<$BlogRSDUrl$> 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, April 30, 2004

Horrified and Mad! 

Well, I was sitting here this morning, reading my emails and wondering what to post about today. Then I came across an email that just got my blood to boiling.

An editor of of one of the media outlets wrote me to tell me of a horrifying story they had reported on. (Thanks for alerting me to this, Ron.) The title of it speaks for itself: "Mobile County family horrified to find their poodle skinned alive." There is a picture of the dog on the site, and even a video, if you can stomach it.

What the hell is this world coming to, I want to know! What kind of a miserable, sick, and twisted individual would do this heinous thing to a helpless little animal like that? What sort of lowlife gets his kicks from torturing poodles? What sort of a cowardly gutless wonder does this?

According to this disturbing story, the kids of the family are the ones that found this poor dog and pulled him out from underneath their house, screaming to their mother that, "his hair is falling off!" Needless to say, they were scared to death and now one of them, an 8-year-old, is afraid to leave his home even to go to school - that the guy that did this will get him, too. Can you blame him?

And, you know, that isn't too much of a stretch of the imagination, either. Most serial killers, and many murderers, first started with torturing and killing animals before they moved on to human victims. It's really not that uncommon at all. Some of the most famous killers we have had did this. Guess it quit giving them the thrill it did when they started, so they had to move up to something a little more challenging to get the same feeling of "power" and "ultimate control" that seems to excite them so much and get their rocks off. Similar to what motivates child molesters and rapists. Sick!

This poor little dog, Skipper, was still alive when the family found him - probably suffered for at least 4 hours or so that way before he finally died in agony. The poor woman had this to say:

"I could lift his skin up, and everything else and he was still alive. He would look at me helpless, absolutely helpless."

Can you imagine how you would feel if this had been your dog - or perhaps even worse, your child?

The article also gives the following information for anyone that may have any kind of information to report on this, which I will also share. If you happen to know anything, please contact them. This isn't one of those things that you can just brush aside, saying that it is none of your business. When there is such a sicko walking free in your area, it most definitely is your business. Next time he could visit you.

If you have any information about this crime, call the Mobile County Sheriff's Office at (251) 574-8633. You can contact the Mobile SPCA office at spca@mobilespca.org.

We need to take cruelty to animals a little more seriously in this country. I hope this guy doesn't get away with this. I hope that the prosecutors and law enforcement officers also take this seriously and throw the book at him if he is caught. And I hope he goes to jail for awhile and that his cellmate is a big ol' lifer named "Bubba" that loves animals and hates little cowards that abuse them. That would give him a taste of what he put that poor little dog through. What a scum!

If that jerk is reading this (which I highly doubt, but stranger things have happened), why don't you come on over here to Arkansas. We'll show you what we do with sickos like you. You make me sick! Turn yourself in and beg on your knees for forgiveness before it's too late.

To Skipper's family:

You have my condolences. I am sorry for the hurt and fright you have endured. I feel for you. And, Skipper, rest in peace little guy. No one will ever hurt you again. You were loved and didn't deserve this.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Earth Day 

Well, another year has rolled around and we and Mother Earth are still here, despite all that society has done to her. It's truly pitiful what Earth Day has come to mean for some, though.

What do I mean by that? Well, I'll tell you.

The first Earth Day was a really big deal, with people everywhere waking up to the reality that we were literally destroying our home. There was a groundswell of public and even government! support for protecting our Mother, nurturing and respecting Her. Sweeping legislation was passed, including the Endangered Species Act, The Federal Clean Air Act, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, and the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Teach-ins were held. Development projects were stopped. Habitats were saved. Congress even adjourned for the day, with over 500 participating.

This year did Congress adjourn? No.

In fact, this administration has done more to roll back all of those hard-won protections than any before. It's shameful - truly shameful what Bush has done.

Cutting old-growth forests under the guise of fire-suppression. Yeah right. It's not the old-growth that is the problem, but the underbrush that has grown up in the clear-cuts that poses the most risks. But, there is not much of a market for underbrush, now is there?

Gutting the Clean Air Act - putting even more people at risk due to breathing polluted air, especially kids with asthma.

Allowing mining companies to remove whole mountaintops and shove them into streams!

I just want to scream! What the hell has happened? It started out so good. Where did the momentum go? What happened to the burning desire for true change?

