The following letter by United Poultry
Concerns President Karen Davis appears in the May 12,2003 issue
of The New Yorker. The magazine came out Monday, May 5. The letter
is in response to Michael Specter’s profile of Ingrid Newkirk
titled “The Extremist,” which appeared in the April
14, 2003 issue of The New Yorker.
Specter’s profile of Ingrid Newkirk reminded me of another
article about her, one that I read twenty years ago. It was in a
major newspaper [see below] and all but ridiculed Newkirk and her
work on behalf of animals. (The title was “She’s a Portrait
of Zealotry in Plastic Shows.”) I especially remember the
dismissive tone in which the reporter told the story of how Newkirk
cupped her hands with water to give to chickens who were dying of
thirst and heat on the holding dock of a Maryland slaughterhouse
on a hot summer day. Her act of compassion, and the way the writer
made sport of it, eventually led to my decision to become a full-time
advocate for chickens. Specter’s article, by taking Newkirk
and her ideas seriously, shows how far we’ve come since then.
President, United Poultry Concerns
The article, by Chip Brown, appeared in the Metro Section on B1
of The Washington Post, November 13, 1983.
United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes
the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl: http://www.upc-online.org.