United Poultry Concerns Complains About a Chicken Ad

Karen Davis continues to push the envelope on animal rights, insisting that not only is it wrong to hurt chickens, but now arguing that it is also wrong to degrade them in commercials. Wait a few years and she’ll probably be suing for libel and slander on behalf of chickens.

The latest horror identified by Davis and United Poultry Concerns is an advertisement for fast food chain Carl’s Jr. The advertisement pokes fun at competing chains who sell chicken nuggets. The ad features several men inspecting a chicken unsuccessfully trying to find the part of the chicken that contains nuggets. They find wings, breasts, and thighs, but not nuggets. The ad ends with a man removing a rubber glove saying, “It’s not there, either.”

United Poultry Concerns put out a press release saying that,

The ad implies an anal search of the chicken’s body and is completely offensive. It models itself on scenes of gang rape and on a medical examination of one’s body that no one would consent to have publicly aired. It exemplifies the connection that has recently been suggested by UPC President Karen Davis, philosopher Peter Singer, and others between industrial animal agriculture and “bestiality”-human sexual assaults upon other animal species that comport with manipulating them for reproduction and ‘meat’ …

Is the ad offensive? Certainly nowhere near as offensive as Davis’ comments that the 9/11 terrorist attacks may have resulted in a net reduction in suffering in the world. It is also a little odd to see UPC citing Singer, given that just this month she was complaining about Singer’s comments that chickens are so primitive they might not be subjects of a life and hence owed no moral duties.

The bizarre thing, though, is that Davis believes that even though no animal was harmed during the filming of this commercial, putting in a chicken in a degrading situation violates its rights. Davids told Los Angeles Times reporter Dana Parson,

When someone’s poking around your body and sniffing around, looking under your tail, wing and treating this bird’s body derisively . . . that’s our objection. There’s more to abuse and harm than sticking a knife in somebody.

I’m surprised she did not add that the chicken might have felt embarrassed being naked! I hope Davis and UPC come forward soon with clear guidelines for protecting the privacy of animals.


What if someone went looking for your nuggets? Dana Parsons, The Los Angeles Times, January 16, 2002.

United Poultry Concerns, California residents urge Carl’s Jr. to Drop Chicken “Nuggets” Commercial. United Poultry Concerns, Press Release, January 17, 2002.

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