In The News

United Poultry Concerns Profiled in Egg Industry Magazine

October 2002

“The fact is there is a whole ton of science which shows that chickens are miserable in cages.” - Karen Davis, PhD, quoted in Egg Industry magazine

The October issue of Egg Industry, the U.S. egg industry's trade magazine, features interviews with four leaders of the animal advocacy movement including profiles of our organizations. This coverage of our philosophy and concerns is the result of our attendance at last year's Egg Industry Summit on the welfare of "laying" hens in Las Vegas, Nevada. Interviewed are Karen Davis (United Poultry Concerns), Paul Shapiro (Compassion Over Killing), Bruce Friedrich (PETA), Wayne Pacelle (HSUS), and Dr. Michael Appleby (HSUS).

Battery Hen
Photo courtesy of PETA

The 13-page Egg Industry exclusive begins: "No issue poses greater challenges to the egg industry than that of animal welfare." In August, Egg Industry editor Dr. Charles Olentine paid a visit to United Poultry Concerns where he interviewed Karen Davis and toured our chicken sanctuary. Here is an excerpt from UPC President Karen Davis concerning the life of battery-caged hens:

"I've been in a lot of battery cage houses. I've broken into them. I think they are the most awful place that you could ever put [even] an enemy. You are nauseated with the ammonia fumes, these birds are miserable, and the young ones are jumping all over each other. When you go through with your camera, what is even more horrifying is seeing the ones who have been in there for a number of months and are not even responding, like they have learned helplessness - their combs are hanging way over their faces and their combs are all doughy and white. It's a horrible scene. It's not clean in these places. They are filthy and manure is coming down and crusted and hanging over the bars. . . . There is an endless sound of machines and distressed birds all around you. You can't even describe it to people. What we need in addition to video footage is for something to enable people to smell what it is like in there. These birds are creatures with wings and legs. To take a creature with wings and legs and never let them take a step is horrible."

Davis continues: "The fact is that these birds can never clean themselves. Our birds dust bathe all the time or if a bird is brought here who has traveled awhile in a cage, that's their first act-to have a dust bath. It's just like us, we take a shower or bath. They want to clean themselves. We don't have any right to deprive a creature of her method of practicing bodily hygiene."

These observations are a sample of the richly impassioned, professional, and informative interviews presented in the October 2002 issue of Egg Industry, which notes in its profile of United Poultry Concerns that in 1996 UPC President Karen Davis "published a book entitled Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry in which she says 'the industry makes its case for us.'"

Battery Hen
Illustration by Nigel Burroughs