There are still a few out there that have not lost it, but far too many organizations seem to have reduced Earth Day into a big fund-raising event, selling T-shirts and things like that. A few organizations are planting trees, cleaning up beaches, etc. Well, that's nice and all, but shouldn't that be going on anyway every day of the year?

Where are the protests? Where are the people marching in the streets demanding new leadership and change resulting in the real protection of the environment that every one of us calls home? What has happened to the true spirit of Earth Day?

We are still overpopulating wildly. There are still little kids drinking polluted water and facing death from it. The oceans are so over-fished that we may not be able to "fix" them. Our rivers, including the one I live on, are contaminated with mercury, with warnings about eating the fish - (not that I do that anymore anyway, but that is not the point).

You see what I mean, don't you? We have gotten complacent. We think we can go about our busy little lives and then one day a year do something symbolic to "save" the Earth from our actions on the other 364 days of the year.

Well, that's simply not enough. We have to do more than that. We must or we will not be given any choice. Mother Earth will simply choose for us, and it won't be pretty. Instead of buying filters for our water, we need to quit polluting it in the first place. Instead of attending an Earth Day festival once a year, we should be writing letters to our legislators every day.

You know what I think we should do today?

Stop.

Just stop everything for a moment. Go find a quiet spot in Nature somewhere, even if it is only under a tree in your own backyard. Take off your shoes and feel the earth beneath your feet. Take a few deep breaths, consciously breathing in positive healing energy and breathing out the negativity that builds up in all of us due to our stressful busy lives. Feel the breeze in your hair, the sunshine on your face. Give thanks just for being alive. Listen to the birds. Watch the butterflies. Look - really look - at what is around you that you take for granted every day. Spend a little time with your family. Appreciate what they mean to you and you to them.

In short - reconnect.

Become one with all that is again, or for the first time. Regain the balance and harmony that somehow gets lost in our daily lives as we bustle about. Take an inventory of what kind of an impact your life has on Mother Earth - your own personal ecological footprint. Think about what you really want to be remembered for having accomplished when you are gone. Pledge to take the time every day to remind yourself that there are horrors in this world than you can do something about.

Then start over again on a new track, making even just a few changes in your life to make the world a better place. Do something every single day to accomplish this new goal. There are many things you can do that really take very little effort, but add up to a lot when many people engage in these responsible, caring behaviors.

Don't buy a product from a socially irresponsible company. Write Congress about something that bothers you. Help someone else learn about something that you know. Go vegetarian - or even vegan. Just do something - anything at all. Each and every day - not just today on Earth Day. And take the time to nurture yourself and those you love. Literally take the time to smell the roses. Appreciate and respect life.

Every day should be Earth Day. I look forward hopefully to a future when Earth Day is not necessary anymore. A day when we don't rape, trash, and otherwise abuse our Mother. A day when society shakes its head sadly at the idea that in the past the Earth was only thought about one day a year. A day when we decide that the environment is far more important than economic growth. When we grow up and mature into socially responsible people. When we can again live in harmony with all living creatures.

Wouldn't that be wonderful?

I can hope, can't I?

Well, with that, I'm signing off now. I think I'll go pick up some trash off the road. But then I intend to just go sit in the woods and breathe in the wonder of life. I'll enjoy the fresh green smell of the newly rain-washed woods, listening to the birds and watching the butterflies.

Have a good day everyone. I truly hope that you have a nice day and that you do take some time to appreciate the day. I would love to hear from some of you to hear how you spent today.

Happy Earth Day, Mother.
Posted by: # Virgil / 1:53 PM 0 comments Links to this post

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Perceptions and Deceptions 

Well, I had written a much longer post than this at first, but then all of a sudden there was an annoying error that came up, closed the window I was working in, and I completely lost it. So, now it will be quite a bit shorter than the one I had planned, as now I have to go and get busy with my day's work. Oh well, at least the main point will get across to you. *sigh*

I wanted to call your attention to the cover story in the latest issue of Style magazine. If you haven't read it yet, then I urge you to do so, especially if you are one of the many people who pay a little more for "organic," "free-range," or "cage-free" eggs. Like the article on the undercover work that COK did that I brought your attention to, this article also shows that many of the hens raised in so-called "good" conditions are living miserable lives not much better than the ones lived by regular battery hens on regular factory farms, regardless of what the label says.

