For years, it was a repressed memory.
It was a day when Altoona
native Karen Davis was just a child, walking to a friend's house near
58th street in the Eldorado neighborhood.
"I don't recall knowing
that my friend's father kept chickens; this would have been back in the
early 1950s," she said. "But I clearly remember him taking a brown hen
out of a shed, laying her on a platform or a wooden chopping block, and
using a hatchet to cut her head off. I can still picture her head lying
there, clucking on the right side of me, and on the grass on the left
side was her body still running around the yard."
a Ph.D in literature from the University of Maryland in College Park,
Davis founded the animal advocacy group United Poultry Concerns in 1990.
The group aims to promote the respectful treatment of domestic foul and
teach people the truths of the egg and chicken meat industry.
Davis also runs a small chicken sanctuary in Machipongo, Va., and has
relayed her personal experience keeping chickens in the numerous books
she has written and talks she has given.