Summer 2000 Poultry Press Global Warmings

"The chicken makes us unique."

Last year United Poultry Concerns received a charming article about a rooster chosen to be the mascot at the new Nicol Volunteer Fire Department in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. This fire department's mascot "isn't your typical dalmatian," The Tuscaloosa News announced in a front-page article, by Emilio Sahurie, on January 7, 1999. "'We are proud of the chicken,' said station chief Allan Sullivan. 'This is the home of the dalmatian chicken.'"

Interested to find out how the handsome black & white rooster on the front page was doing, we recently called Nicol's assistant fire chief, Gaston Wilson, who was pleased to say that Allan Jr.--named after fire chief Allan Sullivan--is prospering and is still the department's mascot. "He's living in protective custody with several other chickens nearby," Mr. Wilson explained.

Mr. Wilson and Emilio Sahurie, the Tuscaloosa News reporter who wrote the story, were delighted to learn that we wanted to tell our readers about the Nicol Volunteer Fire Department's wonderful and unique Firebird, Allan Jr. Mr. Sahurie asked that we send him a copy of our newsletter in which the article appeared, and Mr. Wilson asked for a copy of the newsletter and also if we would please include a request for badly needed firefighting supplies. The all-volunteer department welcomes everything from hoses and nozzles to bandages and burn medicine.

You may send inquiries and supplies, in the name of "Allan Jr.," to the Nicol Volunteer Fire Department, 14105 Old Lock #15 Road, Tuscaloosa, AL 35406 (ph: 205-349-5560).


Last year when famed Le Show host (and star of The Simpsons) Harry Shearer thoughtlessly suggested to his NPR listeners that chickens might not feel pain, he instantly heard back from his UPC fans assuring him otherwise. Not only did Mr. Shearer read our dissenting letters on the air, he proclaimed Sunday, May 14, 2000--Mother's Day--National Respect the Chicken Day. It was a great success. Mr, Shearer received so much mail on behalf of chickens, he said it was well above the usual amount he receives on other issues.

We are grateful to Harry Shearer for turning a thoughtless moment into a tribute to these wonderful birds and delighted that he chose Mother's Day to celebrate them. Hens through the ages have been justifiably praised as archetypes of motherhood, and roosters have been properly hailed for their protective fatherly role. In Letters from an American Farmer, a study of American Colonial society published in 1782, St. John de Crevecoeur wrote about chickens, "I never see an egg brought to my table but I feel penetrated with the wonderful change it would have undergone but for my gluttony; it might have been a gentle, useful hen leading her chickens with a care and vigilance which speaks shame to many women. A cock perhaps, arrayed with the most majestic plumes, tender to its mate, bold, courageous, endowed with an astonishing instinct, with thoughts, with memory, and every distinguishing characteristic of the reason of man."

UPC would like to thank UPC member Helene Schwartz for spearheading this successful Action. Please thank Harry Shearer and encourage him to declare National Respect the Chicken Day an Annual Mother's Day Event--even Father's Day!

A New Movie About the Brave Adventures of Our Feathered Friends!
Opening in Theaters June 23!

"I love how they call them "murderous farmers!"    - Danielle Moore, PETA

Chicken Run is the first full-length feature film from Aardman Studios--and it's all about chickens! Co-directed by pioneering animators Peter Lord and Nick Park and starring the voices of Mel Gibson, Julia Sawahla, and Miranda Richardson, Chicken Run is a claymation movie about a rooster and a hen, Rocky (Gibson) and Ginger (Sawahla), who revolt against their fate on the farm. Led by Rocky, the chickens of Coop 17 hatch a plot to escape from the clutches of the menacing Mrs. Tweedy (Richardson) before she does them in. Rocky and Ginger lead their fellow chickens in a Great Escape from the murderous farmers and their coop of doom.

Visit the Chicken Run website at And don't forget to see the show!

*As of this writing in early June, UPC has not seen this movie. We hope it is as good as write-ups indicate.

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