Chickens don’t belong in bags: Protest THIS SUNDAY!  »

If you shop at the Heart of the City Farmers’ Market at all, you may be familiar with the subject matter of today’s post: live chicken sales. Yes, somewhere beyond those dry-farmed tomatoes and kettle corn, there is a booth that sells live chickens in paper bags to anyone who can cough up the $6. It’s horrible for the chickens, and gives vegan shoppers like me unpleasantly mixed feelings about one of the cheapest and most accessible farmer’s markets in the city.
Thankfully, LGBT Compassion stepped up; they’ve been campaigning to stop live chicken sales at the market for over a year, and they’re still gaining momentum. What started as a few volunteers wearing sandwich boards and handing out information to market-goers has grown into 50-plus people showing up and speaking up for the chickens. They’ve planned their biggest protest yet for this Sunday, Oct. 10 at 9 a.m., and they want YOU to show up.

Aside from the obvious fucked-upedness of selling living chickens in paper bags, the sales violate California Health Code 114371(d), which prohibits bringing live, non-service animals within 20 feet of food for sale; the terms of the operating permit of the market, which requires that vendors comply with applicable laws; USDA Food Stamp programs; and, unsurprisingly, animal cruelty laws. According to LGBT Compassion, the live chicken vendors have been cited for a whopping 700 violations of various anti-cruelty laws, but the District Attorney has elected not to prosecute (so, in addition to showing up to the protest on Sunday, consider writing a letter to San Francisco D.A. Kamala Harris telling her you’re not pleased that she has ignored 700 documented violations). In addition, live chicken sales create scores of problems outside the market, including people bringing the chickens onto BART and Muni, where they may pass on pathogens to people with compromised immune systems; homeless people adopting them as pets—cute as the image of the lovable hobo adopting a chicken friend is, chickens don’t do well on the mean streets of San Francisco; and would-be do-gooders buying the chickens in order to “set them free,” which doesn’t help the chickens all that much if they aren’t “set free” to somewhere like Animal Place or Harvest Home Sanctuary.

Vegans, this is your rallying cry! Get out there Sunday and protest your hearts out! Let’s reclaim the Civic Center market and make it a happy place for chickens and for vegans. See you there!

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