If any animal rights group has a shot at unseating People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals as far as sheer nuttiness goes, clearly it will be United Poultry Concerns. Like PETA, their press releases are often so far over the top that they sometimes read like parodies.
A couple weeks ago, for example, UPC put out a press release urging people to protest at the Delmarva Chicken Festival held in Machipongo, Virginia. This is a large festival sponsored by the poultry industry. Emulating PETA’s press release style, the headline that UPC chose trumpeted the fact that “United Poultry Concerns Will Protest at the Delmarva Chicken Festival of Sickness, Fear, and Death.” Sounds like the opening line from some third-rate splatterpunk novel.
UPC is also certain to cover all of its bases in its objections to the poultry industry so as to make sure not to leave out any group potentially offended by the poultry industry. The press release goes on to say,
What’s to celebrate? Poisoned Well Water? 4 billion pounds of raw waste a year? 14 million pounds of phosphorus? 49 million pounds of nitrogen? 600 million birds breathing toxic ammonia? A million tons of manure each year? Chickens fed cattle brains? Repulsive smelling fields? Decaying carcasses? Polluted water? Carpel [sic] tunnel syndrome? Salmonella? Campylobacter? Listeria? Arsenic? Pfiesteria piscicida? Cruelty to birds? Millions of gallons of slaughterhouse waste trucked to Maryland from Delaware? Endless killing? Being owned by gangsters?
Whew. Was that a press release or a stream of consciousness assignment for Introduction to English Composition? And don’t forget the alternative vision UPC offers,
By contrast, United Poultry Concerns will proclaim the benefits of a vegetarian diet: Respect for life. Less pollution. Less sickness. Less suffering. Less death. More beauty. More happiness. More health. More peace.
You too shall see the vegetarian promised land. They could start delivering on the “more peace” promise by leaving us omnivores alone.
United Poultry Concerns Will Protest at the Delmarva Chicken Festival of Sickness, Fear, and Death. United Poultry Concerns, Press Release, June 16, 2001.