United Poultry Concerns November 3, 2000

The Museum of Science in Boston, MA is planning to open a chick hatchery exhibit in the next few months. Please write to the museum director, David Ellis, and urge that the chick hatchery exhibit plans be permanently canceled. Thanks you! Contact:

    David Ellis, Director
    Museum of Science
    Science Park
    Boston, MA 02114
    Ph: 617-723-2500

Below is UPC's letter to Mr. Ellis.

November 2, 2000

David Ellis, Director
Museum of Science
Science Park
Boston, MA 02114-1099

Dear Mr. Ellis:

On behalf of our 10,000 members nationwide, I am writing to request that you do not open a chick hatchery as part of your program. A chick hatchery exhibit teaches people nothing about the natural family and social life of chickens such as the bond that is established between a hen and her young long before the young birds hatch. It teaches nothing about the careful nurturing that a hen provides for her chicks, which they need. A chick hatchery exhibit misleads children and others to think that chickens come from machines with no need of a mother or of an environment in which to forage and explore.

A chick hatchery exhibit encourages youngsters and others to repeat the experience of producing baby animals that conveniently disappear after the "miracle of birth" is over, adding to the tremendous burden already born by society and by animal shelters, but most of all by the animal victims. I speak to you as the director of a national shelter for chickens and other domestic fowl in its eleventh year of operation. It is not remotely possible to place the thousands of chicks, chickens, ducks and ducklings that need homes every year. Why would the Museum of Science encourage the attitude and behavior that have produced what we idlely refer to as the "pet overpopulation problem"? If children and others get excited over artificial incubators and little wet, naked birds struggling out of shells in a barren environment unassisted by the hen and deprived of the warmth and nurturing she provides-nurturing and needs that should be respected, not violated-this is because they do not understand the meaning of what they are witnessing.

Mr. Ellis, I beg you not to install a chick hatchery exhibit. I and others have visited the hatchery exhibit at the Carnegie Science Center where in the midst of fun and games you see this pitiful sight that THE VISITORS LOOK AT AND PASS BY WITHOUT INTEREST OR UNDERSTANDING BECAUSE IT IS PASSIVE AND PATHETIC. The kids and their parents rush on to the activities that invite interaction and the lives that have been forced into existence for a moment of barren entertainment mean nothing to them. Please do not create this "experience" at the Museum of Science.

I respectfully urge you, please, to cancel plans for this exhibit and to use video and computer technology that, I can assure you, will entice people much more eagerly and significantly than a plastic incubator with broken shells, eggs and motherless birds flopped down on a grid and stumbling about inside sterile machinery. It is an ugly, desolate sight. Please do not do this.

Please do not teach children to think that motherless babies are cute or natural. Our society does not need more motherless infants of any species. We need to provide homes for those who are already here. This is the lesson that should be practiced and taught. Please show and teach respect for the family life of birds and other creatures who share this world with us. I look forward to a response from you as soon as possible. Thank you for your attention.

Karen Davis, PhD
Ph: 757-678-7875
Fax: 757-678-5070

United Poultry Concerns. November 3, 2000

United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150
FAX: 757-678-5070

(Action Alert - Stop Boston Museum of Science Chick Hatchery Exhibit)