<$BlogRSDUrl$> 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.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Parlez Vous Francais? Good news/Bad news 

Great news! I was written up in the French magazine Epok. I received my copies of it in the mail yesterday. Welcome to all the readers from France! But, I can't read a word of this article to see what it says. If there is anyone out there that is willing to do a translation for me, I would be most grateful.

Also, I am afraid I have some rather bad news. For all of you that have been reading this blog for awhile, you are well aware of the financial difficulties that I have had since leaving Tyson. You also know that I had to cut back on my activism after the unemployment ran out. Your generous donations helped me get through the first couple of months after that, and I have been working as much as I possibly can doing all that brush-clearing, firewood-cutting, etc. Basically anything I could find, as long as it was legal. I have been working almost every day, for at least part of the day. Laura has helped as much as she can, but she can only do so much with all of her serious and debilitating medical problems. She has ignored her doctor's advice many times to help me, much to her detriment, and suffered great pain because of it. We are talking really bad pain. She lives with pain every second of every minute of every day due to her medical problems, and probably always will, but she has done her very best to "do her part," as she says, and I am thankful for that, even though I tried to get her to take it easy.

Well, I'm sorry to say that it just hasn't been enough. Within about a week or so, this blog may very well go offline due to my inability to pay the phone and electric bills. We counted change to feed the dogs after the trailer we were using to haul the pulpwood out of here collapsed on the way to the mill (gotta get that thing off the road!), and their food runs out today. Now, we have one last half-day at a job we have been doing, so I will at least get a little bit from that today, so I will be able to feed them. We will not let them go hungry, even if we have to go without ourselves. It wouldn't be the first time. But, it won't be enough to pay the bills. Unless a miracle happens, my online activities will be over until I can get together more money to get caught up. My last hope was my tax refund. It wasn't going to be much, but it would have gotten me out of the hole and kept me going for another month. But, it has been confiscated for a debt I owed. I didn't know that they could do that, but apparently so. I have gotten pretty far behind on a number of things, but I do the best I can with what I've got. It just isn't much, as you all know.

That goes for the Yahoo group, too, I'm afraid. At least I have a couple of members there that I made moderators a while back, so that will keep going, even without my daily presence. I will check in as often as I can, though. I will have some spotty access to a computer if mine gets shut down, but nothing regular. So, if I don't answer an email right away and this blog quits getting updated for awhile, you will know why. I will keep going as long as I can keep the lights and phone on, though. But, I will be devoting even more time to trying to find work - any work - to get the bills paid. You will just have to be patient with me. At least the temperatures are warming up, so we won't freeze without electricity. I have lived without it before, and can do so again if I have to.

There is one bit of hope, though. A few of the people that I have been working with are going to see what we can do to start up an official non-profit organization to not only keep this blog educating the public and the group running, but to hopefully expand upon it, with me doing more speaking engagements, and perhaps with enough funding, starting a shelter for all these animals that keep getting dumped out here. (BTW - I still don't have homes for the three dogs featured on the photo page, if anyone can help give them a home. They really need one badly.) There is someone else taking care of setting up this organization for me, since all my time will be spent trying to find some work. Well, at least until the gas in the truck is gone. I don't have long distance on the phone now. They already shut that off, so I can't call around anymore to look for work. In this area, anyone that doesn't live within just a few miles is long distance, and there are no businesses within my local phone area, at least none hiring - there are only a few family businesses. And, since I have been actively looking for steady work for over a year and not finding any, I'm not too hopeful about that prospect. But, I am hoping to at least keep finding odd jobs like we have been doing. Unfortunately, the ad I had running in the paper has expired, and I don't have the money to rerun it, so I don't know how that will turn out, either. I will just continue to have hope and faith that something will happen to allow me to continue. (I still can't say those words without thinking of those poor chickens I showed you pics of.)

