<$BlogRSDUrl$> 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.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Another Tragic Loss 

Yesterday we learned of the death of our sweet Annie,

the chicken we saved from eminent demise in the highway after she fell from a truck hauling her to slaughter. You may remember reading that we had let her go with a very close friend to keep a blind hen company after the rooster who had done so died of old age. Well, Annie didn't get a chance to die of old age. From the description I got - no wounds, nothing to indicate any sort of injury or illness, just found dead the next morning, it sounds like she also died in the same way that our rooster recently died - from "flip-over syndrome" (better known as a heart attack).

Well, obviously, when we got that call yesterday morning we were devastated, especially Laura. Lots of tears were shed. (**note from Laura - being shed as I type this - she was so special) That's why we not only did not post this news yesterday, but didn't even send out the normal personal emails to our nearest and dearest friends that we do (you know who you are) when something of this magnitude happens. We just couldn't. Not our precious Annie. We just shut down yesterday, got offline, and talked and played some music and just generally were hermits.

It was so upsetting, but sadly, not surprising. This is just something that the industry has promoted in these chickens by genetically messing them up to the point that their little baby internal organs don't catch up fast enough to accodomodate the extra-fast growing cycle. They are never intended to live past slaughter age, so the industry doesn't worry about that. No, they just want them when they are still peeping at 7 weeks of age, with all manner of ailments, but still enough of them alive that it is still profitable to slaughter and sell them.

As a result, many of the ones who miraculously escape this fate and end up in sanctuaries just don't make it, despite the fact that we give them the very best care we possibly can. Annie was yet another on that horrible and tragic list. Our sweet Annie - the sweetest and most loving chicken either of us have ever known.

It's funny that most people focus on the extremely large numbers of birds like her that die every die each day - an enormous number that we can't possibly even imagine (can you really imagine millions of chickens?) and not on the fact that each and every one is an individual just like she was. Just like the rooster was and all the others we have buried on this little piece of woods.

Annie and Beau, both buried this year, among others.

That's the hardest part of rescuing animals that I have to death with. The graves.

There have been too many graves dug here this years. Too many lives lost.

Yes, at least, even for their short time, they were loved. But it still breaks your heart to lose them. They are so loved.

As individuals.

Rest in peace, sweet Annie.

You were loved by many and will never be forgotten.
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