I have noticed, in reading posts in the many different groups that I am a member of, that there are still a lot of misconceptions out there regarding these labels. That greatly annoys me, especially when the ethical vegetarians are the ones that are the victims of this deception, paying more for what they perceive as a cruelty-free product.

The article, "Into the Frying Pan Virginia's egg business heats up. But is there a difference between factory and farm?" describes the wide differences in practices that companies engage in that are allowed to use this label. Some of the smaller farmers go out of their way to give their hens a good life and practice sustainable agriculture, while the larger ones are hardly any better than the regular factory farms raising hens in miserable conditions. It's a real eye-opener.

So, the point is that if you really want to make sure of the product you are buying, you need to do a little further research to find out who produces it and what their practices are. If the farmer is proud of their methods, they will gladly answer your questions, and perhaps even let you tour their place. If not, and they offer some lame excuses and reasoning for their practices, not letting you anywhere close to their operation, then that should send up a big red flag. You probably don't want to buy from them at all.

It really doesn't take as much time and effort as you might think to check these things out. You can accomplish quite a bit from the comfort of your home online or on the phone. I will be glad to answer questions, provide articles and other references for you to check out, as I assume many other groups will. There is a wealth of information out there if you will just take the time to read it.

If you truly care whether or not the products you buy are cruelty-free, you will not simply accept the labeling on the package as the sole source of information when you make your decision. While I commend your efforts by reading labels, you should know that the guidelines for obtaining the right to use those labels are not guaranteed to mean that the hens are treated humanely or that they are raised sustainably, with respect and kindness.

This article makes that point rather well.

Each of us should take the initiative and uphold our responsibility to be good citizens of the world. If we can't depend on legislation and our government to police these places and properly inform the consumers, then we must make an effort to do that for ourselves. This should be a priority for us, no matter how busy our lives are. We manage to find time for the things that are important to us. Living an ethical, moral life should be one of the biggest priorities we have. It is a great lesson for kids, too. If you involve them in this research and decision-making process, they are much more likely to grow into caring, responsible adults, making good decisions in all areas of their lives. And, you will also be showing them how to live an ethical life and leaving them a planet that is in much better condition than it is right now. Kids watch more of what we do than they listen to what we say. If you show them that it is important to live an ethical, responsible, and compassionate life, then they will grow up learning to do the same. Deeds are so much more important than mere words.

As a consumer, you have much more power than you think. Only you can decide who gets your money and what practices you will thus support with your dollars. Businesses will respond to the demands of the consumers. They have to in order to stay in business and sell their products. If no one wants to buy them because they do not agree with the way they are produced, then they must change their ways, regardless of what the laws or guidelines say.

The large corporations spend millions of dollars to spread their propaganda and make misleading statements, directing their advertising to play with your mind, even having editorials written that support their views. Don't let them dupe you into buying their products without checking things out for yourself. They will hardly tell you the truth about things that don't reflect well on their reputation. They work really, really hard to put themselves in the best light possible, twisting and omitting facts as they see fit. They pay experts to carefully choose their wording so it sounds better. I know because I have seen their plans and their methods of targeting you in these ways. They actually laid them out for anyone to read. You just have to know where to look. I have shared these tactics in my group. (Archives are open to the public for your perusal.)

There is a lot of competition out there for the consumer's dollar. And companies will do anything to be the ones to get it. If you speak loudly enough and consider every dollar you spend to be like a vote, then you will have a definite impact. They will respond to your demands. For every demand there will be a supply.

We can change the world and the marketplace with a little effort.

We really can.
Posted by: # Virgil / 8:38 AM 0 comments Links to this post

Friday, April 16, 2004

Whose Fault is it? 

While everyone is busy pointing fingers at everyone else about whose fault 9/11 was, I think that it is worthwhile to examine just how much of that is our fault as members of society here in America. Before you start to send that piece of hate-mail to me, take a couple of deep breaths, open your mind a minute and listen to what I have to say about this and why I say it. (You can still send it after you hear me out, but you better think up some really good arguments, not just repeat the same old propaganda the president spews out every day to get you to go along with his failed policies.)

First off, we need to ask the question, "Why do they hate us?"

