Two weeks ago I blogged in this space about “The Story of Chickens,” a project sponsored by the Spencer Art Museum at the University of Kansas (KU). This so-called “art” exhibit called for the display of five chickens in a moveable coop at several locations in Lawrence, Kansas; the chickens were then to be slaughtered in public and served at a community potluck. I am happy to write today that the project has been substantially altered because local animal cruelty law does not permit slaughter within Lawrence city limits. No chickens will be displayed or slaughtered; the project has been reduced to the display of an empty coop and a concluding dinner. For details, see the news release from United Poultry Concerns and yesterday’s article in the Kansas City Star.
A huge thanks to Karen Davis, president of United Poultry Concerns, and Mary Britton Clouse, director of Chicken Run Rescue, who drew nationwide attention to the issue. Local Lawrence animal activist Judy Carman, along with a KU professor who also opposed the project, met with the artist, Amber Hansen, for a lengthy meeting Monday. Judy succeeded in persuading Hansen to include vegan dishes at the project’s concluding dinner; Judy and the professor will be allowed to speak at that event. Local artists may display works there and Judy is encouraging the display of art supporting veganism. She also gave Hansen a variety of vegan literature. Bravo, Judy!
According to a statement from Rocket Grants, a project sponsor, Hansen’s “intention throughout the project has been to engage regional residents in dialogue about the relationship between humans and the food we consume.” She certainly succeeded, so to my mind she is a winner in this too.