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10 July 2013
Rejecting Michael Pollan: UPC Letter Published in July SMITHSONIAN on Behalf of Chickens www.smithsonianmag.com

From the Editors of Smithsonian Magazine, July 2013
The food issue’s largest response was provoked by Michael Pollan’s comment in “
The American Table ,” his dinner conversation with Ruth Reichl, in which he says that chickens are “nasty and stupid.” Joyce Janicki of St. Clair Shores, Michigan, differs: “I find them to be full of wonderful personality, attentive, curious and intelligent. Please let’s not let this be the final word on chickens.”

UPC PRESIDENT KAREN DAVIS’S PUBLISHED LETTER: Food and Friends
Chickens bred for the meat industry are not stupid and nasty. These birds have been bred to be too heavy to run or fly, as their wild relatives do. This doesn’t mean that they are unintelligent or mean, but that people have incapacitated the birds’ natural physical abilities and frustrated their instincts. Even if chickens manipulated for meat production were stupid, blaming them for their defenseless predicament is cruel.

Karen Davis
President
United Poultry Concerns

 

Here’s the letter as originally submitted:

To The Editor:

Re: “Michael Pollan and Ruth Reichl Hash out the Food Revolution,” June 2013 Smithsonian.

Chickens bred for the meat industry are not stupid and nasty, as Michael Pollan claims. These birds have been bred to be too heavy to be able to run fast, far, or at all, or to be able to fly into trees to escape predators, like their wild relatives do. This doesn't mean they are unintelligent or mean but that humans have incapacitated their natural physical abilities and frustrated their instincts and desires. They suffer from the dysfunctional bodies they are imprisoned in.

Even if chickens manipulated for meat production against their will were stupid, blaming them for their defenseless predicament is cruel.

I have rescued hundreds of these chickens and I assure you the mental problem is not in the chickens but in the human beings who have pitilessly harmed them genetically, then lied about them and blamed them for the suffering we have caused them.

Karen Davis, PhD, President, United Poultry Concerns


To learn more about chickens in the chicken industry, and why we MUST speak up for them, see Karen Davis’s article in Free from Harm.

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