In February, 2008, United Poultry Concerns launched the national letter-writing campaign to protest the killing of 22 chickens in an ecology class at Canandaigua Academy, a high school, on December 12, 2007:
Today, UPC president Karen Davis published the following letter in the Canandaigua Daily Messenger praising the school’s decision to discontinue the project.
Original Story: http://www.mpnnow.com/news/x1867431497/Pressured-by-animal-rights-groups-school-chops-chicken-project
“Pleased to see chicken project’s end,” Letter, Karen Davis, Daily Messenger, May 29, 2008
(To the Editor)
I was grateful and profoundly relieved to receive an email from Canandaigua Academy Principal Lynne Erdle on May 20 confirming that the chicken slaughter project to which our organization objected was being eliminated from the curriculum.
In our letters to Ms. Erdle and other school administrators preceding the announcement, I and many of our members respectfully urged that slaughter be henceforth prohibited in the Canandaigua City School District in favor of life-preserving compassionate and respectful teachings about birds and other animals who share our world.
I know that we spoke for many parents and students – and for the birds whose voices we heard – in making this request. I am happy that it was granted.
Karen Davis, PhD, President
United Poultry Concerns
United Poultry Concerns also published online Comments in the Rochester (NY) Democrat & Chronicle and ABC’s www.13wham.com (May 28, 2008):
Democrat & Chronicle, May 28, 2008
I commend the Canandaigua school administration for canceling further chicken killing classroom exercises. I wrote to each administrator urging that the Canandaigua School District teach compassion for animals instead of adding to the callous violence in the world. There are plenty of videos available for those wishing to watch the sadness of slaughter. But to enact violence in the classroom to “teach” where animal products come from – this is a level of pedagogy that has run out of ideas.
Not only animal advocates but many parents and students were appalled. A classroom visit to a farmed animal sanctuary and a vegetarian cooking class would be far more responsible and challenging. If we want peace on earth, we have to practice it. School is a good place to start. – Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns
www.13wham.com (ABC), May 28, 2008
In February 2008, United Poultry Concerns launched the national letter-writing campaign on the Internet about the slaughter of chickens, in December 2007, at Canandaigua Academy. We learned about this project from Canandaigua activist Joel Freedman, one of our members, who tried to stop it. I wrote to Superintendent of Schools Donald Raw, Jr. for clarification of exactly how these young chickens were slaughtered by the teacher and his students, in view of conflicting reports. We received no reply.
In an email on May 20, school principal Lynne Erdle assured me that the chicken slaughter project had been permanently cancelled. We are taking her statement as a good-faith pledge that will be honored and not disgraced by a resumption of slaughter masquerading as education. There are plenty of videos available from animal advocacy groups for those wishing to learn about the slaughter process. Enacting mass killings of birds as a classroom exercise is as inappropriate as creating drug addicts to show students the effects of drug addiction. There are other ways to teach and learn about horrible things than literally reproducing them.
Should we learn that the slaughter of animals is being resumed at Canandaigua Academy, we will take stronger steps than pleas and letters. We are prepared. We hope that Canandaigua School District officials understand that people are watching. Cruelty to animals, hurting and killing animals and holding life cheaper than paper clips, is not acceptable.
Given that an animal-based diet is a major cause of global warming and many human health problems, it’s time for schools to invest in teaching and practicing compassionate living. Compassion is more intelligent than cruelty. – Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns
What Can I Do?
You may wish to thank Canandaigua Academy Principal, Ms. Lynne Erdle, with a brief, polite email to her at ERDLEL@canandaiguaschools.org.