16 February 2023

Unparalleled suffering logo Unparalleled Suffering

Small Town And Even Smaller Morals:
Chicken & Pig Abuse Events Return To Ridgeland, Wisconsin

Pioneer Days has been a big attraction in Dunn County for over 4 decades despite widespread opposition. Locals and visitors still want to put animals in harm’s way for shits and giggles.

Men throwing flightless birds from a rooftop to the crowd below

Three chickens for the grand finale of the 2020 “chicken fly” event being tossed over a large crowd of people who are all eligible to catch a chicken and do whatever they want with them.

Something very special happens one day every February in Ridgeland, Wisconsin, a small town of less than 300 residents. For the annual event called Pioneer Days many non-locals visit the town to drink alcohol, show off beautiful murdered animals who adorn their body, and watch terrified pigs and chickens be subjected to freezing cold temperatures and psychopathic human behavior. The event happens again February 18, 2023 (the same day they’ll be having a chicken roping event in Wyoming). The weather forecast for Ridgeland says the low on Feb. 18th will be 21 degrees fahrenheit and the high will be 37 degrees fahrenheit. Domestic chickens are descendants of tropical birds from South East Asia and shouldn’t ever be subjected to freezing cold temperatures.

Two men wearing animal skins

Two animal lovers with admirable taste in fashion hanging out after the main “chicken fly” event at the 2020 Pioneer Days celebration. One holds a chicken who is now onto their next hellish destination in life.

The highlight of the day for nearly everyone is watching around 200+ panicked chickens being thrown off of a roof over a large crowd of people who view animals as playthings, pleasure resources, and fundraiser props. The “family friendly” event that causes injuries like frostbite, broken bones, and future amputations (toes, wattles, combs, etc.) for the chickens is sponsored by Drunk’n Monkey Bar and Hotel. The illegal event is sanctioned by local law “enforcement” who refuses to enforce their own “Crimes Against Animals” statue 951.02, which states that “no person may treat any animal, whether belonging to the person or another, in a cruel manner.” Apparently throwing frostbitten and anxious birds off of a roof into merciless human hands that can literally do anything they want with the birds they catch doesn’t cause unnecessary suffering or unjustifiable injury or death, and therefore isn’t cruel.

Man throwing chicken off a roof

Richard Micheels throws a rooster over a crowd in 2020. Richard is a local who has been throwing chickens off of this roof for thirty-something years.

Most of the children who attend this event will over time become desensitized individuals and conditioned to have no compassion or even basic regard for other living beings. Many of these young minds probably view the “chicken fly” as normal upstanding human behavior and will have just as little regard for the chickens as they would have had for inanimate objects like sports balls (had balls been used instead of chickens).

Young woman wearing mittens and holding a chicken in one hand while high fiving another person.

A girl high fives another person after getting a chicken.

Any event that’s abusive towards nonhuman animals is also abusive to children if children are present. Children don’t have to be raised to be heroes, but they should at least be shown and taught how to treat others with basic decency and respect. I’m sure there have been many kids over the years who have made the simple connection that what’s happening in front of their eyes is unfair and cruel, but based on what I’ve heard parents say to their kids at past animal abuse events I’ve attended they probably say things like “the animals like it” or “the animals are happy” or “we’ve been doing this for so many years.” Animals protest their abuse loud and clear, yet the parents can’t care less. They choose to train their children to continue the cycle of carelessness and otherizing.

Three children chasing a piglet in the snow.

Dozens of children at a time attempt to capture a pig for the greased pig contest, which comes before the chicken tossing contest.

The day begins with children traumatizing pigs who are even younger than they are. Although the kids may think of the greased pig chasing contest as a playful game, it probably feels more like a life or death situation to the pigs who do their best to avoid capture and being tackled and manhandled by the bullies. As you can see from the photo above, the adults get quite a kick out of this showcase of barbarity and idiocy while the pigs are nothing short of terrified for their life. When humans play games with or against each other they all volunteer and consent to participate, whereas all the pigs I saw for this greased pig contest didn’t even want to get off the trailer, but were violently forced off.

Chalkboard with schedule of abusive events including coyote hunt.

Two weeks before the 2023 Pioneer Days event the Drunk’n Monkey Bar & Hotel put on a coyote hunt. Great people I tell ya.

