United Poultry Concerns 2 January 2003
Protest Chicken Abuse on NBC's "Tonight Show."

On December 30, "The Tonight Show," on NBC at 11:30 p.m., featured a woman with a chicken act. She made an obviously scared chicken jump through a hoop from one elevated table to another, with a space in between, boasting that there was "no net." She also made a chicken "walk the tight rope" about 7 feet high, again boasting "no net." Jay Leno and his guests made comments like "Do you sleep with the chickens?" and references to Col. Sanders. This woman and The Tonight Show put these birds in danger and made fun of them. Please protest to:

  1. Debra Vickers, producer of The Tonight Show at

  2. NBC at

  3. American Humane Association. Go to
    AHA is empowered to oversee and stop media-related cruelty.

Please urge Debra Vickers and NBC to keep chickens, other animals, and all animal stunts off the air. Urge them to confine their live performance bookings to human guests. Request a response to your specific concern as soon as possible. Thank you, United Poultry Concerns.

Letter to the Debbie Vickers from United Poultry Concerns

January 8, 2003

Ms. Debbie Vickers, Producer
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
3000 West Alameda Avenue
Burbank, CA 91523

Dear Ms. Vickers:

As much as we enjoy The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, may we ask you, please, to refrain from booking acts in which animals are used? In particular, I and many other viewers were distressed and offended by a woman who appeared on the show on December 30th with "chicken acts." However benign such acts may appear to be, behind the scenes a whole different set of circumstances pertains. I respectfully ask that you consider the ordeal these birds are put through to get them to perform on command, on stage, amid cameras, noise, bright lights and other features natural to consenting human performers, but not to these birds. Please question the humorous value, apart from the meanest derision, of having a chicken jump from one table to another or walk a tightrope. While the moment of snickering over these chickens is brief for the audience, the stress imposed on the birds to create this moment is long-a long, tedious, meaningless stress, apart from the fact that they, like all of us, fear the punishment of having their food withheld or other penalty that may follow a bad performance.

I have directed a bird sanctuary for fifteen years. We have adopted hundreds of abused chickens into our sanctuary and rehabilitated them. Chickens are smart, friendly, affectionate, sociable, and vibrant birds designed by nature to be outside where they can forage, run about, perch, sunbathe, and dustbathe-in other words, express their natural behavior as chickens.

We ask you, please, in the future, to leave off making jokes about and forcing behavior out of other animal species and to confine your entertainment to human participants. Please use your splendid opportunity to promote a kinder, more appreciative view of the other creatures who share the earth with us and who deserve our kindness and respect.

Thank you very much for your attention to our concerns. We would greatly appreciate a response from you at your earliest convenience.

Karen Davis, PhD, President
United Poultry Concerns, Inc.
12325 Seaside Road
Machipongo, VA 23405 USA
Phone: 757-678-7875. Fax: 757-678-5070

C: NBC at

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

(Action Alert - Protest Chicken Abuse on NBC's "Tonight Show.")

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