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Virgil has died
8 years ago
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This is Laura writing to notify all of the members of this group to let you know of the death of my best friend, soul mate, and the founder of this group.  He was a courageous man with a very tormented spirit.  He shone so brightly and helped so many, and he left quite a legacy of information behind.  Use it well.  That's what he wanted.

For my part, I will do my best to pick myself back up off the ground and get right back on the path we were walking down together and continue to do what I can to help heal this world and do whatever I can to protect and save those who are hurting as soon as I can.  I am just a naturally-born healer with too big of a heart for my own good, and I don't always save the victims who come to me, though I do my best.  I will miss him terribly, of course, and I can't imagine a
life without him in it, but I will never be completely alone, even though it may feel that way at this moment.  He told me of his intention for having his spirit watch over me if this happened, and he did expect it to, although perhaps not so soon.

He found great inspiration in discovering how many people there were out there who truly cared about beings other than themselves, especially the innocent animals.  But he still felt tormented and was never quite able to find the peace I was trying to help him find.  He has that now.  I just wish he hadn't had to die to do so. 

I am still in a bit of shock, but I thought I should post this here, as the news is starting to make its way throughout the movement.  You all deserve to know and hear it from me.

Keep fighting the fight, and never shut up.  That's what he wanted.

Peace and love to you all--

Laura
8 years ago

    OMG!!!  

Oh Lord I had no idea he was that sick!! 

8 years ago

Virgil
8 years ago
I'm so sorry.
8 years ago
Virgil Butler
8 years ago

United Poultry Concerns

Virgil Butler, Ex-Tyson Slaughterhouse Voice for Chickens, has Died

December 15, 2006

It is with profound sorrow that United Poultry Concerns announces the untimely death of Virgil Butler. Virgil died during the night in his car in front of his home where he lived with his partner, Laura Alexander.

Virgil was a Tyson chicken slaughterhouse worker turned activist. In testimony given through PETA in January 2003, Virgil Butler documented the horrific treatment of chickens that he witnessed every night while working at the Tyson chicken slaughterhouse in Grannis, Arkansas from 1997 to 2002. He changed his life completely, speaking out boldly on behalf of chickens and against the terrible abuse they suffer, at considerable risk to himself in a region dominated by Tyson Foods. 

In 2002, Virgil was a keynote speaker at UPC’s Forum in Norfolk, Va. where he spoke brilliantly and unforgettably about “Inside Tyson’s Hell: Why I Got Out of the Chicken Slaughtering Business.” (Virgil’s VHS presentation can be ordered by going to http://www.upc-online.org/fall04/videos.htm.)

Virgil’s detailed account of what goes on inside chicken slaughter plants has been an indispensable contribution to animal advocacy organizations working to reduce the suffering of chickens and promote a compassionate lifestyle.

United Poultry Concerns will publish a Memorial to Virgil who with Laura Alexander, his partner and Good Angel, is featured in a front-page interview “Slaughterhouse Worker Turned Activist” in the Fall 2004 issue of Poultry Press (http://www.upc-online.org/fall04/virgil.htm).

Of their committed lives, Virgil and Laura wrote, “We are a team. We do everything together. We changed our diet. We justcouldn’t look at a piece of meat anymore without seeing the sad, tortured face that was attached to it some time in the past.”

Laura told UPC today that Virgil was himself  “a very tormented man. He could not find peace on this planet.”

United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
http://www.upc- online.org

Don't just switch from beef to chicken. Go Vegan.

Support United Poultry Concerns! To donate please visit http://www.upc-online.org/donate.htm

United Poultry Concerns

Karen Davis
President
Email: karen@upc-online.org
Phone: 757-678-7875
Fax: 757-678-5070

PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405

Bless you Laura
8 years ago

Prayers  

So sorry,
8 years ago
to hear this sad news, though I appreciate Laura making the effort to notify us. We have lost a good friend and activist here. Lets continue his efforts for the animals.
Anonymous
I just don't even know what to say....
8 years ago

...Laura...thank you for letting us know.  You are not alone and I am so so sorry...this is a very big loss for us in the AR movement, as you and Virgil have been such an inspiration to us all.....I can hardly believe it.

