<$BlogRSDUrl$> 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, September 15, 2005

Just a little update 

I was going to post this fact yesterday, but we had a bunch of storms roll through, so we didn't have enough online tie to do more than answer a few personal emails, write a couple of letters, and sign a couple of petitions before we had to turn it off. Besides, Laura had to go to renew her driver's license yesterday because it was going to expire, as yesterday was her birthday. So, although I said it (and sang it to her last night as we cut her vegan chocolate cake), happy birthday to you, my wonderful woman and soul mate, Laura!

Next, our sweet little foster dogs are warming up to us a bit more and settling in better, starting to look a bit more healthy, and did spend the storm in the nice dry doghouses we had for them. When Laura saw the two down in our yard outside the trailer here sitting out in the rain, she went out there to love on them and try to show them the doghouse to show them that they could get out of the rain and have shelter. Not long after that, when I went out to feed and water everyone, I saw both faces looking out of the house looking at me. :)

We only wish we could do more. So far, no one has taken us up on our offer to camp out here, but then I have to sadly report that the emergency director guy called Laura's mother, since we were on the list of locals willing to shelter people, to tell us that there had been a few problems with some of the placements and that he couldn't recommend in good conscience anyone to come and stay with us and that we were sent some of the worst of the worst.

Now, I don't know about you, but that was kind of hard for Laura and I to take. It's just hard for us to believe that out of the hundreds of people that our county got, that not a single solitary soul that wasn't already placed in a home with someone was such a bad person that they weren't to be even offered the chance to stay with anyone. We asked about that when we delivered the bedding that you saw me in the pictures doing, as we wanted to go and talk to some of these people ourselves, but the ladies there doing the sorting of goods didn't tell us where they were all located. It seems that they are scattered all over the county, but they were pretty vague on where, except to say that some were in cabins somewhere.

So, what to do? Our truck is still in the shop getting fixed, so we can't really go anywhere right now to investigate this more at this time. So, yesterday evening I did post in a few places that we still had openings for those wanting to take us up on the offer to camp out in style, with bathroom, kitchen, laundry, phone, and email access, not to mention that we would take animals of any species, thus keeping families intact. I even went so far as to explain that this was a vegetarian/vegan-friendly place to stay, as we figure that many evacuees stuck in shelters aren't being given much of a choice in what to eat.

So, if any of you know of someone stuck in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, or in between (as Laura's mother is visiting a friend who lived in New Orleans in Baton Rouge right now until Saturday) that would like to come, email me, and we can have Laura's mother meet with them and see about bringing them back with her. Or if you know of someone who has been brought to Arkansas somewhere in the same condition, let me know. We will find a way to get to them to see if we can help. We still have room for more animals, even with the fosters we took in. And if worse came to worse, we could simply build more pens (which may happen anyway if for the Sake of Animals needs foster homes bad enough - they mentioned it). We really would like to help. And if whoever comes has any experience building houses can help us finish ours, we would be willing to stay in our trailer and allow them to move into the house and out of the tents, plus we could take in even more people, and their animals could be inside with them. Even if we just got it dried in and didn't worry about finishing out the inside for now, it would be more comfortable than a tent, perhaps. although I like (as many do) to camp out in tents, and one of them will hold a family of four comfortably as it already has beds and shelves and everything already in it. Plus, whoever comes would be able to swim in the river whenever they pleased. Kids would love that, I am sure, just as they would enjoy playing with Laura's sister's boys and all of their toys.

Laura is just one of those people who cannot tolerate the feeling of helplessness in the face of great suffering. She has been going through a bit of depression lately because she hasn't been able to do more. She has talked about wishing she could be down there rescuing animals from the flooded streets of New Orleans just as much as she has fretted about not being able to do more to help the people who have had their lives so devastated by this. The only thing that has made that better is the fact that we were able to make a difference through our collection of donations and taking in these fostered dogs. It still just seems like so little to do when there is such great need. It's times like this that we wish we were millionaires so that we could really do a lot more good for others. But, I guess all we can do is what we can do and live with it. At least, that is what I have been telling her.

At least we finally got some rain! My garden had been really needing a lot of watering lately, as had the main garden, and our well was feeling the strain. So, though we weren't able to do much online yesterday because of the thunderstorms, we sure were happy to get the rain. We got more today. :) I have been harvesting cucumbers and cherry tomatoes out of my little garden and from the volunteers that appeared in Laura's flower bed by the driveway when she used some of the compost to fertilize the soil when she built them last spring. And, ooh, are they good! I noticed yesterday that my peppers are finally flowering. I got a bit of a late start this year, so everything is running late, but better late than never. We have been buying from the farmer's markets whenever we go to town and people have their little tables set up. That has made up for it. We got some good organic okra the other day in Mount Ida. I don't care what the government says, there IS a difference in the taste and nutrition of organic veggies. A big one!

And, one last piece of business before I close today's post. I have received a request to place some information here on the site about the roadless rule. I'm sure most of you are aware of this problem. Well, there is a citizen's petition you can sign to make your voice heard about protecting our National Forests from being destroyed just because a state hasn't jumped through all of the legal hoops to protect the forest lands in their state or because some states want to put corporate interests and money over our national heritage. We really need to protect these forests for future generations and the wildlife who call them home. As you well know, once a forest is ruined by logging, it isn't fixed for a very, very long time. I have seen too many of the forests here in Arkansas devastated by corporations clear-cutting them and replanting them with those non-native fast-growing pines that don't belong there and ruin the rest of the forest. I can't tell you how damaging it is to the surrounding woods. It also devastates the communities in the long run. I can remember when there were a lot of jobs in the timber industry around here and quite a few mills to take wood to. Well, once the trees were cut (and that didn't take very long at all), the corporations moved on, leaving many jobless people with a serious problem that also left no jobs for their kids or their kids either. This hurts communities for generations. You don't sacrifice the long-term interests over the short-term gains. The corporations just move on to new areas and do it all over again, making their money, but the people and communities they leave behind are just that - left behind. Nothing left. The ground has been so compacted by the large equipment that not much will grow there, either. It takes a very long time to regenerate forests once they are gone. We really need to fight for this tooth and nail. So, please sign this petition and pass it on to everyone you know. Don't let more communities like ours be ruined, more forests be ruined and fragmented, more wildlife killed or their habitat destroyed.

Thank you everyone for being the caring people you are. Together we really can work to make a difference in the world.
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