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our Sixth Annual Spring Mourning Vigil for Chickens, held last Sunday in Adams Morgan (City Desk, 5/24). A couple of points need clarification. Our two-hour vigil was not an angry protest but a peaceful representation of the plight of hens used for egg production (including the phony “free range”). We did not yell at the Belmont Kitchen or other patrons. We did not have a bullhorn. We had a table with free literature and free food across the street from the restaurant. We had a police permit to be at the corner of 18th and Belmont. Most of our color photos were ones taken at three large battery-hen complexes in Maryland and Pennsylvania, in buildings so full of excretory ammonia the employees have to wear gas masks to breathe. (Don’t blame the bird victims—humans created the stinking, toxic “agricultural” nightmare.)

Our participants did not ride in from “tony Potomac.” They came from Silver Spring, Seneca, Bowie, and Greenbelt, Md., from Alexandria, Arlington, and Richmond, Va., from Orwigsburg, Penn., and downtown D.C. United Poultry Concerns has a P.O. box at the Potomac Post Office on River Road, but our nonprofit group is based in a one-story house my husband and I rent in Seneca that includes my office and our sanctuary for rescued chickens. Our work, finances, values, goals, and household are the opposite of everything “tony.”

You didn’t even say that we distributed several hundred free copies of our recipe booklet, “Cooking Without Eggs.” After the vigil we gave complimentary copies of our cookbook and the booklet to the Belmont Kitchen manager. We were accused by some locals of being bourgeois racists, yet the accusers acted exactly like the “oppressors” they mistook us for. They acted mean—low, nasty, money-minded, and provincial—all about a measly two-hour vigil on behalf of poor hens rotting in filthy cages so they can have their omelets, pleasure, and business as usual.


United Poultry Concerns

Germantown, Md.