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United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150, Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
Phone: 757-678-7875 • FAX: 757-678-5070

April 7, 2017

George Fontenot, Principal
St. Cecilia Catholic School
302 West Main Street
Broussard, LA 70518 (via USPS)

Dear Mr. Fontenot,

On behalf of United Poultry Concerns, I am writing to you most respectfully to urge you, please, to eliminate the annual Mardi Gras “chicken run” from the curriculum of St. Cecilia Catholic School.

It is always distressing to see chickens or any other creature being bullied and abused by people, and it is especially distressing, and in fact, disgusting, to see children being prodded and indoctrinated by their mentors to mistreat unoffending creatures for pleasure.

I and many others were shocked to watch a TV video of your 8th-graders, and at least one adult male figure, mistreating chickens on February 24, 2017. It is neither kind nor Christian or in keeping with “leading, or being led by, the Holy Spirit,” to ridicule, terrorize and potentially injure chickens or any other individual, regardless of whether that individual is one or God’s human creatures or one of His nonhuman creatures.

Having been a school teacher and a juvenile probation officer myself for many years, in Maryland, I know how intimidated children can be by adults, causing children with sensitive feelings to fear speaking out when they see an adult figure on whom they are dependent in so many ways, behaving cruelly and unjustly. By the same token, children who are more callous and uncaring, or worse, are encouraged by teachers and parents who model cruelty and act like abusing a bird or some other poor victim, is fun and morally acceptable. This behavior is not acceptable, and I am therefore urging you to teach and exemplify compassion for all creatures who are at our mercy instead of creating scenes of chaos, callousness and cruelty toward any fellow being.

If your school wishes to pick on someone, repugnant as that is, at least choose a victim whose size and ability to fight back are proportional to the tormenters.

Please understand that chickens are not unfeeling objects. Perhaps once upon a time, you and others were taught this false idea. However, modern cognitive science has demonstrated conclusively that chickens, like all other birds, are complex individuals – they are sensitive, intelligent, conscious, sociable beings, and they deserve our respect.

Even if they were “dumb,” however, which they are not, it would be a disgrace to abuse them for that reason, since only bullies and ignorant people find it pleasurable to inflict fear and suffering on those who are least able to understand the abusive situation, let alone fight back.

Thank you very much for your attention. I look forward to hearing from you.



Karen Davis, PhD, President
United Poultry Concerns
12325 Seaside Road, PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405
Phone: 757-678-7875
Email: Karen@UPC-online.org
Website: http://www.upc-online.org


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United Poultry Concerns is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that promotes the
compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. http://www.upc-online.org

Federal ID: 52-1705678