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Refusal to Issue Permit for 'Crippled Chicken' Statue Violates Free Speech, Says Group
For Immediate Release:June 4, 2010
Contact:Ashley Byrne 757-622-7382
Denver -- After initially agreeing to issue a permit, city officials have put a hold on the display of a PETA statue in Denver's 16th Street Mall area (click here for details). The 65-inch fiberglass statue, which was designed by New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss, depicts a battered, bloody chicken limping on crutches and bears the inscription "McCruelty: i'm hatin' it" along with PETA's McCruelty campaign logo--a bloody chicken hanging between two golden arches. PETA hopes to erect the statue later this month and keep it in place for the duration of the summer.
The statue is intended to represent the millions of chickens killed annually for McDonald's. During slaughter, birds are slammed upside down by their legs into metal shackles--a procedure that often results in broken wings and legs. Birds have their throats cut while they are still conscious, and many are scalded to death in defeathering tanks. PETA wants McDonald's to heed the advice of its own animal welfare advisors and order its suppliers to switch to a less cruel method of chicken slaughter that has been approved by the U.S Department of Agriculture and is already used by several of McDonald's European suppliers.
"People deserve to know that every time they buy a box of McNuggets, they are paying McDonald's to break chickens' legs and scald the animals to death," says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. "PETA's crippled-chicken statue will help educate people about the misery that goes into making every Happy Meal."
After applying for a Department of Public Works permit in order to display the statue, PETA was assured that a permit would be forthcoming. But when the Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP) learned of the plans, it objected, and the matter has been put on hold pending review by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper. After PETA received no substantive response to a letter addressing DDP's concerns or to a message to the city's assistant attorney inquiring into the reasons why the permit has been put on hold, PETA's attorney sent a letter to the mayor pointing out that any behind-the-scenes attempt to override the permitting authority of the Department of Public Works would violate PETA's free-speech and equal-protection rights.
For more information, please visit PETA's Web site McCruelty.com.
Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.