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I can't read without crying. I really loved that little green bird and was sorry to see her go, although I know that she will be happy at parrot sanctuary. The funny thing is that, as sad as I am, I'm having a pretty happy day. I think that's because I'm letting myself feel and express the sadness when it comes. Then I go outside and work in the garden or visit with the chickens. The chickens. " will break your heart, " president told me back in the spring of 2000, when I called her for advice about the young rooster and hen who had just joined the bird who was the first resident of what would become the . "I'm sure you're right, " I said blithely, not understanding the warning implicit in her words. By the end of that summer, when that hen and another hen who I loved without reservation died within days of each other, I felt that I might actually aciphex 20mg pills $123.00 die from grief, the birds having touched and torn the most primordial part of my heart. This summer, I've got to go back to that place. I've got to retrace the journey that began when I accidentally landed in poultry country and has taken me to Rome, Islamabad, Salt Lake City and scores of other places, always returning home to the birds here in rural Maryland. I've got to put their stories into a book that people who don't yet take chickens seriously will want to read. To do that, I've got to tell my story. "I'm not the same person. " That's what I said in that same spring of 2000, after my first foray into a local factory farm. "I'm not the same person. " That's what I realized three years later at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, when a vivacious community organizer reminded me of who I used to be and how deadened I had become in response to grief. "I'm the same person. " That's what I finally came to understand in 2005, when I showed up to give an anti-vivisection speech to dogs and their human companions at a neighborhood "bow wow pow wow" in Baltimore and realized that I was standing in the same park [aciphex 20mg pills $123.00] to which I used to flee as an unnaturally solemn six year old in the 1960s. Sitting under a tree to revise my speech, I reached back in time to tell that child, "Look! It all turns out okay. You grow up to be somebody who gives speeches for dogs. " I've known that I needed to write the story of the sanctuary from its earliest days, when I realized that I was learning things that people who don't live with chickens have no way of knowing. All of the things I've been saying in speeches and writing in articles these past few years are rooted in the lessons I've learned from and about the birds. The (ab)use of animals in the social construction of gender? I figured that out by observing my own reactions to roosters as well as their departures from the stereotypes people have of them. Hope as something you do rather than something you have? I learned that from the battery hens. Telling people about the birds in those first few years, I learned something else: People love chicken stories. People who won't stand still for a lecture on factory farming will listen raptly to true stories about battery hens, into which the facts about their abuse can judiciously be dropped. I know the birds' stories. I owe it to them to tell them. So, I set out to learn how to write creative nonfiction, which is not my usual genre. Then I gave it a go. Aciphex 20mg pills $123.00 disaster! i wrote the first half, got expert feedback, revised the first half, wrote the second half, got expert feedback again. It still sucked. I knew what was wrong, in that I understood the words that the animal-friendly literary agent who had been helping me out was saying, but I didn't have a clue how to fix it. So, I set it aside to write , which turns out to be the best thing that I could have done, and not just because I'm happy with how that book turned out. Even as I was writing Aftershock, I was realizing what was wrong with the sanctuary memoir:
- I was throwing in everything I ever wanted to say, as if this was my one chance to write a book.
- There wasn't enough of me in the book.