I had the absolute wonderful privilege of meeting Virgil and Laura at AR 2005 in Los Angeles.  Let me tell you....Virgil made people absolutely awestruck with his words and his spirit.  I will never forget the night that he was honored by the group as a whole.  I never saw such a humble person...so kind...so dedicated.  He had EVERYONE in tears when he told his story.  And he was so humble.  He looked down and had tears in his eyes...and he said that he looked at what he was doing now for the animals as "atonement" for the years that he worked for Tyson...or something to that effect.  And then he thanked Laura and gave her credit for helping him "see the light".  It was beautiful and it was the most moving moment of the whole AR2005 experience for me.

Again, Laura, you are NOT alone....we really are like family in this movement, I believe.  If you need a friend...I know MANY, including me, will step up to the plate.  And I, LIKE MANY, will strive to keep fighting this fight...and make Virgil proud.

What a great loss...and yet...still an awesome inspiration....that will NEVER end.  NEVER.

Love and Care to you Laura...and everyone who is grieving.

Gretchen

8 years ago
I am so sorry to hear about Virgil, the world has lost a true activist.
Virgil
8 years ago
Laura- I just got home and discovered this sad news.  Thank you for informing us.  Our hearts go out to you in your time of grief.  Virgil was a good man who fought the good fight.  He was and will continue to be an inspiration to me and many others who continue to fight for innocent animals.  I was one of the many people who internalized the cultural paradigm about animals.  Thankfully I was awakened to the plight of defenseless animals through the work of Virgil and other people like him.  Once you really know the truth I don't believe that you can turn your back on our wonderful animal friends.  I vow to keep fighting for this cause until I draw my last breath in this world.  God bless you and Virgil.  I am proud to call you my friends.   Mike 
8 years ago

image

Awww Laura...I am so sorry to hear of his passing....he was a wonderful soul, and the world was blessed to have him in it.  He has done so much good in the short time he was on this earth.  Please accept my sincerest condolences and sympathy on your loss...my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. 

For you Virgil.....a wonderful activist for the animals...

we will miss you
8 years ago

I am so sorry to hear this news...we will all miss Virgil and he has been and continues to be an inspiration for all of us...

Wishing you peace during this difficult time....

~Emily

8 years ago

Dearest Laura,
I am so sorry for your loss.
Virgil was and is a most incredible person.
I'm sure you are devastated,
thank you for taking the time and effort to let us know.
Sending you and Virgil love.

rift


8 years ago
I am very sorry to hear that, I hope his precious work to help animals will continue as an honour to his member.
8 years ago
VIRGIL
8 years ago

Even though I never had the privilege of actually meeting Virgil and Laura, we corresponded so much and I felt so close to both.  Laura you are so brave and I know how much you loved Virgil.  I am at a loss for words right now but will be in touch with you.  The earth, humans and animals, have lost a fighter.

8 years ago
OMG I'm so sorry Laura
Anonymous
8 years ago

Keep fighting the fight, and never shut up.  That's what he wanted.

We shall miss you soooo much.

I shall do exactally what you wanted.

My deepest sympathies
8 years ago
Hi Laura, I'm sitting here crying at my computer. He was such an amazing person. I spoke to him once over the phone and was touched by his generous spirit and his sincerity. I was so moved when I read his blogathon entries. You two are an incredible team. What seredipity that you found each other! You both have touched so many lives. The world is a better place for Virgil having been in it. I'll light a candle for you both at church tomorrow. Sending you warm, healing thoughts, Marisa
From the SATYA homepage...
8 years ago

http://www.satyamag.com/

We were saddened to hear of the untimely death of Virgil Butler, the former slaughterhouse worker from Arkansas who dedicated his life to educating others about the horrors of factory farming. Virgil battled the poultry industry with courage and a limitless supply of patience. He gave news conferences about his experiences and spoke forcefully about animal and human rights issues on his blog, The Cyberactivist (www.cyberactivist.blogspot.com) He died on December 15, 2006 at the age of 41. His legacy is one of kindness, hope and perseverance, and his loss is deeply felt.

