<$BlogRSDUrl$> 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, October 06, 2005

Walk for Farm Animals '05 - Nashville, TN 

**Before I start this post, I wanted to point out to you a new section in the sidebar of some of the most popular posts I have written. If you peruse the archives and see one that you think should be included, by all means, let me know, and I will include it there.**

Yep, I am doing it again. I wanted to take the time to write a quick post to let you all know that if I don't answer your emails this weekend, this is why. And, if you live anywhere near Nashville, please come out and attend. There are plenty of extra T-shirts ordered from Farm Sanctuary for last-minute arrivals to purchase at the low price if only $10. So, if you want to be part of something fun and meaningful, come on out. We had a great turnout last year, though it doesn't look like as many people are going to show up this year. Please make this Walk if you possibly can so that we can show the people of Nashville that so many of us really do care about farmed animals.

Although I am not the main speaker this year, I will be giving another short little speech before we start the Walk. Things should also be a bit better coordinated this year (he crosses his fingers). I look forward to seeing old and new faces there! And now that Laura got a brand new printer/copier/scanner/fax for her birthday, we have printed up a few of my own writings to take with us, as well as some excerpts from the book, "Slaughterhouse," by Gail Eisnitx. We didn't realize how fast a printer cartridge runs out! Next time we will try and get them to a printer. It should be much cheaper and allow us to make more copies, as we were only able to make a dozen of four different printouts before we ran out of ink - two color on our new letterhead and two in black. Our next step is to design our own business cards and labels to be printed. Aren't we getting all professional and all?

We will be back early next week, probably to find overflowing inboxes. Oh well, such is my life. It's worth it. We have made some big differences this year. The temporary downer ban (click here to help make it permanent and include more species than just cows), the stop to the slaughtering of wild horses, the big win that COK managed to get over the use of the "Animal Care Certified" logo, ending the slaughter of wild horses, etc.

There is one more thing I want to point out before I sign off for the weekend. I received this in my inbox this morning and took action on it a while back. I hope you will, too. As we have seen in the past, when the public rises up in large numbers against something, they do in fact create change. We CAN stand up to these industries, protect those that are doing it right, and ensure that the premium price we are paying for organic truly means organic. If the industry can't do it right, then they don't deserve to make the extra profits. It's that simple. Anyway, here is what I received, and I hope that every single person that reads this not only sends an email, but also makes a call (which are more effective) and then sends it to everyone they know:

Over the past two weeks Organic Consumers Association (OCA) network members have bombarded the U.S. Congress with over 100,000 emails and 15,000 telephone calls. Our calls and letters have urged elected public officials to reject the now discredited Organic Trade Association's "Sneak Attack" rider to the 2006 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that would seriously undermine organic standards by removing traditional organic community control over organic standards and centralizing power in the hands of the White House-appointed US Department of Agriculture.

OCA's allies such as the Consumers Union, the Center for Food Safety, the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture, the National Coop Grocers Association, the National Organic Coalition, the Health Freedom network, and several hundred organic businesses have also generated thousands of emails and phone calls. Thank you for taking action. This massive grassroots outpouring prompted the U.S. Senate ten days ago to reject the industry Sneak Attack rider and propose a 90-day study to determine proper organic standards on synthetic substances, animal feed, and commercial availability of organic ingredients.

Unfortunately members of the joint House/Senate Conference Committee on Agricultural Appropriations still seem to be listening more closely to powerful industry lobbyists representing Kraft/Phillip Morris, Dean Foods/Horizon Organic/Whitewave, Dole, Smucker/Knudson's, General Mills/Small Planet, Danone/Stonyfield, Aurora Organic, Whole Foods, Wild Oats, and the Grocery Manufacturers of America (Wal-Mart and the supermarket chains), than they are to us. And because this is a last minute, back door Sneak Attack, most of the media, and even most organic consumers, are not yet aware of what's happening.

We have no choice but to move quickly and raise the volume of our protest, double the number of letters and phone calls pouring into Congress, and aggressively take our message to the media. In 1998, 2003, and 2004 OCA and the organic community successfully mobilized and beat back similar attempts to degrade organic standards. Unfortunately this Sneak Attack is an "inside job," organized and funded by powerful pseudo-organic food processors and supermarket chains who have seized control of the Organic Trade Association, hired powerful lobbyists who usually represent big Pharma, tobacco, supermarket chains, and liquor interests, and are moving in for the "big fix."

We need more letters, and we need money now, to lobby Congress and to take our message to the media. Please forward this Action Alert to everyone you know who is concerned about preserving strict organic standards and organic community control over these standards. If you haven't already, please click here to send a letter to your members of Congress http://www.organicconsumers.org/sos.cfm And please click here to send OCA a tax-deductible donation so we can continue to defend the integrity of organic standards. http://www.organicconsumers.org/sos.cfm

Time is running out. We must stop this Sneak Attack in Congress and beat back this unfriendly takeover of the organic industry. For the sake of the Earth and the health of the People, please Take Action Now!

Ronnie Cummins, Co-Founder and National Director, Organic Consumers Association





Please forward this publication to family and friends, place it on websites, print it, duplicate it and post it freely. Knowledge is power!

Help others learn about food safety, organics, and related topics. Place a link on YOUR website to http://OrganicConsumers.org Banners for your use - http://OrganicConsumers.org/logos.htm

6771 South Silver Hill Drive
Finland, MN 55603
Phone: (218)-353-7454 Fax: (218) 353-7652


If I don't see you in Nashville, I will be back to talk more early next week. I have some interesting stories to tell, not all of them mine, but we have been just too busy getting ready for this trip and caring for all of these animals to post much of anything this week.

Take care, everyone.

Better yet, take action!
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