Of all the birds tossed into the crowd in 2019 twenty-nine chickens were rescued by activists and went to homes that wouldn’t exploit them. An unknown number were rescued in 2020. The birds had no allies there for them in 2021 or 2022. For the event I attended in 2020, some activists caught a chicken and others had a chicken surrendered to them. Most of the chickens who got surrendered were roosters since they don’t lay eggs and therefore most people don’t want to be bothered with caring for them without anything in return. A bulk of the surrendered chickens were given by children who wanted the chickens to go to good homes.

Table with sign: Chicken Surrender Station.

Activists set up a rescue station near the main event.

Not all chickens thrown off the roof get caught. Some are able to avoid capture by flying into trees, but then what can they do? Some chickens are abandoned in the town and have been reported being seen weeks after the event, likely soon before dying from exposure to the freezing temperatures, injuries, infections, starvation, or maybe even predator attacks. Since anything goes and nothing can be cruel, killing of the chickens onsite is permitted as well. Activists have documented chickens being thrown into plastic bags like garbage where they will somehow be cruelty-freely suffocated.

Chicken being stuffed into a plastic bag.

Pioneer Days chickens getting the plastic bag treatment. People can only do stuff like this in public when they know they are surrounded by a sea of other sadists.

I witnessed one chicken in 2020 fly right into an activist’s hands, the person who I went to the event with, which you can see here. The hen she rescued, Marbles, went to a Sanctuary and is still alive. Some of the chickens who are caught go to people’s homes to be used as pets, egg dispensing machines, or to get transformed into dinner. The fate of other chickens includes being killed at the local small killing factory, AA Poultry Processing, LLC.

Dunn County Sheriff's office poster: 'Cruel' means causing unnecessary 
    and excessive pain or suffering or unjustifiable injury or death,
    not because someone does not like the event.

An activist from Milwaukie Animal Save who spoke to the media at the event in 2020 claimed:

I know that the people here are not intending to hurt the birds.

I don’t think that they’re bad people at all, none of us do.

She should have spoken for herself and not for the 40+ other present activists. I highly doubt the consensus among the activists was that these people don’t intend to hurt the birds and that they aren’t bad people at all. I know that myself and the person I attended this event with don’t concur with either of these statements one bit. If nobody at Pioneer Days is a bad person and if nobody there intends to harm animals then bad people and willful abusers must not exist. I wonder what kind of good person who doesn’t intend to hurt birds requests for a chicken to be kicked off of the roof.

I’m with Karen Davis of United Poultry Concerns who I consider a fellow vegan realist. She doesn’t try to sugarcoat reality:

It's time for Ridgeland to quit this cruel, moronic entertainment. They shame themselves by acting like village idiots, abusing helpless animals for fun, and teaching their children to be vicious bullies.

It's time for Ridgeland to quit this cruel, moronic entertainment. 
    They shame themselves by acting like village idiots, abusing helpless animals
    for fun, and teaching their children to be vicious bullies?
    Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns

As the Instagram user 62lili put it on a recent Pioneer Days chicken post of mine:

Doesn’t get any stupider than this. The masses are truly gullible when it comes to choosing their entertainment. But really they don’t directly choose it, it’s chosen for them, expected of them, and insecure as most of them are, they follow along with the group, never imagining they could take a stand even if it meant standing alone.

62lili commented: Doesn't get any stupider than this. The masses are
    truly gullible when it comes to choosing their entertainment.

Several activists are planning to attend this year’s event to document the barbarity and to try to save some birds. They could use more help, so please reach out if you’d like to join. Roosters especially are in desperate need of good homes, so if you are able and willing to take in any roosters I can put you in touch with the right people.

Chickens are amazing beings. If you haven’t gotten to know any individual chickens who are living in dignified settings I recommend finding a nearby sanctuary and becoming acquainted with perhaps the most underrated and mistreated animal of all time.

Man in animal skin holding a chicken.

A man adorned in murder from head to toes holds onto a rooster who he’s chosen to not surrender. In the background by the truck is a farmed animal sanctuary owner, Jared Camp, who drove all the way from Iowa Farm Sanctuary to rescue birds in need.

To watch my new Pioneer Days video click here.

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Unparalleled Suffering