Now, instead of listening to the administration's propaganda and lame explanations, we need to really look at what they are so upset about in order to figure out the answer to this question. This is not really about assigning blame. What good does that do, except for politicians looking to get elected? No, we need to ask this question to determine what each of us could do differently in the future to try to assure that nothing like that ever happens again. What do they hate about us?

Our society - our culture - puts an emphasis on material goods. Success is defined by how much money you make, what kind of house you live in, what clothes you wear, what school your kids go to, what kind of job you have, etc. We hear about how wonderful, and even crucial, our continued economic growth is. Why is that? No, really. Why???

What's wrong with living a simple life, consuming no more than what you really need? What's wrong with making moral choices when we shop, buying only those goods raised in a respectable, sustainable way? Why do we sideline those who do, calling them extremists, or even worse - terrorists?

The people in impoverished countries are upset with us. And for good reason. They have a right to be.

Now, calm down and let me finish.

Far too many of us wrap ourselves in the flag and say, "But I have a right to buy what I want, eat what I want, say what I want, do what I want, etc."

Do you? Do you really? Who gave you that right? And at what cost does that right come?

Now, I'm not saying that we should not be free to make our own decisions. What I am saying is that with that privilege of free will also comes great responsibility. If you make the right decisions, then there are rewards, but when you make the wrong ones, there are consequences. Sure, you are free to make the wrong decisions, but then you are also free to accept the consequences for those decisions. We must learn from our mistakes, or we are doomed to repeat them.

Now, some of you may be wondering why I am talking about 9/11 on an environmental/animal rights blog. Well, I'll tell you.

It's because all of this goes hand-in-hand. Now, this may seem like a shocking new concept to some of you (yes, I'm being just a bit sarcastic), but each one of us does bear a certain responsibility for the choices we make in our lives. Even the seemingly small choices we make every day as we go about our busy lives.

What kind of car do you drive? Do you have more than one? What kind of house do you live in? Do you have more than one of those? Do you buy disposable products? Do you buy and consume meat? Dairy? Eggs? Organic food? Do you recycle? Paper or plastic, or do you bring your own reusable bag for your groceries? Toxic cleansers and pesticides? Single-serve packaging? Fast food? I could go on, but I think you get the point.

Now, ask yourself, "Why?" after you ask yourself each one of those questions.

Now, I want you to think about - REALLY think about - how much of that you really NEED. Think about what you think you really need for your own survival.

Now, re-examine that. Do you really need all of those things? Really?

There are billions of people who don't have those things, but they survive anyway. There are billions that don't have enough food, clean water, proper shelter, health care, etc. They can't feed themselves or their children.

Do they have the right to be envious of us and angry at us? What if you found out that the things that you take for granted come at the expense of those people?

Now, ask yourself, "Do you care?"

Well, you should. It's not "giving in to terrorists" when you bring yourself to care about these things or when you ask yourself what they are really upset about. I mean, how desperate does someone have to be to decide that their best course of action is to blow themselves up???

And, when you find so many people that feel this way, doesn't it beg the question of, "Why??????"

They don't hate our freedom, like the administration would have you believe. They hate what we choose to do with that freedom. And, rightly so, when it comes at their expense.

The human population is already too big a burden for this planet to sustain comfortably. And, it gets worse every single day. Have you read the many articles and stories the scientists have written on this and what the consequences are going to be for our children and grandchildren, even for ourselves? It's not alarmist - it's very true. It's very real.

Do you not care about this? If so, what choices are you making every day to offset the damage your survival does to the planet by consuming precious natural resources? Are you part of the problem or are you part of the solution? Really? How hard do you work at leaving as small a footprint as possible on this Earth? Think about that really hard before you answer. And be honest with yourself about it. You can't lie to yourself. You know the truth, whatever you may choose to tell others.

There is a signature that one of my friends uses on the bottom of her emails that I want you to think about:

A mere 10% reduction in meat consumption by Americans would free up enough land to grow 12 million tons of grain – enough to save the 20 million people who starve to death on our planet each year.

10% - is that to much to ask? Do you really have the "right" to eat that hamburger, knowing that it may keep a child from being able to eat anything at all today? Especally when you don't need it?

That's what this post is really about.

