<$BlogRSDUrl$> 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.

Friday, February 27, 2004

More Hog-Dog Rodeos 

I was quite happy to read that these horrible hog-dog rodeo events were shut down in Alabama and the promoter, Johnny Hayes, arrested for animal cruelty. The NBC station that first reported on this appalling situation and provided the video documenting this cruelty reports that they have received more calls and e-mails about their hog dog investigation than they have for any other story in the last ten years. That is wonderful news! I am so glad that there were so many caring people that responded and took action on this issue. Good for you!

Unfortunately, this sort of event still happens in Georgia, according to the alert I read this morning in my inbox. I'll be a little lazy this morning and copy and paste the info on that alert to save you some time in pulling it up yourself:

On February 24, our office reported the Hickory Crossing Bay Pen event to the Hart County Sheriff's Department. However, the department's investigators, obviously aware of the matter, seemed reluctant to investigate. One of their arguments for not intervening was that local hog-dog rodeo organizers were given an "exhibition permit" by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. Spokespersons for that agency claim that hogs "are only chased around" and are not physically assaulted by the dogs. Needless to say, we find it hard to believe that hog-dog rodeos in Hart County differ from other hog-dog rodeos across the country.

I find it hard to believe, too.

Please write to the Hart County Sheriff's Department and the Hart County district attorney, and ask that the hog-dog rodeo scheduled for this weekend be investigated and that violators of Georgia's anti-cruelty statute (which states that "a person commits the offense of cruelty to animals when he or she causes...unjustifiable pain or suffering to any animal by an act, an omission, or willful neglect") be arrested and prosecuted.

Here is the information you need to contact the officials responsible for shutting down this event. Please be polite and respectful in your requests for action. Rudeness and hate have no place in such correspondence.

Sheriff Mike Cleveland
Hart County Sheriff's Department
706-376-3114
706-376-2287 (fax)
sheriff@hartcom.net

The Honorable Robert W. Lavender
District Attorney
Hart County District Attorney's Office
706-376-3128
706-283-1716
706-376-1620 (fax)

It is amazing to most of the decent members of society that things like this go on in these rural areas. People certainly were shocked when I came out with my stories. They seemed to be unbelievable to some people. However, in many small towns across the country, things like this happen all the time. They have happened for years, even generations, mostly because no one outside of the area knew anything about it. The authorities don't get involved because things like this have been a part of an area for so long, not to mention the fact that, usually, prominent citizens with money and local power are involved in them. They profit from events like this, just like in the case of the cockfighting in Oklahoma I wrote about here a while back.

However, with the Internet bringing people together, it is becoming harder and harder for such atrocities to go on unnoticed anymore. People are waking up to the fact that animals are cruelly tortured for sport and "family fun" in many such small communities nationwide. They are shocked and outraged that members of a so-called decent and moral society are a part of such inhumane and viciously cruel mistreatment and abuse of animals. They are even more outraged when they find out that children are being brought up in such a way as to view such torture as "good, clean family fun."

Well, they are. It's a fact, as you have now found out.

Just as the other stories told on this site are a fact. They happened. They continue to happen every day. Just a quick look at the pictures of the chickens we rescued (and buried) over the last week or so show you that. Too many people just don't look at animals and see the soul shining out through their innocent, trusting eyes. They close their ears to the sounds of anguish and pain coming from the mouths of these animals as they suffer. They even defend such practices as "necessary." Necessary for what?

Necessary so that they can exploit the animal for the maximum profit, without any regard at all to how it may affect the animal? How very selfish that is!

Then, they argue that these things are "the way things are."

But, that doesn't mean they have to be that way. They are not necessary.

Mankind needs to make that next leap in evolution. We need to recognize the divine in all creatures - the spirit that breathes life into each physical form. The spirit that is stifled, trampled, snuffed out, and treated with disrespect every time a human mistreats an animal.

To do nothing about this when you hear of it, or see it happen before your very eyes, is to be a part of the problem, and thus guilty of inhumanity, cruelty, selfishness, and greed, yourself. To not care is callous and cold.

Look deep within yourself. What do you see there? Is there love, compassion, respect? Or is there hate, coldness, disrespect, even apathy?

What would you prefer to be inside you? What would you prefer to find in the heart of your child? Love or hate? Kindness or cruelty?

Each one of us makes that choice every day through our actions. Or our inactions. The mindset that allows this cruelty is wrong, but the one that enjoys it is clearly frightening to think about. But, we must. It's a duty. It is our responsibility as citizens of the world in which we live.

What sort of a life will such a child taught to enjoy these hog-dog rodeos grow up to have? How will viewing such an event as "fun" have on their outlook and perspective of the world? How will this affect their future actions?

Think on that for a moment. And, then think about it again. More deeply.

Now, take the appropriate action.

Become part of the solution - not the problem.

It only takes a minute to jot off an email or make a phone call. I even made it easy for you. The choice now is yours. But the future is theirs.

What kind of a future would you like to see?

And what are you willing to do to make it so?
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