Yoga Center Blasted for Cruel Chicken-Slaughter Workshop

PETA Rallies Supporters to Appeal to Be Well Studios to Call Off Deadly and Misguided Event

For Immediate Release:
June 26, 2014

David Perle 202-483-7382

North Conway, N.H.

One of the driving principles of yoga is ahimsa—doing no harm. That’s why, on behalf of PETA, noted vegan yogis and the cofounders of Jivamukti Yoga International, Sharon Gannon and David Life, sent a letter today to Heather Chase and Russell Van Deursen, owners of the Be Well Studios yoga center in North Conway, calling on them to cancel a chicken-killing workshop scheduled for Saturday. In the letter, PETA points out that chickens are highly inquisitive animals who feel fear and pain, just as companion animals in our homes do.

PETA has posted an action alert on its popular website asking visitors to contact the studio and express their outrage over the planned slaughter.

“If the owners of Be Well Studios wouldn’t promote the slaughter of dogs and cats, they have no business promoting the slaughter of chickens,” says PETA Special Projects Manager Alicia Woempner. “The best way to honor the longstanding tenet of ahimsa is to stop killing and eating animals altogether and go vegan.”

PETA has offered to place the chickens slated for death at a reputable sanctuary where they’ll receive the best care and living conditions available.

For more information, please visit


Sharon Gannon and David Life’s letter on behalf of PETA to the owners of Be Well Studios follows.


June 26, 2014


Heather Chase and Russell Van Deursen, Co-Owners
The Local Grocer and Be Well Studios


Dear Ms. Chase and Mr. Van Deursen:

We’re writing on behalf of our friends at PETA to implore you to cancel your planned chicken slaughter demonstration. Cutting an animal’s throat is contrary to a central tenet of yoga, the principle of ahimsa—to do no harm. Subjecting a living, feeling being to a painful and terrifying death for the sake of “entertaining” your customers and satisfying a fleeting taste for flesh is the pinnacle of unnecessary violence and a violation of the values of holistic health and healing espoused by Be Well Studios.

As you know, yoga is more than physical exercise. It teaches us the importance of having a pure mind and the vital message of nonviolence, and we seal each practice with “Namaste” to recognize the divine in others. Chickens feel pain and fear just as the animals who share our homes do, and they deserve just as much consideration. These intelligent birds form strong family units, and mother hens even cluck to their chicks in their eggs. Just as we would not instruct our neighbors in the practice of killing dogs, so it is imperative that we do not condone the killing of any other animal. A yoga institution should provide the community with spiritual and ethical support.

We would be happy to open our hearts to you and to help place the birds intended for Saturday’s event at a reputable sanctuary, where they could live out the rest of their lives in peace because of your merciful decision. Please contact us through PETA’s Stephanie Jaffa to let us know that you will not proceed with this event.


Sharon Gannon
David Life
Jivamukti Yoga International

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