United Poultry Concerns July, 16 2008

Eliminate Chicken Slaughter: United Poultry Concerns in Today’s Daily Messenger
Regarding Canandaigua Academy’s Plan to Resume Slaughtering Chickens in the Classroom


To learn more about our campaign to stop the slaughter at Canandaigua Academy (a high school in Canandaigua, in upstate New York), click on:


To the Editor:

I am writing to request that Canandaigua Academy Principal Lynne Erdle honor the pledge to eliminate the chicken slaughter project from the curriculum. I speak for many people when I tell you how disappointed I am, and disgusted, by her failure to stand by the decision.

Adding to this disgust, I see that the “Controversial ‘Chicken Project’” includes a pathetic attempt to remake the slaughter process rhetorically into something other than it is. This whitewash attempt certainly does not justify claims of “commitment to excellence.”

As well as the animal abuse being practiced and sanctioned at Canandaigua Academy, if you choose to resume this ugly, pitiless classroom killing, there is also the question of why an ecology course is so irresponsibly oblivious to the reports being issued by the United Nations, University of Chicago and PEW Foundation (among others) about the enormous contribution of mass consumption/production of animal products to global warming.

The United Nations calls raising animals for food “one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global” (“Livestock’s Long Shadow,” a report by the United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization, November 2007).

In addition, for those unfamiliar with the modern science of avian cognition and neurophysiology: The Avian Brain Nomenclature Consortium confirmed, in Nature Neuroscience Reviews, February 2005, that the avian brain is “an intricately wired mass that processes information in much the same way as the human cerebral cortex.”

Moreover, as summarized by Dr. Michael Gentle in “Pain in Birds”:  “It is clear that in terms of discharge patterns and receptive field size, nociceptors (pain receptors) found in the chicken are very similar to those found in a variety of mammalian species” (Animal Welfare, 1992: 234-247).     

I request dropping the slaughter project from Canandaigua Academy and developing more constructive teaching. If you do not, the administration has an ethical obligation to record and make publicly available a complete audio-visual tape of the slaughter of each bird by each student.

This is an accountability issue, and we will not drop it. Let the public decide how “humane” and “beneficial” throat-cutting by high school students is. Otherwise, we recognize that your school seeks to hide the reality, and we will make the most of that fact.

Karen Davis, President
United Poultry Concerns





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

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