<$BlogRSDUrl$> 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.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

I'm doing the Blogathon! 

Yep, I am going to stay up and blog for a very needy charity every 30 minutes for 24 hours straight! I have just received confirmation that I will be granted a Hot Spot that will be put up on the site by this evening that gives me much better exposure and a little description of what I'm doing. It will also feature the "Superchicken" icon I use - don't you just love him? Could I have found a better one to represent what I blog about?

All I can say is LOTS of coffee will be drunk that night. But we will do this. Hey, it's for the animals, folks! Isn't it the least we can do as animal lovers to stay up and blog for them? Or, if you just want to snuggle up and sleep, you can just make a pledge and do so. We won't hold it against you. We need you, too. As long as we each in some way make a difference, who cares how it happens? Some of us have the money to give to help, and some of us make the time to do the work to attract the money that helps the animals. I fall in the latter group, as does pattrice and many others just like her across this country. Either way, we help animals, so it's a good thing! Helping animals can't be considered a bad thing anyway, huh?

Any fellow bloggers who want to participate can do so and blog for any charity you want. They had a list of suggested charities to blog for, but those folks have plenty of money, while smaller operations that affect so many individuals animals on such low budgets - directly helping animals - go unfunded properly. I chose Eastern Shore Sanctuary and Education Center because they are a small sanctuary just like me that is always needing money so badly and are so neglected in expense of the bigger, more well-known charities. (I say they are small like me, but they are actually a bit bigger at around 200 birds, but they started like me, with one chicken who fell off the back of a truck off the side of the road and I am afraid that before it is over I will be like them, with many more birds - hey, that's why I am building the sanctuary, because I sure can't keep building new yards when they come, and I want them to be able to roam free like they will do in the new facilities once we get the funding and the time to get all of that finished.) There are a lot of small sanctuaries that need help desperately, and I considered carefully who I would pick as the one I wanted to help, and there was no question about it. Eastern Shore.

You see, I also feel a certain kind of kinship with pattrice jones as a personal friend who works under similar conditions in that she lives right in the heart of chicken country (with me it's Tyson, with her Perdue, but the same things happen), so she understands the culture a bit more than activists who live in the cities and is able to see the bigger picture of why this kind of horror happens in our society, and she understands that this industry makes victims out of the workers and growers just like they do the chickens. A lot of people in this movement view these workers as "monsters." Like I have said before, while there are a rare few that are just sadistic, the vast majority are just desperate for a job and a way to feed their family. They don't enjoy what they are doing. Ask them if you ever meet someone who works in one of those places if they actually like it. Go ahead. Ask a hanger or a killer how he feels about his job. Many of them are smuggled into this country to work illegally, so they are really taken advantage of. Who will they tell? I like also that she is able to see the parallels in our society that allow the average American to turn the other way and not want to know this stuff, not do anything about it, just as they do about other societal ills.

I have had people ask me what it mattered that I saved a couple of roosters or just one hen or something like that when so many - thousands every day just in my area alone - are carted off to slaughterhouses. Some of you can probably guess what I always say in return. "Well, it may only be one or two chickens I saved, but you go ask them if it didn't mean the world to them." They invariable shake their heads and have to agree with me that yes, in fact, those chickens are much better off with me than lying dead on the side of the road or on someone's plate.

Ask Viktor here how he feels about it. According to their website,
Found in a ditch and named after a concentration camp survivor, Viktor Frankl is the true founder of the Eastern Shore Chicken Sanctuary.

So, you probably want to know what I will be writing about on the 'thon?

The Blogathon effort will be a mixed bag of whatever I can come up with (yes, I have some things in mind, but I'm not going to spoil it for you! he he!), accompanied by some guest editorials that pattrice wrote. In that way you can get to learn a little more about who she is, what she believes in, and what her life's work is accomplishing to make the world a better place. I hope you agree that it is worthwhile and worth rewarding with some help.

If you send me emails (hey, I may even try to resume the comments for this one - we'll see how it goes because I don't like flamers, and that's what happened last time, as some of you remember), I will answer any questions you may have about the industry, even emotional ones about how it felt to be a killer, although I wrote a whole post on that already. The thing is, the more you all participate and ask quetions, the easier it will be for me to not only stay awake, but also provide you with what you want to know.

A lot of why the factory farming industry gets away with what they do is because of the propaganda and social conditioning we all received as kids. It takes a while before ideas that deeply settled change. But mostly it's because the public is simply ignorant of what actually goes on behind those closed doors. Most don't want to know. Well, if you stay with me, you will find out. You will find out whatever you want to know. Because I tell the truth. I have no real agenda. I am not a card-carrying member of any AR organization, though I am trying to start my own non-profit grup and sanctuary - Activists Against Factory Farming. And, although the vast majority of the members of the groups are veggies, there are meat-eaters, too. You don't have to shun meat to realize that factory farming is wrong.

Plus you will get heartwarming stories insterspersed as well. You didn't think I was going to keep the whole thing grim and awful, did you? No, we will mix it up, and according to the feedback I get, I will be dealing with that, too. We will be flexible, but hey, we will be working hard. Help us make this a success!

Laura will be right here with me. Well, you know she has to be. She has to do the typing for me. She will probably have the hardest job of all. That's why I was so glad to see her role in all of this acknowledged so heartily at AR2005. She worked hard to stay in the background and refused credit for a lot that she did for a long time, but I couldn't do this without her, and now finally more people know that. So, here we will both be, on the banks of the Ouachita River in the heart of the woods in Pine Ridge, AR (pop. 18) in a 28' travel trailer, straight from "Tyson country," blogging nonstop every thirty minutes for 24 hours to make a difference in the world and help out a needy charity.

Hopefully with all of that you will be motivated to help out a bit. Really, every small bit helps. I can't tell you how many times just $10 coming in the mail made the difference of whether I was able to buy food for the animals or not that week. At her charity you can even adopt a chicken for as litle as $5 a month. So, even small amounts matter. Things get lean at small sanctuaries and many of them are neglected and starved for funding (hey! Look at me!) and you use quite a bit of your own money doing this. You sure don't do it to get rich.

So, anyway, I hope that you will stay up with me and the rest of us making a difference on August 6th.

I hope you all enjoy it. We will work hard to make sure you do.
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