Chicken Dinner Road sign

The northwest corner of Chicken Dinner Road and Idaho Highway 55 between Caldwell and Marsing, Idaho.

You have to hand it to the folks at PETA — the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. They know how to get their names in the news. Whether it’s trying to assert constitutional rights for killer whales at aquariums, having movie actresses to pose naked for ads running down the fur industry or even planning a pornographic website, PETA has long ago demonstrated itself to be lacking in ethics but a master of hogging publicity.

Most recently, the folks at PETA fired off a letter to the mayor of Caldwell, Idaho, demanding the name of Chicken Dinner Road be changed. To what? Just Chicken Road. It’s a “kinder alternative, one that celebrates chickens as the sensitive and intelligent individuals they are, not ones to be abused and killed for dinner,” Faith Robinson, PETA senior strategist, told Capital Press reporter Carol Ryan Dumas.

The mayor wisely decided to ignore PETA.

But our suspicion is PETA’s motive was not renaming the road so much as it was to get PETA’s name out in the public. The organization has repeatedly found geographic references to which the organization feigned offense: the Tenderloin Section of San Francisco and Fishkill, New York, are examples.

In each instance, nothing was accomplished, other than getting some attention from the press, something the folks at PETA crave. The organization brings in $52 million a year in donations with its stunts, arguing that animals and humans are the same.

Which got us to thinking. What would happen if a farmer, or farm organization, adopted PETA’s tactics?

For example, a farmer could send a letter to PETA decrying how the group cared more about animals than people by criticizing perfectly good food in the name of animal rights. Whatever happened to people’s rights to have access to nutritious and wholesome food? Nearly 800 million people in the world go to bed hungry every day, and PETA is worried about Chicken Dinner Road. How many people has PETA ever fed?

How about sending chicken dinners to hungry children in sub-Saharan Africa or in Yemen instead of seeking the public spotlight over such piffle.

We understand PETA and its goal: to attack animal agriculture. Thankfully, it does a horrible job of that.

It turns out, it’s a lot harder to have an actual positive impact on society than it is parading in front of the spotlight.

Good job, PETA, you accomplished absolutely nothing positive but looked good doing it. And raised a lot of money in the process.

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(3) comments

Jennofur OConnor

This is a clever way to get folks to take a moment to think about WHO is on their plate, not what.

Heather Moore

PETA has accomplished a lot through the years and its tactics are clearly effective. I’ve been a PETA member for than more than 25 years. I went vegan and made other compassionate lifestyle changes after receiving an informative mailing from PETA. Countless animals are better off thanks to PETA and compassionate people everywhere.

Lucy Post

The point, which this accomplished beautifully, was to get people thinking about the fact that chickens are smart, sensitive, thinking, feeling beings--not "dinner." There are endless tasty foods to eat that don't cause animals to suffer and die.

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