Anyway, I thought I owed all of you an explanation for the anticipated absence. I haven't given up hope, but I didn't want to wait until the very last minute to tell you, either. Some of you I have gotten to know pretty well, and you, of all people, deserve to know what is going on. Some of you generously donated funding to help, and you certainly deserve to know. You can't know how much that help was appreciated. There were several of you that really made a big difference. And it wasn't necessarily just the people who donated the larger amounts, either. The last donation I got was only $10, but it came at a time that I didn't have any gas money to be able to make the trip to town to try to take the ill-fated load of pulpwood in, and show up for another day of work, thus assuring that the dogs got their food. I had just run out that day. That person was a life-saver. You know who you are. Thank you yet again. Every little bit helps. It really does.

I had really hoped that this would turn into a full-time thing, and for a while that looked possible, but until things change for the better, that won't happen. I have always made sure that the information I post here could be used freely by anyone (as long as it was not for profit and shared freely), and many people have taken advantage of that. I'm very glad that I could help all of you. I have really enjoyed it. And, I have especially enjoyed hearing from so many of you through the months. Your words of support have been quite inspiring and have reminded me that there are good, caring people in the world. Those emails, cards, and letters have meant so much to me. They kept me going when I got down. I have looked back over them several times when I needed the inspiration. Thank you for that. :)

I will never regret my decision to go public, even though it has cost me greatly in many ways. I know that I did the right thing, and that is all the truly matters. I will keep on fighting this fight as much as I can, with the hope that one day things will be better. On thing is for sure:

I WILL NEVER GIVE UP!!!!!

I will be back - some way, somehow. But, I will not compromise my principles. I will not commit illegal acts to get money. I would rather go a little hungry than do that. No, I have turned my life around (with a lot of help from some loving people, especially Laura - thanks, babe - I love you), and I intend to keep it that way. I can't go backwards now. And, I won't let them have the satisfaction of that, either. I am a survivor. Even when things get hard, I don't give up. And, I usually come out the other side a better person for the hardship. They say that hardship builds character. Well, won't I be a really neat old person one day? LOL!

Well, keep me and Laura in your thoughts and prayers. And do the same for the animals that depend on us, too. There is still hope. I haven't given up hope yet.

And, if you have found the information here useful to you, then please consider donating something to keep it going, even if it is only a little bit. Don't make things unduly hard on yourself if you truly can't afford it. I wouldn't want that, but for those of you who can, then please at least consider it. I really do hate to ask (it hurts my pride, but I have others that depend on me that are more important than my pride), but I don't think I can pull out of this by myself this time, at least not anytime soon. Every little bit will help. If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, then you will know that I am anything but a lazy bum. I work very hard every day, (even if it is just burning the dead pine around here to eradicate the pine beetles - I don't just sit around on my butt, that's for sure!). It just doesn't pay much when I do work hard. And, there just isn't much work around here. People around here are poor, and just don't have much to pay for help. Believe me, we have been known to have both Laura and I put in around 4-6 hours for the minimal return of only $20 for that amount of time at the end of the day. So, we don't turn down anything in the way of work that we find, no matter how little it may pay. At least it is something. And something is better than nothing. There just isn't much, and what there is, doesn't pay too well. I really hate to ask like this, but readers, you are the only hope there is right now to keep this thing alive. It's up to you whether it keeps going or not.

Thank you again for your support, everyone. Have a good day.

And, don't worry about me. I will be okay. I am more worried about Laura and the animals than anything. And, of course, losing the ability to keep up this fight. I may get knocked down from time to time, but I always get back up. I have to. And I will again. You haven't heard the last of me yet, no matter what happens.

Not by a long shot.

Now, wipe the frown off your face and smile. It's not the end of the world. It's just a major setback. It ain't over yet. I promise you that. Okay?

Go enjoy your day. And don't forget to give your animals a hug or two. Ad, if you can't help me, then do a good deed for someone. It doesn't have to cost you a thing. Smiles are free. Holding the door open for someone is, too. Be good to each other.

And, don't give up hope. I sure won't.

I'll be back!
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