<$BlogRSDUrl$> 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, August 06, 2005

First Guest Editorial from our Charity - Just In 

(written by pattrice, co-founder of our charity, Eastern Shore)

Good morning to all of our Blogathon pals! It's a cool summer morning here at the sanctuary, and I've just finished my morning chores, which start just before sunrise and take more than two hours to complete.

It's busy and noisy here at this time on a summer morning. All of the birds are running around, taking advantage of the cool weather to eat a big breakfast and enjoy some exercise. It's been very hot this week and will be hot again today, so -- like us -- they have to make the most of the mornings and early evenings so that they can take it easy during the heat of the day.

As I type this, I'm hearing crowing from all directions. As the sentinels of the flock, roosters crow to let each other know where they are and to let everybody know that everything is okay. If they think they spot a predator, they make a very different kind of noise, called an alarm cry. There are two different kinds of alarm cry: one for aerial predators and one for ground predators. The cry for aerial predators actually sounds a lot like somebody shouting "Hawk!"

When a rooster raises an alarm, all of the other birds respond appropriately. For example, if the alarm for an aerial predator is given, everybody runs to hide under bushes and trees. In contrast,if the alarm for a ground predator is given, everybody is still and looks around for the predator, in order to know in which direction to run. Most often, alarms are false or the danger -- such as a potential predator flying overhead -- passes quickly. Then any rooster who raised or joined the alarm crows to give an "all clear." Nobody relaxes completely until the rooster who first raised the alarm gives the all clear.

Every time this happens, I think, "these birds are so smart. Why can't we be like them?" People have been raising the alarm about global warming and other environmental emergencies for years. Yet, unlike the smart chickens, we ignore the warning.
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