Now, imagine if you were to have to switch places with the mother or father of that child. Imagine how you would feel watching your child slowly starve to death while someone on the other side of the world scarfs down a fast food dinner because they think they have the "right" to do so. Would you not be at least a little bit upset? Would you not be angry? Frustrated?

Now, imagine that you work hard in the fields every day, growing grain that could help to feed your family, but instead your government takes that grain and exports it to a richer country for them to feed their cows so that their citizens can eat those fast food burgers. Wouldn't you just seethe with anger at the unfairness of it all? Would you care about someone else's "right" to buy and eat what they want? What lengths would you go to in order to call attention to your plight?

What if a richer, more powerful country was coming to take the natural resources you depend on to survive so that they could engage in their "rightful" pursuit of "happiness" - driving luxurious cars, building huge houses with hot tubs, eating fast food, going to circuses and zoos, riding 4-wheelers, or other unnecessary-for-survival activities? Their unhealthy and unsustainable desire for more, more, MORE!!!! At your expense...

If you are reading this, then you aren't one of the unfortunate billions that will go to bed hungry tonight, worrying about how you are going to feed your growing family. You aren't living in an overcrowded hut, drinking water full of disease, watching your children starve while others get rich. You have a decent place to live, electricity, food in your belly, clean water to drink, clothes on your back, etc. You are comfortable and content and busy going about your life in freedom, with all the rights you have ascribed to yourself.

There is a deeper message in the Christian rule of "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Or the Wiccan rede, "And ye do no harm, do what thou will." We say these things, but do we live them? Really?

Some people are starting to realize this. They are taking steps to live in harmony with Nature, using no more than they really need, trying their best not to infringe on the rights of others in their quest for survival. They are not extremists. They are realists. And they are quite aware of the cost of their own survival. They seek to reduce that cost and bring awareness to the rest of the public as to what that cost really is. They are caring, responsible citizens of the world that realize that with the privilege of freedom, comes great responsiblity. The more freedom you have, the more responsiblity you must show when you exercise that freedom.

We need to climb down off our high horses and actually reach out to those less fortunate. Instead of dropping bombs on them, calling them names, justifying our actions, we need to ask them how our lifestyle is hurting them and what we can do to help make their lives better so that they don't feel desperate enough to blow themselves up to get our attention.

They have our attention. It doesn't really matter whose fault it ultimately is. Not really. It's not any one person's fault.

Because the fault lies with all of us.

Now, what are you personally going to do about it? And, will you start today? Right now? Why or why not?

Be properly grateful for what you have because it comes at great cost to someone else. Probably a whole lot of someone elses.

The cow/pig/chicken/fish you eat, the worker you exploit, the rainforest you destroy, the global warming you create, the child you starve. You are supporting these practices when you purchase some products, so you are responsible for the those actions. It's not just the corporations at fault - it's also the fault of the consumers that keep them in business when they buy their products. You are also responsible for the vote you cast (or don't cast). Because we also make choices when we don't do something. Not doing something to help is the same as doing something that hurts.

Think about that when you look at everyone pointing fingers.

Get up and go look in the mirror and ask yourself how much of it is your fault.
Really. Go on, do it. I dare you. I dare you to look that hard and long and deeply at your own self, your choices, your lifestyle.

Whose fault is it?
Posted by: # Virgil / 6:44 AM 0 comments Links to this post

Saturday, April 10, 2004

New Bill Proposed to Protect Chickens Needs Support 

I have written before about the fact that chickens (or any other birds, like turkeys) are not covered by the Humane Slaughter Act. This leaves them completely vulnerable to any sort of treatment, even the horrible abuse that I have devoted so much time and space to here on this blog.

I have also written about the fact that technology exists that would eliminate the vast majority of suffering for these chickens - an argon-based gas-stun/kill technology that kills the birds in the transport crates. Since they would be dead before the workers handled them and before they were slaughtered, they would not suffer the kinds of injuries that have been detailed here and many other places, especially the horrible fact that many are scalded alive every day.

Well, Senator Robert C. Byrd has spoken out about the urgent need for a bill that will bring chickens (and other birds) under the federal Humane Slaughter Act. UPC has written about this in their latest newsletter. The details can be found by clicking here.

