Lets Help the Activists Burn Out More Quickly

Karen Davis, the founder and president of United Poultry Concerns, recently penned a long whine about how easily animal rights activists become burned out. There are some worthwhile lessons to be learned here.

According to Davis, “It’s easy for an animal activist to become consumed by rage and despair, to grow exhausted and burn out confronted with the horror, each and every day, of our species’ relentless assault on other species.”

Especially when you’re not getting anywhere. Davis quotes Norman Phelps of The Fund for Animals as telling her that he started campaigning against hunting in the mid-1980s thinking it would be outlawed within the decade, and here he still is fighting to get it banned. Closer to home for Davis, she notes that UPC and others managed to stop a popular pigeon shoot, but simultaneously the number of chickens killed in the United States has increased by 10 million a day since her involvement with the animal rights movement began.

Davis herself seems doubtful that the animal rights movement will achieve any real long-term success, writing, “My attitude is not ‘If I didn’t think we’d win, I’d quit,’ to which I would say, ‘Then quit.'”

Davis identifies three reasons that cause animal rights activists to give up the fight,

…the endless omnipresence of animal suffering caused by humans, public resistance to our message, and letdown by other activists. We start out full of energy, we picture victory and a crowd of protesters at every demonstration, we envision reason and compassion taking charge of people’s lives, and then reality erodes our dream.

These are all situations, of course that those of us opposed to the animal rights movement should do our best to encourage.


How does one survive dealing day after day with a cruel industry?. Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns, Summer 2001.

UPC Protest Against the Delmarva Chicken Festival

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.

Guest Choice Network Quote of the Year

The Guest Choice Network is a coalition of restaurants and taverns that “stands up against the growing fraternity of food cops, health care enforcers, vegetarian activists and meddling bureaucrats who ‘know what’s best for you.'” It recently released its 3rd annual Nanny Awards given to those individuals and groups going to any extreme to protect people against themselves.

The group awarded its “Most Outrageous Quote of the Year” Award to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals‘ European campaign coordinator Toni Vernelli. According to Vernelli, “Serving a burger to your family today, knowing what we know, constitutes child abuse. You might as well give them weed killer.” (Or perhaps give them PETA propaganda).

It also gave the “Spoilsport of the Year Award” to United Poultry Concerns for that group’s campaign against the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.


2000 Nanny Awards. Guest Choice Network, Press Release, 2001.

United Poultry Concerns Wants Rubber Chicken Recalled

The only thing dumber than OddzOn’s rubber chicken candy dispenser has to be United Poultry Concerns’ Franklin Wade who has been fighting a war against the stupid novelty item.

Okay, usually OddzOn produces some of the coolest toys in the world — their Vortex football rocks — but what is the point of a plucked rubber chicken with a Tootsie Roll lollipop sticking out of its throat? Sounds like something they would sell at a place like Spencer Gifts, but Rite Aid carried these things for a while before protests from animal rights activists led them to pull them off the shelves.

Still some convenience stores and other places are selling them and Wade put out a press release today calling for activists to “protest to the store manager if you see this item for sale.”

Which is certainly their right but what exactly was going on in Wade’s mind when he wrote in a UPC press release,

It [the rubber chicken] encourages children and others to regard animal suffering and death — the cruel treatment of chickens especially — as amusing. It has a strong pornographic implication along with cruelty to animals.

Now I do not know about Wade’s lifestyle, but I’ve seen plenty of rubber chickens and none of them exactly turned me on. I guess sex appeal is in the eye of the beholder.


Stop production, distribution, and sale of cruel and obscene chicken toy. Press release, United Poultry Concerns, November 9, 2000.

UPC on the Horror of Easter Eggs

    United Poultry Concerns will once again make its presence known at
the annual egg roll at the White House. The even features 2-to-6-year
old children pushing hard-boiled eggs down a 10-yard lane with plastic
soup ladles on the White House lawn. According to UPC, about 20,000
people attend the event annually and more than 7,000 hard boiled eggs
are used.

    UPC plans to have an information table near the White House detailing
the evils of eggs, including a promotional pamphlet answering the burning
question, “Where Do Eggs Come From?” (I believe the correct answer is


“Stick up for Chickens!” United Poultry Concerns Press Release, April

Animal Rights Activists Take On Thanksgiving

As the United States prepares
to celebrate Thanksgiving, animal rights activists are busy trying to
make their case that meat eating in general, and the eating of turkeys
specifically, is cruel and unnecessary.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals launched a special undercover investigative report on its web
site claiming to document cruelty at a turkey farm in Minnesota. PETA
urged people to write Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura and other officials
with complaints about animal cruelty.

Interestingly, even PETA seems
to be recognizing that it has a credibility gap with its undercover investigations
after repeatedly providing misinformation and selectively edited videotapes
in previous undercover operations. A letter from Mary Beth Sweetland,
PETA’s Director of Research, Investigations & Rescue Department, to
a Minnesota prosecutor specifically mentions that the videotape of the
investigation is “a first-generation copy of the original videographic

No word yet on whether or not
Minnesota officials are investigating the case.

Meanwhile United Poultry Concerns
is going to protest the annual White House Thanksgiving ceremony. Keeping
with tradition, a live turkey will be presented at the White House and
President Clinton will then “pardon” the turkey.

According to UPC’s Karen Davis,
“Instead of sarcastically ‘pardoning’ a turkey to palliate mass murder,
food poisoning, moldering carcasses and rotting politics, we urge people
to join us in marching to a different drumstick this Thanksgiving and
Eat Happy.”

A UPC press release on the
protest also claimed the pardoning ceremony was designed to “make fun
of turkeys.”

Meanwhile, to celebrate Thanksgiving,
PETA will be in Baltimore giving away fur coats to the homeless. The coats
have been donated to PETA over the years and have a red stripe painted
on one of the sleeves to make them worthless for resale.

Here’s my suggestion for PETA
next year. Why not get a bunch of people to donate Thanksgiving turkeys,
put a red food die stripe down the middle and pass them out as well? Couldn’t


Turkey Advocates
Will Protest Presidential “Pardoning” Ceremony
, United Poultry Concerns
press release, November 1999.

Turkey Farm Cruelty:
The Case
, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals letter, November
18, 1999.

Peta To
Give Away Fur Coats To Baltimore’s Homeless
, People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals press release, November 22, 1999.