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Nov 10, 2023

In Memory of Karen Davis: Chicken or Broiler, Cow or Steer, Owner or Guardian? by Karen Davis at

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The world lost an amazing advocate and educator when Karen Davis, founder of United Poultry Concerns (UPC) “passed away peacefully on the morning of November 4, 2023 at the United Poultry Concerns sanctuary,  surrounded by her beloved birds,” UPC announced, pledging to “continue her vision and legacy through our sanctuary and vegan advocacy.”

Karen Davis was an icon. She was instrumental in my vegan journey. I learned to understand, love, admire, and appreciate the amazing birds she dedicated her life to educating people about, and am honored to be able to share some of her teachings on the podcast. Many times it was difficult to narrate her articles as they were bringing me to tears. Other times her articles would fill me with joy as I read about the amazing social lives of these precious innocent, defenseless individuals who deserve to be protected and respected.

Karen was President and Founder of United Poultry Concerns, a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of chickens, turkeys, ducks, and other domesticated birds. She created an amazing, open-air, covered sanctuary in Virginia to house and care for them. She is the author of numerous books, essays, articles and campaigns, and host of the Thinking Like a Chicken podcast.

I hope we can all step in to help fill the gap in chicken and turkey advocacy left by her passing.

If you’d like to listen to past episodes highlighting some of Karen’s brilliant work, check out the following. It’s amazing to see just this tiny subset of her contribution. Let’s all band together and continue to educate ourselves and advocate for these birds. 🙏💚

582: What's Wrong with ‘Humanely Raised’ Poultry and Eggs?

529: Empathy & Affection in Chickens

478: Avoiding Burnout

410: The Mother Turkey and Her Young

399: What Do We Mean By Socialization? (And What Is Ethical Deviance?)

393: The Use of Chickens in Agricultural Research: An Eye-Opening Look at Unspeakable Cruelty

278: ‘Is It Ok For Sanctuaries to Give Hens’ Eggs to Donors?’ and “The Dilemma of Backyard Chicken-Keeping’

268: On International Respect for Chick ens Day Try Thinking About Them Differently

255: Tractor Supply Employee Exposes the Company’s Cruelty to Chicks and Ducklings as a Matter of Policy and Practice

232: Chicken Talk: The Language of Chickens

225: Alternatives to School Hatching Projects and Facts About Chickens: An Excerpt from Hatching Good Lessons

204: Chickens

130: Slaughterhouse Workers, Farmed Animals and Animal Advocates: Can There Be Justice for All?

121: Turkeys

69: Do Chickens Mind Seeing Other Chickens Traumatized in Their Presence?

43: [Part 2] Don't Plants Have Feelings Too?

42: [Part 1] Don't Plants Have Feelings Too? Responding Effectively to 13 Frequently Asked Questions About Food, Fiber, Farm Animals and the Ethics of Diet 

12: I Stopped Saying "Meat" and Here's Why

United Poultry Concerns, founded by Karen Davis, is a nonprofit organization that promotes the compassionate and respectful treatment of domestic fowl including a sanctuary for chickens in Virginia. Karen is the author of numerous books, essays, articles and campaigns advocating for these birds. Her latest book is For the Birds: From Exploitation to Liberation: Essays on Chickens, Turkeys, and Other Domesticated Fowl. 

Also please check out their podcast called "Thinking Like a Chicken", hosted by Karen Davis. She shares information about chickens in 10-minute episodes every 2 weeks. I highly recommend it, and you can find it at 


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