Fred Myrtle, Beta Theta Pi Fraternity Administrator
Via Email: Fred.Myrtle@betathetapi.org
December 16th, 2013
Thank you very much for your response regarding our Memorial Alert to our members on Sunday concerning the female turkey who was maliciously tortured and killed, and callously allowed to be tortured and killed, by members of the KU chapter of Beta Theta Pi fraternity (specifically named for the criminal attack are Ryan Patrick O’Grady and Peter Douglas Friedel) on December 14, 2012. I am glad to know that an effort is being made by your office to sensitize the members of Beta Theta Pi toward animals. I hope this effort will succeed.
Beta Theta Pi needs to compose and strictly enforce a written Code of Ethics and to require that this Code be read and understood by every member of every chapter of Beta Theta Pi. How are you handling this?
In addition, I would like to know what happened to your office’s promise via Justin Warren earlier this year that an animal advocate would be invited to address the fraternity in the form of a presentation in Lawrence. As the head of the organization that launched and led the campaign on behalf of the turkey, I submitted a letter to Justin, who agreed I was the best candidate for this presentation, bolstered by the fact that I am the author of a book about turkeys, More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality (Lantern Books) and the president of an organization that specifically addresses the treatment of turkeys and other domestic fowl in the areas of food production, science, education, entertainment, and human companionship situations.
I am renewing my request to give a guest lecture to the fraternity, and would like to know where my offer stands at this point. In addition, Beta Theta Pi promised that the fraternity would make a donation to an animal advocacy organization as a token of redress. Here again, United Poultry Concerns is the logical recipient of such a donation to assist our programs on behalf of turkeys and other domestic fowl.
We will gratefully share your news with our supporters, who are eager for indications of sincere remorse and ethical transformation on the part of Beta Theta Pi. Thank you again for your message. I look forward to hearing from you.
Karen Davis, PhD
United Poultry Concerns
12325 Seaside Road, PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405
From: Fred Myrtle [mailto:Fred.Myrtle@betathetapi.org]
Sent: Sunday, December 15, 2013 2:46 PM
To: Karen Davis
Subject: RE: [UPC] In Memory of the Turkey Who was Tortured to Death
Thank you for your email. I believe it is important to be reminded of the mistakes we have made in the past so we can strengthen our efforts to protect all living creatures moving forward. I would like to inform you that the chapter was put under suspension (loss of all privileges) during and after the investigation. Since then, the men have received sensitivity training towards animals and competed a number of other directives set upon them. The group is currently on probation, working to finish the directives and change their behavior. While it certainly is a dark mark of the men at Kansas, and all of Beta Theta Pi, we are working to ensure this never happens again.
Your passion and commitment to all of God’s creatures is admirable and I appreciate you giving a voice to those who can’t speak for themselves. It brings to mind a quotation from Gandhi, “The greatness of a nation can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” While we are far from perfect, we are trying to do better.
If you have any other questions or concerns I’d be more than happy to address them.