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Blogger Denigrates Chickens: Please Write a Polite Letter to Him.

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    United Poultry Concerns - http://www.UPC-online.org/ 7 February 2013 Blogger Denigrates Chickens: Please Write a Polite Letter to Him. In a blog titled
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 7, 2013
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      United Poultry Concerns - http://www.UPC-online.org/
      7 February 2013

      Blogger Denigrates Chickens: Please
      Write a Polite Letter to Him.

      In a blog titled "Chicken Visit" this month, Jon Katz of Bedlam Farm Journal
      belittled chickens by calling them "dumber" than those who prey on them. Please
      if you have chicken companions, send a thoughtful message in your own words to
      Mr. Katz at blog@....

      Here is what he wrote:
      http://www.bedlamfarm.com/2013/02/04/chicken-visit/chicken-visit/.

      Click on the link on the lower left side below the photo to read.

      ----------------------------------

      UPC president Karen Davis wrote to Mr. Katz today:

      To: Jon Katz, Bedlam Farm Journal From: Karen Davis, President, United Poultry
      Concerns
      Re: http://www.bedlamfarm.com/2013/02/04/chicken-visit/chicken-visit/

      Dear Mr. Katz,

      In your recent blog, "Chicken Visit," you called chickens dumber than their
      predators. ("Everything on earth wants to eat them, and they are dumber than all
      of them.") Your characterization of chickens is unjust. Modern avian science
      discredits the view of chickens as stupid. In The Development of Brain and
      Behaviour in the Chicken, Dr. Lesley J. Rogers writes, for example: "With
      increased knowledge of the behaviour and cognitive abilities of the chicken has
      come the realization that the chicken is not an inferior species to be treated
      merely as a food source" (1995, p. 213).

      The view that mammalian brains are superior to avian brains, or that small
      things can't be intelligent or aware, is no longer credible. Though the
      neuroanatomy of mammals and birds diverged during evolution, their (our) mental
      development is convergent. The cortical cells of mammals developed on the
      surface of the brain while homologous cells in birds were retained deeper within
      the cortex.

      Having kept chickens in rural areas since 1985, I'm familiar with their response
      to predators. There is nothing "dumb" – either stupid or mute – in their
      reaction to the sudden appearance of a raccoon, a fox, or a hawk. Our roosters
      and hens make a huge commotion. They flee the open spaces of the yard and take
      refuge in the fenced-in wooded areas surrounding the yard. They clamor loudly
      and hide for a very long time. They protect themselves in the foliage as best
      they can; if a fox appears, those who are able fly up to branches.

      Chickens have lived successfully in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia and
      the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, raising their families and negotiating
      complex environments for thousands of years. That they have failed to protect
      themselves from human predators does not make them stupid. This is the
      misfortune of most nonhuman animals on the planet.

      The anatomy and neurophysiology of chickens evolved to make them runners. Nature
      designed chickens to run away from predators. There is nothing "dumb" or
      cowardly about it. The fact that we have afflicted chickens with physical
      debilities, alien to their native endowments, which can prevent them from fully
      exercising their innate cognitive skills, does not make them "dumb." The ability
      of hens and roosters to quickly shield their family from predators by spreading
      their wings and pushing the family, which remains still and silent, behind them,
      while fighting off the predator, shows that chickens evolved to react quickly,
      vigorously, and intelligently when the need arises.

      I respectfully urge you to respect the animals in your care including how you
      speak about them. There is no excuse to incite mean attitudes toward chickens in
      your readers. I would appreciate hearing from you. Thank you for your attention.

      Sincerely,

      Karen Davis, PhD, President
      United Poultry Concerns
      12325 Seaside Road, PO Box 150
      Machipongo, VA 23405
      Office: 757-678-7875
      Email: Karen@...
      Website: http://www.upc-online.org

      --
      United Poultry Concerns is a nonprofit organization that promotes
      the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl.
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      http://upc-online.org/alerts/130207blogger_denigrates_chickens.html
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