While it would definitely be better if chickens were no longer slaughtered at all, this legislation would at least protect them from the very worst cases of abuse and mistreatment, which are (of course) totally unnecessary.

I hope that each of you checks this out and voices your support for this bill. You don't have to be an animal rights advocate to want to ensure that the poultry slaughtered for food is treated as humanely as possible. Even if you do continue to eat chicken, wouldn't you rather know that it was ensured to be treated as humanely as possible? Who wants chickens to suffer needlessly? It is surely not necessary or desirable, now is it?

Please contact your Members of Congress to urge them to sponsor and support this bill. While you are at it, thank Senator Byrd for his compassion and caring attitude toward the chickens by addressing the widespread abuse they endure before they end up on the plates of the public. The instructions for doing so are also on the site referenced above, or you can simply call the
Capital Switchboard at 202-224-3121. Or visit www.senate.gov or www.house.gov to learn who your Members of Congress are that represent you.

As I have also mentioned before, I have talked with some of the workers at the Tyson plant where I used to work about the use of the argon-based gas-stun/kill technology. They strongly support this idea. It will make their job on back dock much easier, reduce their injuries, and reduce the overwhelming stress and frustration they endure in this type of work that leads to the types of vicious abuse of the chickens that I have reported here.

So, by supporting such technology, you will help to improve the welfare of the chickens and improve working conditions for the workers. It is definitely a win-win situation! And, for those of you still eating meat, this technology even helps to improve the quality of the meat you buy. There is less bruising, fewer broken bones, and even less contamination, since the birds are dead before they are shackled and scalded. So, it even helps the meat-eaters. This really is a good way to reduce the level of contamination because the chickens that are scalded alive contaminate the others in the scalding tank with fecal matter, as I have also discussed before. Therefore, those who eat meat would be less likely to eat tainted meat and feed it to their children. Who doesn't want to protect the health of their kids?

Everyone wins if this gets passed. So, voice your support loudly and tell everyone you know to do the same. For the chickens! For the workers! For the kids! And even for yourself!

It's the right thing to do.

Now see, I even have made your good deed for today easy for you! :)
Posted by: # Virgil / 6:49 AM 0 comments Links to this post

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

New Expose on Suffering of "Broiler" Chickens 

I just received a packet yesterday from my friends at Compassion Over Killing. Paul had told me that they had been doing this investigation and putting this together, so I had been anxiously waiting to see the results of this hard work.

Well, I wasn't disappointed. They did an excellent job of detailing the suffering of these poor "meat" chickens. They painstakingly gathered video and photo evidence each week of the suffering these unfortunate baby chicks endure, from hatching to slaughter, with a focus on the leading producers, Tyson and Perdue, and visited facilities in three major chicken-industry states.

You may have already seen the video that Paul put together after he came and visited me here and infiltrated the plant in Grannis that I used to work for, successfully filming the kill floor. Well, this one is even better than that if you want to see the whole story.

In addition to the video and photo evidence, they also extensively reviewed dozens of industry research articles on the welfare of these birds. They wrote up a report and put together a documentary film based on the countless hours of footage they took inside the factory farms and slaughterhouses. Their new documentary is entitled, "45 Days: The Life and Death of a Broiler Chicken." You can order your own copy on DVD or VHS from the site.

I hope that you will find their new site, ChickenIndustry.com, as interesting, informative, and well-done as I did. I also hope that you share it with others so that they can see for themselves what the truth is regarding these hellholes they raise and kill these birds in. There is no doubt that the conditions these birds live and die in are horrific and indefensibly cruel.

There is absolutely no excuse to inflict this kind of suffering on innocent babies.

None whatsoever.

Period.
Posted by: # Virgil / 9:34 AM 0 comments Links to this post

Thursday, April 01, 2004

More Deer Killing? 

I have been following the deer killing incident that I previously wrote about that was going on in Akron. The latest information I received informed me that the group responsible for getting the footage and bringing attention to this wanton cruelty displayed by Metro Parks, SHARK, has finally gotten some of their equipment back. But, there is a problem with that. No surprise there.

You see, according to the email that SHARK sent me, not only did they not receive 2 of the 8 cameras that were confiscated, but of the ones that were received, there was damage done to some of them. Oh, and of course, the video footage has been wiped clean off of them. Of course. I guess that is to be expected when something as shameful and heinous as footage of the cruel and unnecessary deer killings were on them.

