<$BlogRSDUrl$> 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.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Win a 2005 Prius! And More..... 

I have been asked by a reader to make a post on this contest. I believe it is a great idea, and a fun thing to do, and you never know - you might WIN!

Here's the deal. It's really simple. All you have to do is to write a new slogan to "capture the automakers' attention and spur action" to get them to build more of them. The demand for these cars is much greater right now than the supply. And, with global warming only getting worse, with us fighting wars over oil, etc., they should be stepping up production of greener vehicles, not making bigger SUVs and the hated Hummers. Don't you agree?

The Center for a New American Dream has a contest page for submitting your slogan to. It should be no more than 10 words. If yout slogan is the winner, then you win one of the new 2005 Prius cars, which gets (according to the EPA) 55 mpg! I can tell you that I would LOVE to have one of these! What about you? If so, then submit away. If you care to share, after submitting your idea, send me a copy, and (if you like) I will feature it here. I didn't get anyone sending poems on the KFC contest (what's wrong with you - no poets out there?), but perhaps we will have a bit of participation in this. A 10-word slogan is easier than a poem. And hey, what a prize if you win!

My thinking is that, even if you aren't the winner, simply making an entry into this contest will show just how many people are interested in these cars and hopefully drive up the demand high enough that automakers will have to listen. During the last oil crisis, back when everyone waited in long lines to get rationed gas, there were a lot of people who dumped their old gas-guzzling vehicles for the new imports that were smaller and more fuel-efficient. Remember? The auto industry fought back really hard with things like, "Buy American!" to try to keep consumers buying their cars, but they also responded and started rolling out more fuel-efficient vehicles. The fact is that companies want to make money, and they will produce what the consumer wants. It's just up to all of us to make them realize that more of us are interested in greener cars and reducing global warming than we are with buying big gas-guzzling SUVs and Hummers.

Nowadays the power of the consumer has never been greater. "Voting with your dollars" is the absolute best way to take non-violent, easy, peacful, and very effective direct action on a daily basis and influence the marketplace to offer the kinds of animal- and Earth-friendly products that so many of us have to work so hard to find, and even in most cases pay more for once we do. The only way to get these products to be offered in more stores, in more cities, and at lower prices that everyone can afford is to quit buying the things that don't fit into the socially-responsible lifestyle that so many of us prefer (and work awfully hard right now) to live. If we can accomplish this, just think of the long-term benefits of this way of doing business. It will be much easier for those who aren't as committed. Just think how many more people (especially low-income folks like me!) would choose the better products if they sat side by side and at the same price as the less desirable options! Don't you think more people would choose the greener and more anmal-friendly options? I know so. All the statistics say so. It's up to us to make it easy for them to change. and each of us do have that power to effect that change every time we put something in our carts and bring it home. Think about that. Isn't it worth paying a little more for to do that? It is for me, and I am probably about the most financially-challenged (I hate the word poor - I am wealthy in so many other ways!) person I know. It's just a matter of priorities. I will pay a little more for the organic, fair-trade products if they are offered in the store side-by-side with the other products. If they aren't even there on the shelves, then I don't have much choice, now do I?????????? Let's change that!

Remember when the phrase "politically correct" became fashionable and everything that didn't fit into that category started being shunned, those that flouted it were scorned, and large corporations were forced to start listening and responding? Just like the vast majority of us (even most SUV and Hummer drivers!) would never call an individual the "n" word for the color of their skin, we can and should make it just as unacceptable to drive one of these behemoths, helping them to see the light and make the change for the better.

Oh, and that reminds me of a couple of articles I read on the resurgence of fur and what the the AR community is doing and not doing, and especially with regard to the idea of pushing fake fur. There is one titled "How to hit narcissists with the anti-fur message" that was really good. The other one I read unfortunately doesn't have a link to it, as it came in the Animal Advocacy group's daily digest newsletter, but you can either go there and read it or I would be more than happy to send you a copy. Just drop me an email. I'll send it right out as soon as I see it.

