I am outraged at the response I received from Russ Van Deursen of Flower Farm, trying to convince them not to put on a demonstration on how to kill chickens, all in response to an alert United Poultry Concern put out today. in which they wanted us to sign on Change.org. Here is a link to that petition, which you can sign and pass on to others:
http://www.upc-online.org/alerts/140621 ... ckens.html
Here is the response the originator of that petition received from them:
"Nice, you big bully." That was the response we got to our polite letter from the proprietors of Be Well yoga studio and The Local Grocer who plans on demonstrating how to kill chickens. But a real bully is someone who preys on defenseless baby birds who can't defend themselves and have no voice in the matter. Please sign on to our letter and stand with us in urging them to cancel their chicken killing demonstration. Or contact the owners directly at [email protected] and [email protected]. You can call them at 603-356-6068. Their Facebook page is at https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Loca ... 3510160142.
Here is our original letter:
Dear Ms. Chase and Mr. Van Deursen,
My name is Robert Grillo and I am the founder and director of Free from Harm, a farmed animal rescue, education and advocacy organization. One of our members brought to our attention that you are organizing a chicken “processing” class on June 28th to demonstrate how to kill chickens.
I am writing you today, along with United Poultry Concerns, a national organization promoting the respectful treatment of domestic fowl, urging you to cancel your plans to kill the chickens. Both our organizations take a special interest in and are concerned for chickens since they represent the 95% of all land animals who are ruthlessly exploited and killed around the world, resulting in over 40 billion killed annually. We have documented and exposed the institutionalized cruelty in the poultry industry both on the industrial level and on the smaller scale, “alternative” farms. We have also published extensive research on what recent science tells us about how deeply chickens think, feel emotions, possess memory and advanced cognitive and brain functions as well as interact in complex social groups.
In collaboration with United Poultry Concerns, we have successfully spearheaded campaigns to garner media attention and organized both physical protests and web-based, email and social media anti-cruelty campaigns. We have a combined Facebook presence of over 70,000 committed and impassioned advocates who are ready to take action and help those who have no voice.
We understand that you operate a yoga and healing center and therefore appeal to the well-established value of ahimsā (non-harming) that has been a central teaching for yoga practitioners for millennia. The importance of the practice of ahimsā and its centrality to yoga sādhanā (practice) is evidenced by its placement as the first of the yamas (external observances), and also as the first of the astangas in Patañjali’s Yoga Sūtra (II.30). One might note how this practice was a primary source of spiritual strength for Mahātma Gandhi, perhaps one of the greatest modern yogīs of our time.
Thus, we implore you, as a representative of the venerable tradition of yoga, to honor this most basic teaching that has long been recognized as the primary feature of spiritual well-being. Killing these chickens would be himsā (causing harm) and counter the very nature of Yogic tradition.
We ask you to please cancel your chicken killing class and make a formal announcement to that effect. If we don’t hear from you affirmatively on this issue in the next 48 hours, we will proceed with our plans to protest. We have several local media sources who are interested in covering this story on alert.
I look forward to and appreciate your prompt reply.
I, too, got the same rude response from Russ Van Deursen:
"Copy and paste letters how eloquent. Despite the continued harassment and bullying we are proceeding with our workshop.
Russ Van Deursen
There is no excuse for such rude behavior and I am calling on all who read this article if you care about chickens to bombard them with original letters of strong protest, particularly if you deal with them as a customer, say you will no longer do business with them. If not a customer tell them you will never consider purchasing any product they make.
Talk about Animal Rights. How to protect non-human animals from being used or regarded as property by humans? Discuss ethical aspects of animal liberation activism.
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