PETA to Hand Out Vegan Chicken to Honor Late University of Maryland Professor, Bird Advocate

For Immediate Release:
November 6, 2023

Nicole Perreira 202-483-7382

College Park, Md.

In honor of former University of Maryland professor Karen Davis, Ph.D., founder of United Poultry Concerns (UPC) and the University of Maryland Animal Rights Coalition, who passed away on Saturday morning, PETA supporters will gather outside the school’s Adele H. Stamp Student Union on Thursday to give away 1,000 pieces of delicious vegan chicken from HipCityVeg.

When:    Thursday, November 9, 12 noon

Where:    Outside the Student Union, 3972 Campus Dr., College Park

Karen Davis and Rainbow

Karen Davis with Rainbow. Photo: Unparalleled Suffering Photography

Davis’ life’s work for birds began when she discovered a small, lame chicken abandoned in a shed on the property she was renting back in 1985. Davis named her Viva because she was the only survivor of a small flock the property owner had sent to slaughter. Moved by Viva’s spirit and the plight of her siblings, Davis went on to found the UPC in 1990—and she never looked back.

At a time when most people didn’t give a second thought to chickens, turkeys, and other poultry, the UPC hosted conferences on farmed animal advocacy issues and collaborated with PETA on many campaigns, challenging live turkey drops from airplanes, school chick-hatching projects, and more, thereby offering food for thought about the animal welfare issues inherent in food systems.

“Karen Davis was a champion for chickens, and she leaves behind a legacy of kindness, sensitivity to the suffering of winged individuals used for food, and many a converted vegan,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA encourages everyone to emulate her kind deeds by letting chickens and other animals live in peace and in one piece—and PETA offers a free, downloadable vegan starter kit to help.”

Chickens remain arguably the most abused animals on the planet. In the meat industry, they’re crammed into filthy sheds and bred to grow such unnaturally large upper bodies that their legs become crippled under the weight. Those used for egg production are confined to cramped barns, where each bird has no more than a square foot of space. At slaughterhouses, their throats are cut, often while they’re still conscious, and many are scalded to death in defeathering tanks.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit, listen to The PETA Podcast, or follow the group on X (formerly Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram.

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