"The fact is there is a whole ton of science which shows that
chickens are miserable in cages."|
- Karen Davis, PhD, quoted in Egg
Machipongo, Va - The October issue of Egg Industry magazine features
stunning interviews with four leaders of the animal advocacy movement
including profiles of our organizations. The in-depth coverage of our
philosophy and concerns is the result of our attendance at last
year's Egg Industry Summit on the welfare of "laying" hens in Las
Vegas, Nevada. Interviewed extensively are Karen Davis (United
Poultry Concerns), Paul Shapiro (Compassion Over Killing), Bruce
Friedrich (PETA), Wayne Pacelle (HSUS), and Dr. Michael Appleby
This 13-page Egg Industry exclusive begins: "No issue poses greater
challenges to the egg industry than that of animal welfare." In
August, Egg Industry editor Dr. Charles Olentine paid a visit to
United Poultry Concerns where he interviewed Karen Davis and toured
our chicken sanctuary in Machipongo, Virginia. Here is an excerpt
from UPC President Karen Davis concerning the life of battery-caged
"I've been in a lot of battery cage houses. I've broken into them. I
think they are the most awful place that you could ever put an enemy.
You are nauseated with the ammonia fumes, these birds are miserable,
and the young ones are jumping all over each other. When you go
through with your camera, what is even more horrifying is seeing the
ones who have been in there for a number of months and are not even
responding, like they have learned helplessness - their combs are
hanging way over their face and their combs are all doughy and white.
It's a horrible scene. It's not clean in these places. They are
filthy and manure is coming down and crusted and hanging over the
bars. . . . There is an endless sound of machines and distressed
birds all around you. You can't even describe it to people. What we
need in addition to video footage is for something to enable people
to smell what it is like in there. These birds are creatures with
wings and legs. To take a creature with wings and legs and never let
them take a step is horrible."
Davis continues: "The fact is that these birds can never clean
themselves. Our birds dust bathe all the time or if a bird is brought
here who has traveled awhile in a cage, that's their first act-to
have a dust bath. It's just like us, we take a shower or bath. They
want to clean themselves. We don't have any right to deprive a
creature of their method of practicing bodily hygiene."
In the section on "whether the end justifies the means as regards to
break-ins in order to do investigative reporting," COK's Paul Shapiro
replies: "A similar question could be posed to egg producers: Does
the end (profit) justify the means (abusing and killing millions of
animals)? Does terrorizing animals by mutilating them without pain
killers (debeaking), forcing them to live with virtually no
opportunity to move, depriving them of sunlight and fresh air,
starving them (forced molting), and gassing them to death by the
millions warrant our concern? Is it ethical to torment those who are
weaker than us to make money? When Martin Luther King, Jr., was
criticized for using tactics beyond the law, his response-through his
famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail-was that one has a moral
responsibility to disobey unjust laws."
These observations are a sample of the richly impassioned,
professional, and informative interviews presented in the October
2002 issue of Egg Industry, which notes in its profile of United
Poultry Concerns that in 1996 UPC President Karen Davis "published a
book entitled Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the
Modern Poultry Industry in which she says 'the industry makes its
case for us.'"
United Poultry Concerns thanks Dr. Charles Olentine for providing
this bold and unique industry coverage of our views on behalf of the
birds for whom we speak. The birds have voices. We are their Voice.
We appreciate the opportunity to raise the volume.
United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. For more information visit