Finally, after a number of years, all the things I had seen and been a part of started to haunt me. It got harder and harder to keep going to work every night and kill defenseless birds and watch them suffer. It got harder to be around all the negativity that hung over that place and the people who worked there.

Now, I am using all that knowledge to spread the word to others of how bad things really are in the industry. I am hoping that if I can help educate people to the horror that is factory farming, they will rise up and demand change. I know that things can be different because I have been there.
—Virgil Butler

For more information on Virgil commitment to animal and human rights read:

Whistleblower on the Kill Floor
The Satya Interview with Virgil Butler and Laura Alexander

8 years ago
Oh, I am so sorry, I am so sorry Laura, thank you so much for telling us.
I'm so sorry...
8 years ago
Virgil's passing is a very difficult loss to absorb even for those of us who didn't know him well. I can't imagine how painful it must be for his friends and family. My heartfelt condolences go out to Laura and to all of Virgil's loved ones. He left a beautiful, inspiring legacy, and seemed to be a true bodhisattva. I wish there were many more like him in this world.

Such sorrow..........................
8 years ago
MY prayers are with your Laura, at this time of woe and sadness.. 
Anonymous
may i add my condolences VIRGIL LIGHT SHINES ON!
8 years ago

VIRGIL LIGHT DOES INDEED SHINE BRIGHTLY AND HAS MUCH OTHER WORK TO DO ON THE OTHER PLANES. HE HAS LEFT US A LEGACY  AND EVEN MORE HOPE  AND SOLID GROUND TO STAND ON

MAY YOUR HEART BE AT PEACE  EVEN WHILST YOU GRIEVE.

SOPHIA DALLE

hostess of save felines from torture

8 years ago

So very  sorry to hear this news. My thought and my prayers are with you Laura....

 In memory of a very good man...

With admiring love & hope...
8 years ago

My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry for your loss. I am behind your missions to help animals all the way.

Thank you Virgil you are wonderful, God Bless & God Speed.

This work to help animals from cruelty is so important! Thank you all for your very important & inspiring work. 

Love,
Natalie Kallenbach
Animal Angels Group @ HeartReach Animal Sanctuary

8 years ago

I HAVE JUST READ OF THE DEMISE OF VIRGIL.  HIS LITERATURE WAS BETTER OFTEN TIMES THAN THAT HANDED OUT BY PETA. I OFTEN THOUGHT I WOULD RUN IT OFF AND HAND IT OUT IN FRONT OF KFC. I AM SADDENED TO KNOW THE LOSS WE HAVE ALL SUSTAINED. SUCH A GREAT LEADER AND WARRIOR IS DIFFICULT TO REPLACE. HIS WRITINGS TRULY BEING A WORK OF ART.

sad
8 years ago
I am so saddened by the news of his passing ...the world is a better place do to him and his work for the animals...we will continue to fight in his name for his dream
So sorry to hear about this
8 years ago

I guess I missed this post as I was away. Laura, my thoughts and prayers are with you and Virgil who was a brave and courageous and tireless activist for animal rights.

Fiona

8 years ago
sorry for the sad news my prayers are with you, I missed so many post this last months I fell off track, but I am back Angela
So Sorry
6 years ago

I'm so sorry. I only just joined this group to hear this news. May his legacy live on. Thanks for not giving up.

HELP ME OUT HERE PLEASE!
4 years ago

It is not only a chicken problem! veals, lambs, donkeys, pigs, rabbits, ducks, gooses (foie gras) THEY ALL SUFFER!

SEE FOR YOURSELF:

 

SO CHICKEN ARE IMPORTANT, AS MUCH AS ALL OF THEM. BUT FOCUSING ON JUST THEM IS WAISTING ENERGY WHEN YOU COULD CUT THE EVIL BY THE ROOT. SO HELP ME GET MORE THAN 514 SIGNATURES TO END IT ALL FOR CHICKEN, BUT FOR ALL THE OTHERS TOO. THEY DESERVE BETTER! THANK YOU:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/respect-for-poultry-and-farm-animals/

 

R.I.P. VIRGIL