Legal Actions

UPC’s Realtor Files Lawsuit to Stop Perdue

"I feel like a conscientious objector to the treatment of chickens."
– David Kabler, The Virginian-Pilot, Nov. 9, 1998
David Kabler
Photo by ling-Li Wang for The Virginian-Pilot
David Kabler with some new friends in front of UPC's new home.

Meet David Kabler, the man who brought UPC to Machipongo. No sooner did we sign the papers than the county gave a special use permit to Perdue. The Virginian-Pilot did an excellent story about David and his lawsuit. The photo, in color, was shot at UPC's new headquarters. Here are some highlights from the article:

"When Northampton County's Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to let poultry giant Perdue Inc. build a genetic research facility in Eastville, David Kabler was appalled. Unlike Accomack County to the north, which has 82 chicken houses and two big chicken processing plants, Northampton has none. Kabler would like to keep it that way. . . . So he's suing the Board of Supervisors, demanding that it bring the issue back to the public for a closer look.

“' The chicken industry is totally offensive to me,' said Kabler, a 48-year-old real estate broker. 'It's cruel. It's an environmental disaster. The product is unhealthy because of all the bacteria and hormones. It's bad to eat chickens, and they're probably the most abused animals on the planet.'. . .

“'I'd almost call it [the chicken research facility] a chicken hotel,' said Tita Cherrier, spokeswoman for Perdue. . . .

“Kabler and his friend Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns in Machipongo, decry what breeding research has already accomplished. . . . 'All the ones you see in the store are just baby birds with huge overblown bodies,' said Davis, whose farm is a sanctuary for rescued chickens. . . ."

Postscript. On November 9th, the day the article appeared, David Kabler and UPC president Karen Davis drove 3 1/2 hours to Chestertown, Md to hear Jim Perdue, Executive Officer of Perdue Farms (Frank's totally wimpy son) speak at Washington College on the future of the poultry industry on the Eastern Shore. Jim, who has a PhD in Fisheries, complained about a drop in chicken production and would not concede that poultry manure is a major cause of water pollution on the Eastern Shore. He said the market for poultry litter (excrement, etc.) could soon be so big that the Eastern Shore wouldn't have enough to go around. He refused to take questions from the audience and would not read David's article when David offered it to him after the talk. He said he had enough to read already, though from his speech it sounded like he hadn't read a word since the second grade.