United Poultry Concerns’ Conscious Eating Conference brings expert speakers to Berkeley, California to share their ideas about the best food choices we can make for the planet, ourselves, and other animals. UPC President, Karen Davis presented this personal account.
I did not grow up around chickens or other farmed animals, but meeting a chicken in a muddy shack in Maryland awakened my personal awareness of chickens, their feelings and living conditions. My experience with the hen I named Viva coincided with my discovery of the hidden suffering of billions of chickens buried alive in the modern poultry and egg industry. These revelations led me to “think like a chicken” so deeply that in 1990 I founded United Poultry Concerns, an organization dedicated to promoting the compassionate and respectful treatment of chickens and other domestic fowl including a sanctuary for rescued chickens. I will describe what I have learned about the emotional nature of chickens and their destruction by the poultry industry for nuggets and omelets. I will discuss what we need to do.
Karen Davis, PhD is the President and Founder of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that addresses the treatment of domestic fowl in food production, science, education, entertainment, and human companionship situations. She is the author of several books including Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry and More Than a Meal: The Turkey in History, Myth, Ritual, and Reality. Award-winningly profiled in The Washington Post for her outstanding work for the birds, Karen maintains a sanctuary for chickens on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. www.upc-online.org