On a more personal note, we are still working very hard around here, still working on helping the chickens and other animals be warm and dry on these cold nights. It's already been down in the teens, so we have been working overtime, often until after dark while holding a flashlight, to get all of them comfortable and warm. In fact, as soon as I am through here, I am heading outside to build one flock of them a brand new house today. We have a really bad cold spell coming that may even produce a few flurries next Wednesday, so we need to buckle down even harder to get everyone all tucked in and warm before it hits. We have made a lot of progress, but we still have more to do that isn't just a temporary fix.

The really bad sustained cold spell (at least for this part of the country, may not for some of you that live farter north) is coming in starting tomorrow night. We will be taking up water for ourselves because we have no way of keeping our pipes (well, it's really a long buried and insulated pipe from the well, attached to a regular water hose that is attached to the trailer - no way to wrap the hose) from freezing in this trailer. See, we don't have hot water here in the trailer (boy, it's cold when we wash our hands in that icy water!), and so the drain in the sink always stops up, and so we can't drip water to keep it from freezing. We just have to get enough saved up. Usually this isn't a problem, as it warms up enough during the day to thaw back out, but next week, I really don't think they will thaw out for at least 4 days (that's as far as my forecast shows that came in this morning - could be longer). It has to get, at the very least, in the 40's to thaw us out, and it won't do that for days, according to our forecast. We may even just move on in to Laura's mother's for a few days and sleep on her hide-a-bed, bringing in all of the dogs with us.

We have been building fires at night to keep the dogs warm. Plus, we have a real bed in the greenhouse they can go and cuddle up on to stay warm and out of the cold wind. It is pretty good at holding in the warmth of the sun gained during the day, but we wish we could do better than that. Hopefully this will be the last winter they are outside like this - we are pretty sure our house will be done by next year - finally! This trailer ain't too warm either on the coldest nights, with the floor being a whole 20 degrees colder than up by our heads (yep - we measured it!), so they don't really like being in here with us and laying on it or we would let them in. All we have is one of those tiny little bathroom heaters, and this trailer is pretty old (1970's) and pretty drafty now. Luckily for me, I am quite spoiled by my wonderful, loving woman (yes, I am shamelssly buttering her up and letting her know how much I appreciate her kindness!) that brings me coffee in bed each morning. Isn't she sweet? Of course, it's the other way around if she isn't doing too well. These cold days and nights are really hard on someone with chronic pain, as many of you probably well know. It's not too great on my arthritis, either, though. It's hell getting old, isn't it?! LOL!

Well, time's a ticking, and I have a lot to do before it gets cold tonight. Gotta go get those chickens a new house built. Wish we could get ours done in a day! LOL!

Have a good day, everyone. Just in case I don't have time to make another post before Christmas, I hope each one of you has a happy and cruelty-free holiday, however you celebrate it. Speaking of which, if you are one of the many vegans who hate to see dead animals sitting on the table on such an otherwise joyous occasion and are trying to figure out a good way to help your family change, PETA is featuring a few letters that folks have written to their families to convince them to start a new, cruelty-free holiday tradition. It may be worth a try, huh? Certainly can't hurt. If you want to check them out, click here.

Peace be unto all of you and all the suffering humans and non-humans in the world. Let's try to help our families understand how important their actions can be towards reducing the amount of suffering and violence in this world this holiday season. Help them learn how to personally add to the level of peace, compassion, and goodwill in this crazy, war-torn world. It's a very simple and effective way for all of us to accomplish that goal by not causing anyone to suffer for our holiday enjoyment. And, isn't Christmas a perfect time to do so? I do believe that Jesus would have a pretty serious problem with families celebrating His birthday by consuming a tortured, factory-farmed animal in His name, now don't you? ???? Ask them, What Would Jesus Do???!! And for you pagans/Wiccans out there, when you light that Yule log, what about pondering the deeper meaning of "And ye harm none"????????????? And then acting on it??? Sorry, I don't know enough about other religions' ways to comment. Perhaps some of you will think about it, though, and enlighten me and others.

Vote with your dollars! Buy cruelty-free! Buy green!

Have a good day, everyone.

Still doing those good deeds everyday? If not, won't you start today?

Pass the peas, please. I say thankya. Long days and pleasant nights. (Bonus points for those that know what those phrases refer to and where and who the last two came from.)

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