and at the risk to their safety and the safety of their kids. The public wants to believe the officials that are in charge of the various things that make their lives safe and comfy. They don't want to believe that they have been misled and betrayed, thereby putting their lives and those of their kids at risk. They don't want to believe people like me, or maybe not even Dave Louthan.
All along, I have noticed that the people at the plant where the BSE-infected cow have insisted that this was not a downer cow, but was walking and appeared healthy. That it was only a fluke that this cow was even tested.
Well, I believe we all owe a debt of gratitude to Dave for doing what he did, for whatever reason that he did it. It seems to me that he truly cares about this. Who knows how many lives may be saved by his actions? Luckily, thanks to him, we were alerted to this cow and people may certainly have been saved because of them finding it before it spread even further.
However, we need to make sure that we do not let the industry and the government pull the wool over anyone's eyes on this. Simply banning downers will not fix the problem. Even the industry says that this will just mean that the sick cows will be buried in the farmer's back pasture, instead of being tested. We have to quit feeding animals to herbivores like cows. Period.
And, I'm tired of hearing that it was "only one cow." It is simply the only one we know about. Who knows how many others are out there that have/had it, but just weren't tested, so there is no record? They are having trouble even tracking down the rest of the cows that have been in contact with it and failed to stop the meat from being eaten by consumers. I'm glad that I'm not like the guy, Brian Weinstein, the lawyer from a Seattle suburb, who knows that he and his family ate it. He will worry for years about whether or not he has a time-bomb ticking away, eating at his brain.
Here is Dave Louthan's email, which he wanted me to share with you:
My name is Dave Louthan. I'm the guy who shot that mad cow in Moses Lake. I have talked to dozens of reporters about all this trouble and they have done a pretty good job getting the story out I guess. The USDA appears to be on the run but I still have a lot of work to do. My main problem now is
informing people about the splitting saws we use to split the cow carcass
in half. You see every beef slaughtered is split right down the middle from
tail to neck. This means that a band saw cuts right down the exact center of
the spine cutting the spinal cord in half the long way. There are hot water
jets spraying on the blade at the guides to clean off the fat, blood, and
bone dust. As the blade cuts down through the spinal cord little bits are
torn out and mix with this hot water slurry which runs all over the beef
inside and out totally contaminating the meat. When the butcher starts
cutting the steaks and roasts with his knife or saw this contamination is
smeared across every cut he makes. So as you can see it doesn't matter if
it's hamburger or fillet mignon it's is contaminated. Please help me warn
the unsuspecting consumer. Thank you for your time.
And, thank you for yours, Dave. You are a brave guy to go public with this. I know what it's like to all of a sudden have a spotlight on you. I'm glad to have been able to help you spread the word, dude. Glad to see you care. And I will be glad to do whatever I can to help you spread the word further should you need it in the future.
You heard it, people! No meat is safe as long as the industry does business the way they currently do. Who would know better than those who stand there every day and night, handling your food????
How many more of us do you need to hear from????
Hey - all the rest of you slaughterhouse workers, growers, chicken-catchers, etc.! Got a story you want to share with the world? Is there something nasty and insidious happening where you work? Something that is unsafe and eating away at you? Do you want to get the word out, too? Are you tired of cover-ups, lies, and intimidation, unsafe working conditions and low pay? Want to do something about it without getting into trouble?
Contact me. You can even be anonymous if you want. No one has to know it was you who told. You want change to happen? Email me your story. I'll get it out there. I'll help you tell the world. It's what I do.
I'm "The Cyberactivist." ;)