The Viva Vine: vol #4, no #5: Nov./Dec. 1995

"To me, each one is an Edna or an Ethel"

(c)1995 by Karen Davis, PhD., of United Poultry Concerns

(edited for publication in "The VivaVine" (Nov./Dec., 1995 edition), newsletter of The VivaVegie Society

POLICE SAID it was against the law to rescue the "merchandise." They said the thousands of helpless, dying birds were commercial property. Little did I know when I saw 5,000 chickens strewn over the highway that Edna and Ethel would soon be safe at my side.

On August 24th of this year a speeding truck on its way to the slaughterhouse carrying thousands of "spent" hens overturned on Interstate 95 in Springfield, Virginia. Hundreds of terrified and wounded birds covered the highway. Thousands more sat locked in the jumbled crates by police.

Joined by fellow United Poultry Concerns activists I found myself trying to save as many hens as I could. One activist seized three hens from a collapsed crate, rushing them to safety in the back of her car. Another quietly took a heavy crate into her van and drove away! After dark, I began lifting wet, shivering birds out of the crates placing them in my car, dreading that at any moment police officers would discover me.

The Washington Post and local TV crews arrived to report on the carnage--I had made a point of calling The Post before leaving my house to go to the accident.

Our activism drew excellent media coverage. The Washington Post published a shocking report the next day in which I was quoted: "This is extremely inhumane. We will give them a home."

The CBS nightly news did a sympathetic story about the suffering of the chickens and the compassionate role of UPC. The next day a TV crew from News Channel 8 visited United Poultry Concerns, enabling thousands of viewers to see the chickens recovering in our living room!

One week later, The Washington Post did a special story about United Poultry Concerns and the sixteen chickens we rescued.

I can see Edna and Ethel from my office window as I write. They and the rest of this heroic little group of hens are spreading their wings beneath the sun for the first time. They're roaming through the grass! Ethel runs up to me now, and shy Edna crawls into my lap to take an afternoon nap.

I wanted to rescue them all from the highway nightmare. Moreover, I want to save each one of the seven billion chickens, turkeys, and other birds who are slaughtered each year in the United States. To me, each one is an Edna or an Ethel.

For all the precious Ednas and Ethels who are out there, alone and crying for our help, generous contributions are needed. A gift to United Poultry Concerns will provide the needed resources for a larger chicken sanctuary, rescue and veterinary care endeavors, public education programs, and expanded research and investigation campaigns.

Write: United Poultry Concerns, P.O. Box 59367, Potomac, MD 20859. Send an SASE (and a donation if possible) with your correspondence.

Other stories from United Poultry Concerns: Anal Superglue: a product being considered by the poultry industry, revealed.

UPC fights the Rooster Pull still being practiced in New Mexico.

Copyright © 1995. The VivaVegie Society. All rights reserved.
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