Chickens' Lib

Chickens’ Lib, founded in the UK in 1973 by mother and daughter team Violet Spalding and Clare Druce, was the first animal protection organization to focus specifically on chickens.  The organization initially focused on the plights of battery hens and broiler chickens, purchasing birds from both industries in order to show government officials the birds’ sad states.  Chickens’ Lib later addressed additional issues including the turkey, foie gras, and dairy industries, under the name Farm Animal Welfare Network. 

In 1989, Chickens’ Lib cofounder Clare Druce published the first book exposing the horrors of the UK chicken industry, titled Chicken & Egg: Who Pays the Price?  In 2004, Druce published Minny’s Dream, a book for children in which a young girl befriends and rescues a hen from a battery facility. 

Druce also testified on behalf of Chickens’ Lib as an expert witness in the McLibel case[1] regarding the treatment of chickens used in McDonald’s products.

While Chickens’ Lib/ Farm Animal Welfare Network disbanded in 2010, its legacy continues in the many activists and organizations it launched into action.  Clare Druce hopes that her newest book, an account of the Chickens' Lib campaign, due on shelves in the fall of 2013, will continue to instigate change.

 




[1] In the McLibel case, the McDonald’s Corporation sued the small environmental organization Greenpeace London over the organization’s pamphlet “What’s wrong with McDonald’s: Everything they don’t want you to know.”  The ensuing 15-year trial actually served to document and publicize the many arguments against the fast food giant, which ranged from deforestation and complicity in Third World starvation to exploitative advertising and animal cruelty.

 

  • Chicken's Liberation