On February 19, 2003, Time (Magazine) Europe announced
that U.S. troops would use chickens to detect chemical attacks in
Iraq: "Worried that the pollution from blown oil installations
will clog up complicated detection equipment and make it difficult
to pick up deadly chemicals and nerve agents, U.S. marines and soldiers
will drive into battle across the dusty plains of Iraq with caged
chickens atop their Hum-Vees."
The Time Europe article "Chickens to Be Used By U.S. Military
to Detect Deadly Chemicals in Iraq" is available under "What's
New" at www.upc-online.org.
WHAT CAN I DO?
- Seize every opportunity you can to write letters to the editor
and participate in call-in talk radio shows. Look for media opportunities
to make your voice heard.
- Write a short letter to the editor of Time Europe:
firstname.lastname@example.org; and to Time Magazine in NYC: email@example.com;
fax: 212-522-8949; regular mail: Time Magazine, Letters, Time-Life
Building, Rockefeller Center, New York, NY 10020.
- Educate your family, friends & colleagues.
- Contact The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
- Contact your U.S. Senators and House Representative. To find
your U.S. members of Congress, visit http://action.fund.org/directory/.
Things to Consider:
1. With its stupendous budget, high-tech weaponry and scientists,
the U.S. military could develop highly sensitive technical sensors
to pick up deadly chemicals and nerve agents amid other pollution
including the pollution from blown oil. The article quotes the military
as saying that chickens are "one of the best ways" to
detect the deadly chemicals, indicating that the military has other
ways to do it. That a military
capable of blowing up the world must rely on chickens to detect
lethal agents is ludicrous.
2. Some radio talk show hosts have told UPC that using chickens
for this purpose is justified because chickens are cheaper than
complex technology; these same people then turn around to insist
that no expense should be spared "to save human lives and American
troops." So how do they justify using a "cheap" detection
device for such an important mission as "saving human lives
and American troops"? Why stint on that aspect of the war?
3. Many chickens will die of stress simply in being driven across
a toxic war-torn desert terrain in cages on top of military tanks.
How will the soldiers know in time to put on their gas masks, or
the chickens, or even that one or more birds is dead? Imagine this
scene in the midst of an actual battle.
The Time Europe article concludes with a complaint by a U.S. Marines
officer in Kuwait, regarding Saddam Hussein, that "Using chemicals
is a really unfair way of fighting." It may be pointed out
that forcing innocent birds to participate in human warfare isn't
a fair way of fighting either.
Ten Top Reasons Why Animal Liberation Activists Must Join the Peace
@ (anti-copyright) pattrice le-muire jones
Eastern Shore Chicken Sanctuary
1. Because war and animal exploitation are two expressions of the
same cultural orientation toward domination rather than cooperation.
2. Because we believe that human and non-human animals deserve
the same compassion and respect and therefore we must care about
both the human children and the animals who will be terrified, killed,
injured, displaced, and orphaned by war.
3. Because peace activists are compassionate people who might over
time be convinced to extend their compassion to non-human animals.
4. Because wartime constraints on civil liberties have already
jeopardized and will continue to jeopardize our ability to advocate
5. Because, if we ever wish to gain the support of a critical mass
of people, the animal liberation movement cannot afford to remain
estranged from other social justice movements.
6. Because the United States military practices vivisection on
a massive scale, testing conventional, chemical, biological, and
nuclear weapons on animals.* (see below)
7. Because military attacks on urban spaces terrify, kill, displace,
and bereave companion animals.
8. Because military attacks on rural locations terrify, kill, and
bereave farmed animals.
9. Because bombs and biological weapons destroy habitats and poison
the environment upon which all animals depend for sustenance.
10. Because bullets, bombs, and biological weapons don't distinguish
between human and non-human animals.
*GULF WAR CHEMICALS TESTED ON CHICKENS. "Because it was difficult
to know just how much insecticide or anti-nerve gas medicine individuals
in the Gulf War were exposed to, we tried a variety of combinations
in the chickens." - Dr. Mohamed Abou-Donia quoted in "Death,
Nerve Damage Seen in Chickens Given DEET/Pyridostigmine," Pesticide
& Toxic Chemical News, April 12, 1995, p. 36.
For a summary of these experiments, see Chapter 4 of "The
Experimental Use of Chickens and Other Birds in Biomedical and Agricultural
Research" by Karen Davis at www.upc-online.org / I Need Information
/ Experimental Research.
United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes
the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl. http://www.upc-online.org
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
PO Box 150
Machipongo, VA 23405-0150