Clean Fun, Yes - Mean Fun, NO!|
Chicken-flying contests are not clean, wholesome fun. They are
nothing more than the bullying of innocent and bewildered
birds. They teach children to make fun of other creatures
instead of protecting them from harm and fear.
What Does This Contest Consist of?
Scared and confused chickens are pulled from dark, crammed little crates and wire coops
and mounted above a field surrounded by noisy spectators and microphones. They do
not fly willingly. Many birds flutter and fall helplessly and hit the ground backwards. The "joke" is
to push them out of a pretend mailbox with a toilet plunger and then chase the
distressed birds around the field with nets.
Chicken-flying contests are not in the best American tradition. They are a cheap,
illegitimate rip-off of a defunct European tradition. Some people believe that the Creator
gave humanity "dominion" over other life. However, a loving God does not authorize humanity
to degrade and insult the other creatures of the earth, any more
than parents are authorized to bully and belittle their children. The idea
of a gracious human spirit is expressed in
the Bible, where it says, "O, Jerusalem . . . how often I have longed
to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings" (Matthew
23:37). This is the model of a protective love given in the Bible.
The oldest and the newest ethic asks each of us to examine our own life and to begin
making choices based on respect for the earth and compassion for
all living beings.
What Can Be Done Instead?
- Develop an alternative to the use of live chickens as entertainment with a "Make Your
Own Chicken" contest. Each participant can create their own
synthetic chicken and enter it in the annual "chicken" contest.
- Categories for Judging:
- Most unusual "chicken"
- Best flying "chicken"
- Worst flying "chicken"
- Biggest "chicken"
- Smallest "chicken"
- Most beautiful "chicken"
- Most lifelike "chicken"
- People's choice award in which non-participating spectators
vote for their favorite "chicken"
- Prizes: Anything from ribbons to cash
- Possible Types of Entries:
Participants have and endless array of possibilities - a balloon "chicken", a kite "chicken,"
"chickens" of many different materials - cardboard, tin cans,
balsam wood, paper-mache, soap, etc.
- If chicken-flying contests are being held where you live, urge the
sponsors to stop holding them. Ask them to adopt the above proposal or another
one that will transform the contest into a positive
event that respects the life and feelings of all creatures. Make copies of this brochure and distribute it at
your home, church, community center, and workplace. Tell your newspapers, radio and TV stations
how you feel.
2/23/06: United Poultry Concerns (UPC) Condemns Chicken Drop
2/17/06: Volunteer(s) Urgently Needed to Videotape "Chicken Drop" in Ridgeland, Wisconsin
2/13/06: United Poultry Concerns Urges Ridgeland, Wisconsin to Drop Chicken Drop
4/08/04: UPC's Letter to Miller Beer Helps Stop Chicken Flying Contest in Berryton, Kansas.
7/0/03: Poultry activists oppose
Guffey’s chicken fly event