PETA Asks Mayor to Change ‘Chicken Dinner Road’ Name

PETA Urges Caldwell to Recognize Birds as Individuals, Not ‘Dinner’

For Immediate Release:
July 3, 2019

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Boise, Idaho

Today, PETA sent a letter asking Caldwell Mayor Garret L. Nancolas to change the name of Chicken Dinner Road—which was named, according to local lore, after a fried chicken dinner persuaded Gov. C. Ben Ross to have the road fixed—to the kinder, simpler name “Chicken Road.”

“Just like dogs, cats, and human beings, chickens feel pain and fear and value their own lives,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is asking Mayor Nancolas to change this road’s name to one that celebrates chickens as individuals, not as beings to kill, chop up, and label as ‘dinner.’”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—emphasizes that the words that we choose to use can directly affect the way humans view and treat each other as well as nonhuman animals. The group opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview, and offers free vegan recipes on its website, including for vegan fried “chicken.”

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PETA’s letter to Nancolas follows.

July 3, 2019

The Honorable Garret L. Nancolas

Mayor of Caldwell

Dear Mayor Nancolas,

I’m writing on behalf of PETA and our more than 6.5 million members and supporters worldwide—including many in Idaho—with an eggciting suggestion: Would you consider changing the name of Chicken Dinner Road to Chicken Road as a kinder alternative? Please allow me to elaborate.

We’re not trying to ruffle any feathers, but words matter and have the power to change lives, both human and nonhuman. Chickens are intelligent, sensitive animals who feel pain and empathy and form strong bonds with one another, and they shouldn’t be considered “dinner.” Studies show that they can anticipate future events, communicate with their chicks while they’re still inside the shell—so that babies recognize their mother’s call when they hatch—and have distinct personalities. Even young chicks can count and perform basic addition and subtraction.

But those raised in the meat industry for dinner are confined to crowded, filthy sheds with tens of thousands of other birds, where disease, smothering, and heart attacks are common. Then they are violently crammed onto transport trucks for shipment to the slaughterhouse, where they’re shackled and hung upside down, their throats are cut, and they’re immersed in scalding-hot feather removal tanks—often while they’re still conscious.

Eating chickens is also bad for human health. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, vegans—whose numbers have increased 600% in the U.S. since 2014—reduce their risk of developing diabetes by 62%, their chance of being hospitalized for a heart attack by 33%, their risk of developing heart disease by 29%, and their risk of suffering from cancer by 18%. That’s something worth squawking about!

By renaming this roadway, we believe you have a great opportunity to demonstrate a sign of the changing times, as more humans are showing compassion and respect for other species. We hope you will encourage residents to appreciate chickens as individuals who deserve our respect and cry fowl about this archaic road sign that labels them merely as “dinner.” We’d be happy to contribute to the cost of new signage if you agree to hatch a plan and change the name. Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to hearing from you.


Tracy Reiman

Executive Vice President

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