United Poultry Concerns
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17 December 2013
UPC Needs Your Support This Holiday Season

Why Support United Poultry Concerns?

Dr. Tom Regan: Permit me to say how honored I am to join especially Karen Davis, the founder and head of United Poultry Concerns. Whenever I’m asked what I think about a complicated public policy question, from ag-gag to “enriched” battery cages, I won’t answer until I find out what Karen and UPC think. UPC is my bellwether in the political storms that Animal Rights Advocates have to face.
– Philosopher Tom Regan, Interview with Eugene Veg Education Network, September 2013.

Holiday Greetings from United Poultry Concerns
amelia holiday 13
Photo of Amelia by Richard Cundari
From Our Hearts to Yours
liqin 2013 dc greenfest
Photo of UPC Vice President Liqin Cao by Franklin Wade
Thank You for Your Support

Dear Friend,

2014 marks our 24th year of dedicated activism for chickens, turkeys, ducks and other domestic fowl. I am thrilled to thank you for your outstanding support in 2013, and I am asking for your continuing support in the year ahead.

Realizing how hard the holidays are for millions of birds trapped in food production and other cruel conditions that United Poultry Concerns works tirelessly to expose and eliminate, I am pleased to give you a bit of happy news for the holidays.

In the current issue of our quarterly magazine Poultry Press, we describe the flight of 3000 former battery-caged hens from California, fifty of whom are right here in our sanctuary in Machipongo, Virginia. Arriving on September 26th, all safe and sound, these hens are thriving. When they first got here, a friend cautioned against putting a group of them in a yard with our rescued “game” hens. “Those game hens will pick fights with the new ones,” he warned. Okay, we were on high alert, but I had a hunch the fear of fighting was unfounded – and I was right!

Two months later, on this cold, sunny December day, I can tell you that all of the new hens are doing great, and the “game” hens from Mississippi are not picking fights with the newcomers from California. The roosters get along, the hens get along, all of our chickens are happy knowing they are loved and cared for every minute of every day.

The next news is bittersweet. At Thanksgiving I was in Maine to give a talk about turkeys at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell. Next day, all flights to Boston were cancelled, so I caught a cab to the bus station in Augusta. On the way, the driver, Rhonda, asked about my visit, and I explained I’d given a talk the night before about turkeys – how nice turkeys are and why we shouldn’t eat them. Instead of saying “Oh” or “hmmm,” Rhonda totally lit up! She said, “I LOVE TURKEYS!”

She told me how, a few years ago, her husband had bought some turkeys from a hatchery to raise for the holidays. She said, “We were very surprised to find out how friendly these turkeys were. They followed us everywhere. They became our pets.”


Alas, Rhonda’s husband decided that since he had bought the turkeys for slaughter, the plan should be followed. He sent them away. Rhonda said, “I was heartbroken and I know my husband felt bad even though he hated to admit it.” She said, “I never ate turkey after that.”

Now, Rhonda and her husband have pet chickens, a pet goat and a pet pig! When we got to the bus station, she said, “Meeting you made my day!” And I said, “Meeting you made MY day!” She thanked me warmly for sharing her love for turkeys and all animals, and for understanding how deeply she mourned the turkeys her husband had sent away. “Never again,” she said.

Through the years, I’ve marveled at how the Unexpected can happen. As animal advocates, we must always be ready for happy surprises. The gloomy forecast that our California girls would get beat up by our Mississippi ladies was wrong. Imagining that the taxi driver in Maine would probably reject my “Love Turkeys, Don’t Eat Them” message, instead I was met by her total enthusiasm for turkeys and Animal Rights.

Recently, the author of an article in Smithsonian magazine, about how “chickens conquered the world” as “protein,” asked for my help for a book he’s writing. I explained that United Poultry Concerns does not help people promote the poultry industry and demean chickens. I invited him to visit our chicken sanctuary. On October 24th, he did!

I don’t know how his visit with us will ultimately affect him, but as he was leaving he said how much he enjoyed meeting our birds. He said that while reading my book Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs, he was struck by my insistence that when you eat animals who have lived such miserable lives as I describe, you aren’t just eating “meat.” You are eating Misery. A new perception for him.

Please help us continue our fight against eating misery in the year ahead. We know that you value our work for the birds, and we look forward to your support in 2014. Your generous tax-deductible gift to United Poultry Concerns will help us achieve our goals.

Thank You & Happy Holidays & New Year from All of Your Feathered Friends & Staff at United Poultry Concerns!  

karen signature
Karen Davis, PhD

President & Founder
United Poultry Concerns

karen at her desk
United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization. Federal ID: 52-1705678. All donations are tax-deductible. A financial statement is available on written request to the Office of Consumer Affairs, PO Box 1163, Richmond, Virginia 23218. Our 990 tax forms, Annual Reports & Audits are posted on our website at www.upc-online.org. To view these documents, click on About UPC on our homepage at www.upc-online.org/more_about_upc.html. Thank you.
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