But, there is another interesting point to make here. See, when these cameras were confiscated, they were being held as "evidence" in the hopes that they could be used to charge SHARK with some sort of a crime for exposing the atrocities caught on video. Now, the thing is, since the Metro Parks tampered with them, this is "tampering with evidence," which is a third degree felony in Ohio. So, of course, SHARK is bringing charges against them.

This is an interesting story to follow, for sure.

Now, though, there is another plan to kill more deer. However, instead of this happening at Metro Parks, this is proposed to happen at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. Why? Well, they want to expand the runway, of course. And, since there are deer living peacefully where they want to put this runway, the best idea they could come up with is to kill them.

Well, an employee at the airport found out about this and wasn't too happy about it. So, guess what he did - he contacted our friends at SHARK. And, of course, SHARK was more than happy to help!

They contacted Airport Commissioner Fred Szabo and suggested that the deer could be easily pushed off the property and onto adjacent Metro Parks property. They even offered to do this, and so did some of the caring airport employees. Doesn't this sound like a much more reasonable way to deal with the problem? And, it wouldn't cost the airport a cent! But, do you think that Szabo was falling all over himself in happiness that there was a better way to deal with the problem, thus ridding him of it, and even saving him money?

Nope.

He avoided taking responsibility for this, instead trying to push off the decision on the USDA. I'm sure that they will act in the best interests of these wonderful animals. (Yes, I'm being sarcastic.)

SHARK contacted everyone that they thought might have the authority over this proposal - John Mok / Airport Director, Fred Szabo / Airport Commissioner, Andy Montoney / State Director of Wildlife Services and Mayor Jane Campbell. And, according to SHARK:

As usual, everyone wanted to point to someone else, but ultimately, the consensus was that Airport Commissioner Fred Szabo is where the buck stops and sadly ... probably the does as well.

SHARK even provided the contact information for the individuals that they talked to for citizens to contact if they want to express their outrage and call on them to allow the volunteers to relocate these deer. I wrote my letter. If you would like to do the same, here is that information:

Fred Szabo, Airport Commissioner
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
5300 Riverside Dr.
Cleveland, OH 44135
Phone: 216-265-6100
fszabo@clevelandairport.com

John Mok, Airport Director
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
5300 Riverside Dr.
Cleveland, OH 44135
Phone: 216-265-6022
jmok@clevelandairport.com

Andrew J. Montoney, Ohio Wildlife Services State Director
United States Department of Agriculture
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
6929 Americana Parkway
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068-4116
Phone: 614-892-2514 and/or 419-625-9093
Fax: 614-892-2519
andrew.j.montoney@aphis.usda.gov

Mayor Jane Campbell
Cleveland City Hall
Mayor's Office
601 Lakeside Avenue, Room 202
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Phone: 216-664-2900 and/or 216-664-2220
mayorsactioncenter@city.cleveland.oh.us and/or Mayorcampbell@city.cleveland.oh.us

Let's see if we can save these deer. It is completely unnecessary to kill them when there is such a workable and easy humane solution to this conflict. If enough people put enough pressure on the authorities, letting them know that there are quite a few concerned citizens out there, we should be able to save them.

I want to take just one more opportunity to thank everyone that has been writing, encouraging me to keep on writing this blog to continue to educate the public. I am doing the best that I can to do just that, against all odds. I'm sure that the regular readers of this blog have noticed lately my absence from posting as often as I used to. I'm sorry for that, but I have been really busting ass lately to earn enough money to keep this thing alive. I am just not able to devote as much time as I used to to this endeavor, but I really am doing the best that I can to post at least every week, even if I can't do it every day anymore. I do appreciate your patience and support. Very much. And I really do need all the support I can get right now.

Times are tough, but I'm tougher!

I will keep fighting, and I will not stop!

Now, I'm off to spend some time with family that has come in town. It's going to be a beautiful day here, and we are going to get out in the woods.

I hope that you all did your good deed the other day. If you didn't, then you can still start fresh today. Aw, go ahead. It will make someone's day.

And maybe even yours, too.

Spread the smiles. Spread the joy. Spread the love. Enjoy your day. I will.
Posted by: # Virgil / 8:11 AM 0 comments Links to this post

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