Winter 99/00 Poultry Press For The Birds
The Washington Post Profiles
United Poultry Concerns

Article puts chickens front and center

Washington Post writer Tamara Jones provided an in-depth look at United Poultry Concerns and its founder-president, Dr. Karen Davis, in "For the Birds," a huge 3-page spread in the Sunday Style Section on November 14th. The article, which is posted permanently on UPC's website at, quoted UPC's president extensively, as in this excerpt about chicken and turkey slaughter:

"'The stun cabinet is used to immobilize the birds, not render them unconscious at all. We're talking about a method that is basically pure torture. . . .

"'Birds move toward the killing knife with the sensation of severe electric shocks added to their other agonies. Then they go on to the neck-cutting machine. . . . They go through a round, rotating blade. It's supposed to cut their carotid arteries, which deliver oxygenated blood to the brain, upon which consciousness depends. But if they don't hit the carotid and the backup person doesn't tend to the bird properly, they might slice the jugular. This is agony--conscious torment. They're deliberately kept alive till the scald tank to keep their hearts beating. They go into the bleed-out tunnel and hang there for about 90 seconds, bleeding out upside down with their half-cut necks. . . ."

"Once, a neighbor's dog stole into the yard and killed a rooster Davis cherished. As she sat by herself weeping over the loss, a hen named Sonja approached. 'I leaned down and she buried her head in my neck and I did likewise,' Davis recalls. 'I put my arms around her. Chickens will purr like a cat, a little trilling sound. She stood there for a long time. She knew I was sad. She restored my soul. . . . "'I wished I could stay in that moment forever.'"
- "For the Birds," The Washington Post, Nov 14, 1999, F5

United Poultry Concerns is deeply grateful to Tamara Jones and The Washington Post and to Washington Post photographer Frank Johnston. UPC also wishes to thank Joseph Cacchioli and The Daily Times of Salisbury Md for the inspiring Nov 28th feature article about United Poultry Concerns and our rescued chickens, "For love of the birds" in the Delmarva Section. "For the birds" and "For love of the birds" is what United Poultry Concerns is all about.

At left, Karen Davis hugs Angel the hen. On the right, helpless birds at a Tyson slaughter plant in Richmond, VA can only watch with empty eyes as death approaches.
Click on either image for a bigger version.

Winter 99/00 Poultry Press For The Birds