Reptile Gardens better not change it's name to Jellyfish gardens.
UPC urged Reptile Gardens to honor its claim to educate the public about the animals it houses by closing chicken basketball and tic tac toe the same as it closed its other trained animal shows. UPC asked Reptile Gardens to develop alternative programs that teach respect for the relationship that chickens and other birds share with reptiles in the course of evolution.
"Chicken basketball and tic tac toe should have no place at Reptile Gardens," said UPC president Karen Davis. "These games contradict the wholesome family outing image fostered by the company. No animal should be presented to the public as a slot-machine gadget."
In response to an action alert, UPC members have been writing to Reptile Gardens urging that the demeaning chicken "basketball" and "tic tac toe" be eliminated as a tourist attraction.
I did a little checking on this group. They think turkeys and chickens are our friends. I especially love the picture on their website of chickens nesting in a tree. (Awww) From their website:
We Operate a Poultry Paradise This is why United Poultry Concerns was started. We are dedicated to the making of a future in which every chicken, turkey and duck has a voice that is heard. As part of our mission, United Poultry Concerns operates a unique sanctuary for chickens and other domestic fowl in Machipongo, Virginia. We invite the public to visit us and see what a chicken can be when a chicken is free!What is a chicken like when a chicken is free? The same as in captivity, except it doesn't taste as good if it's not corn-fed. What do others have to say about this organization? According to the website Undue Influence:
Projects: United Poultry Concerns (UPC) is led by eccentric Karen Davis. The group protests the eating of chicken, turkey, geese, ducks and eggs . Davis wrote in the December 2000 Vegan Voice newsletter: "If it were up to me, there would be no domestic animals, by which I mean there would be no slavery, no animal property, no pets. Other creatures would live their lives, raising their families, having their own projects."The best part I read about this group? It receives a big chunk of their funding from the Helen Brach Foundation (of the Brach candies) which provides funding to a number of animal organizations. According to undue influence, part of the wealth of this foundation is in stocks. And what stock does it hold about a million dollars worth of? Pepsico - the parent organization of Kentucky Fried Chicken. (mmmmmm.. KFC)
Harms: UPC protests eating turkey at Thanksgiving time and demonstrates against the White House Lawn Easter Egg Roll. UPC occasionally forces the closure of farmers-market chicken stands for alleged mistreatment of poultry.
Now That's FUNNY! Want to hear something that's not funny from the group's founder?
"The deaths of thousands of people ... reduced the amount of pain and suffering in the world since they wouldn't be around to eat more chicken."Reptile Gardens - right or wrong, you owe it to South Dakota not to cave to these nuts. Because of this, I for one feel like chicken tonight. Like chicken tonight.
- Karen Davis, Founder United Poultry Concerns
(In reference to the attack on the World Trade Center, New York, Sept. 11, 2001; at the Animal Rights Conference, Washington, DC, June 27, 2003.)