HSUS VP Declares Goal to Eliminate Chicken Industry
Exclusive Alliance Report from Animal Rights Think-Tank Gathering Now Online
October 16, 2006 - In a speech at the Animals and Society Institutes' Strength of Many conference held October 6-8, 2006, Karen Davis, President of United Poultry Concerns, an animal rights group focused on domestic fowl, bemoaned the fate of male chickens in the United States, saying that these birds are ''family men'' and that modern agriculture systems leave them ''no family life.'' Davis is notorious for her claim that the September 11 terrorist attacks ''reduced the amount of suffering in the world'' because many of those killed in the attack likely ate chicken (for more click here).
After Davis spoke, Miyun Park, Vice President of Farm Animal Welfare for the vegan-led Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) presented poultry slaughter numbers and articulated the organization's objective for the egg laying and broiler chicken industry to be, ''to get rid of the industry.'' HSUS' Park is also former President and co-founder of Compassion Over Killing (COK), an ardent vegan advocacy group.
Following Park was Executive Director of COK, Erica Meier. Meier unveiled COK's latest attack on the egg industry, a petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to label eggs from conventional production as ''Eggs from Caged Hens.'' She ended her speech with an attempt to impose her opinion on the audience, saying that it is time to turn up the heat on the poultry industry because â€œthey are feeling the pressure.â€�
Despite the aggressive words from these speakers and the theme's emphasis on strength, ironically, the overall tone of the conference was subdued and defensive. Tom Regan, Professor of Philosophy at North Carolina State University and author of Empty Cages: Facing the Challenge of Animal Rights, in his speech on Sunday October 8, encouraged people not to leave the animal rights movement, because it meant one more person would then have to be converted to compensate for the loss. Regan was one of many speakers that did not necessarily encourage activism, but instead seemed to concentrate more on stabilizing or maintaining the movement.
''We are extremely distressed that animal rights advocates like Meier would try to mislead the public over the use of modern facilities that insulate animals from inclement weather, protect them from predators, enhance nutrition, reduce disease and improve veterinary care,'' said Kay Johnson, Executive Vice President of the Animal Agriculture Alliance (Alliance). ''Groups who pretend to be working for animal welfare will inevitably see people abandon their cause as people understand that they have been manipulated. Their manipulation hurts the cause of groups that work hard on behalf of animals.''
The full text of the Animal Agriculture Alliance's (Alliance) report on this meeting is available on the password protected Members section of the Alliance website.
The Animal Agriculture Alliance, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, is a broad-based coalition of individual producers, producer organizations, suppliers, packer-processors, private industry and retailers. The Alliance's mission is to communicate the important role of animal agriculture to our nation's economy, productivity, vitality, security and that animal well-being is central to producing safe, high-quality, affordable food and other products essential to our daily lives.