The Cyberactivist's Scrapbook
A peek inside my life.
By: Virgil Butler

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Monday, 12-Sep-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
The fostered dogs

!st boy unloaded at our place
Our only girl, also at our place
The two of them at our place
View all 6 photos...
For the Sake of Animals, a no-kill shelter in the county next to us (Polk) brought us these dogs yesterday because Animal control would have killed them today. So begins our days of fostering.
We put the only girl (who luckily has already been spayed) and one of the boys in Junior and Blaze's old yard. The other two, Dusty and Sugar Boy (whom Laura's mother named) were put in what used to be Beavis and Taffy's yard.

Once we get them all cleaned up and taken care of, the folks will be back to get them and see about trying to adopt them out. Their last try in our county adopted out 6 dogs and a cat. Not bad, especially once you consider that each and every animal adopted into this community from them is one less animal capable of making more of themselves and thus adding to the overpopulation problem.

When we go out today and spend a little more time with our two we will see if they decide to reveal their names to us. They certainly do need some love - the poor little girl was terrified the most. All of then were quite confused and upset. Dusty has been so stressed that he has come down with that kid of mange that they get when they are treated that way and get too stressed - demodectic mange, I think they said. Anyway, it isn't contagious.

Mainly they just need cleaning up a bit and give a whole lot of love and attention. They brought them to the right place for that, don't you think?

Saturday, 10-Sep-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Our Efforts to Help Katrina Victims

Donated goods in Laura's grandmother's car
Donated goods in Laura's grandmother's car
Donated goods in Laura's grandmother's trunk
View all 10 photos...
As was written about on my blog, we did a big collection of donations for those suffering from the effects of Katrina. Here are some of the pictures taken showing what we did and what other citizens of our county did when we all pulled together to help. Special thanks to the Oden School, the 1st Baptist church in Oden for allowing us to use of the church and spreading the message, and the mayor of Oden, who not only helped spread the word, but also stayed there the whole time the day we collected in Oden, helping to load our vehicles. IN all, three vehicles worth of items were collected and delivered, some in Shreveport, LA, and the rest here in Montgomery County when after our collection we found out that our county would be receiving some evacuees. They are now pretty well taken care of and only needing things like towels and washcloths and linens.

Even though this county is poverty-stricken, these folks pulled together to help out. Thank you Montgomery county citizens for showing the world what even a poor county can do when fellow
Americans are in need.

We will be doing more to gather more items needed and are about to foster animals. Tomorrow For the Sake of Animals, a no-kill shelter in Mena, AR, will be coming out to inspect our facilities before bringing animals here for us to foster. Mostly dogs, but some cats too, most likely. And, of course, we are still on Farm Sanctuary's list to accept chickens once they are allowed in to rescue them. We will take as many as possible because the animals we foster will be killed otherwise, as they are coming from Animal Control in Mena. We also had a book donated to For Sake the of Animals in Princess' name by]No Voice Unheard, who will send a book in your companion animal's name when you lose one.

We still need donations to build our chicken expansion, as we can only accept 12-20 right now without it built. After it is built, we can take in ten times that number. We need building supplies, especially 12 ft. high fencing and the poles that go with it, and it would be nice to have some help putting it up if anyone in this area comes across this post. You can help us save even more lives.

Thank you all for your support!

Monday, 29-Aug-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Vigil for Cindy Sheehan and the fallen

Vigil for Cindy Sheehan and the fallen
Here is the picture of our little vigil for Cindy. We stood inside a circle of tealights with our candles in support of Cindy Sheehan and remembered those like her son, Casey, whom had fallen for lies. There may have only been three of us - me, Laura, and her sister, but then you have to remember that the nearest town has an official population of only 18, and we live in a Bible-thumpin' "red" state. But we made sure that those who drove by on the road while we were there knew why because we posted a double-sided sign up on the road and stood where we could be seen by those passing over the bridge over the river.

So, even here in the woods of the Ouachitas, there were a few people who stood up for what they believe in. Hopefully more will continue to swell the ranks. It did feel good to know that we were among thousands of people all over the country participating in a peaceful candlelight vigil.

May we soon be at peace.

Friday, 15-Jul-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

My Tyson Talk
Also My Tyson Talk
My Plenary Talk
View all 16 photos...
This little write-up will be short, as I intend to go over what all happened at the conference in better detail at the blog site. But I knew that everyone was waiting for pictures, so here they are. I didn't get nearly the ones I wanted to because we were just so very busy. Lots of workshops we wanted to attend and lots of people to meet and talk to, especially those we had been corresponding with over email for quite a while, but never had a chance to actually meet face to face. We really did have a great time, even if Laura is now paying the price physically for it. She is having a lot of muscle spasms and pain and quite a bit of sciatica shooting down both legs, as well as a headache that won't quit. It was extremely hard on her, but it was definitely worth it. And the food was the best vegan food I have ever had.

Notice that in one of the pictures I am actually wearing a suit! I can count on one hand the number of times I have done such a thing. Felt really weird, as I don't feel like "suit material," but I did it. Couldn't very well have Laura looking so nice and me in a pair of jeans, now could I?

Kim Sheridan, if you remember, wrote
Animals and the Afterlife: True Stories of Our Best Friends' Journey Beyond Death
. I have written about this wonderful book before. It has stories in it from peple from all over the place and from all walks of life, including two from Laura's mother and sister in it. If you order it through this link, I will get sa small percentage to put towrd my work. It was great meeting her in person. What a caring person!

Howard Lyman is the one who wrote MAD COWBOY: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat

Erik Maruc latest book is entitled Meat Market: Animals, Ethics, And Money

And, if anyone can please remember the name of the actress pictured in the photo labeled Just Shoot Me actress, please, please tell me. I have drawn a complete blank.

Friday, 24-Jun-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
The Sierra Club Float pics

Bill and the family
Just the family
When I wrote the post on the blog about the fact that we would do this, I purposely didn't say when because there were those that were harassing us again, hiding in the woods, watching our place, breaking in the trailer, messing with the computer, tampering with the truck, etc. I wasn't about to advertise the fact that we would all be gone all day long on this float trip. But we did it anyway. They don't control our lives! We have fun anyway from time to time and when we need a break from the stress of it all.

I guess calling it an "official Sierra Club float trip" is actually a bit more than it really turned out to be. The local Sierra Club head out of Little Rock, Bill, came and was supposed to bring someone, but that didn't happen for whatever reason, so it was just our family and him. He camped out on our riverbank in the area cleared for camp-outs. It's pretty nice, actually, complete with tent, picnic table, fire pit with folding grill and ready-to-use firewood, hammock, and comfy chairs, etc. Pretty nice, actually. Nice and level and on nice soft grass, which we freshly mowed and raked up to save for the chickens' bedding and nesting material (some of it we used, though - they LOVE that, all the bugs and seeds and all), so he had it pretty good.

Anyway, he came in that Friday night eight after I wrote about this happening, and we left out the next morning for Oden, but only made it to Shirley Creek because Laura's Mom's canoe sprang a bad leak, ad they started sinking. They are both quite old canoes they bought cheap from a canoe rental place and had been freshly patched this year, probably fr the last time. We certainly have gotten our money out of them (ours was only $75 for a 15-footer, and hers was only $90 for a 17-footer!), but we need new ones badly! Hers didn't take the dragging over the rocks that ours did, as it was patched with a different type of material and had more weight in it than ours did. Even Laura's 82-year-old grandmother went! And we didn't let a couple of thunderstorms ruin our float, either. But then, of course, once you are on that river, there isn't much choice but to keep pressing on. You just shelter under a tree when it rains and wait it out, then move on. Not too bad, and you get cooled off nicely. We are good sports about that kind of thing, anyway. The thunder and lightning was worrisome to some of the party but it was a ways off, so Laura and I weren't too worried but it. Though, just to be safe, we didn't touch the metal parts of the canoes, which are made of fiberglass - the best type of canoe to use on this particular river because of the rapids and rocks. Besides, they are light when you have to drag them, too!

Anyway, we had a wonderful time and picked out two bags of trash out of the river, quite a few feet of trot lines and throw lines, Styrofoam, Wal-Mart bags, and other assorted things dangerous to wildlife and just ugly and that didn't belong there. Some people are worse than tacky. I hope there is a special place for them at the end of their lives whereby they spend a L-O-N-G time picking up trash from the environment! I do have to say that the person who left the Tyson chicken livers container next to his throw lines that we picked up ended up doing us a favor, as Laura's grandmother used it to bail out the water to keep Laura's mother's canoe from sinking as we frantically paddled for Shirley Creek. Boy, were we sore when we got there! Instead of leisurely paddling and taking our time, enjoying the river and the float, all of a sudden it became a race for the pull-out place as we watched her canoe sink lower an lower in the water!

Anyway, since the truck was parked under the Oden bridge about 4 miles away, Laura decided to hitch, figuring that she would get picked up faster than anyone else. I offered to join her, but she said that no one would ever pick us up if they saw me with her. She was probably right. I look a bit rough anyway but after a day spent on the river, we all did and especially me. She shook out her long hair to look a bit more feminine (it was in braids and under a Boonie hat) and started walking. It wasn't the first time she has had to do this, and she knew the ropes well. Well, her mother decided to join her, never having hitched a ride in her life and looking on it as a big adventure. They picked a few ripe blackberries for nourishment along the way on the back road out to the highway, and it wasn't long before someone stopped (maybe 10 minutes; they said it was only the 3rd car) - a very nice college student from Mena headed for school.

All in all, it was a fun trip - storms, leaks, hitching, and all. We are good sports, and nothing stops the River Rats! (And yes, that is actually painted in our canoe, complete with a pic of a rat someone drew, when they bought it, even though Laura's family was calling themselves that already when they moved up here and lived in tents that first summer. Was that canoe meant for them or what?)

(Oh, and btw, when Laura shows her mother the proper way to scan and send pics by email so that we can get them a little bigger, we will replace these with better ones. Her mother is, shall we say, technologically-challenged. )

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