The Chicken Event: A Public Act of Civil Disobedience

When the government fears the people, you have liberty. When the people fear the government, you have tyranny. – Thomas Jefferson

The purpose of this event is to raise awareness of the challenges local farmers face competing against giant factory farms. In a country where cheap food is considered a right, the local farmer raising and processing animals in a humane and environmentally healthy way simply cannot compete. Not only are the costs of raising food in this way higher for the local farmer, but the cost of building a facility to comply with the Vermont Department of Agriculture regulations that govern how poultry must be processed and how it can be sold makes it cost-prohibitive for local farmers operating small diversified farms to sell chicken to local restaurants or stores or even at farmers markets.

It is important to note that USDA regulations would allow a farmer such as Hadley Gaylord to slaughter and process up to 20,000 birds without a special processing facility; the additional requirement of a processing facility is a Vermont Department of Agriculture regulation. However, there are exemptions from these requirements that apply to farms slaughtering and processing less than 20,000 poultry per year.

At the Chicken Event, American Flatbread will be offering a special chicken flatbread in the restaurant that evening. The chicken will be from local farmer and neighbor Hadley Gaylord. The Gaylord Farm is across the street and within a half mile of the restaurant. The chickens from the Gaylord Farm have been raised by the Gaylord family and processed on the farm by Hadley Gaylord. State and Federal regulations prohibit American Flatbread from serving this chicken. But on June 16th diners will have an opportunity to prove that consumers are capable of making informed, rational, and responsible decisions for themselves, without the government making it for them when they order this special flatbread.

Doug Flack of Flack Family Farm and outspoken supporter of the 2006 Vermont Farmer Protection Act that was recently vetoed by Governor Jim Douglas will speak at 7:30pm at the Lareau Farm, home of American Flatbread. Other events will include movies (Sweet Soil at 5:30pm and 9:00pm) and Fed Up! At 6:00pm. Educational materials will be provided to help attendees understand the current meat processing regulations and the challenges facing local farmers. In addition, information on the history and purpose of acts of civil disobedience will be highlighted. Key state officials including Secretary of Agriculture for the state of Vermont, Steve Kerr, will receive personal invitations from George Schenk to attend the event. We hope that you too can attend the event.

  • Where: American Flatbread in Waitsfield, VT
  • When: Friday, June 16th 5:30…on
  • What: Civil Disobedience and great flatbread

Learn More

Not sure this event is right for you? Check this out:

  • Facts about Slaughtering and Processing Chicken in Vermont.
  • Everything I Want to Do is Illegal – A great article written by Joel Salatin for Acres Magazine in 2003 highlighting numerous activities (farm and other) that you would think should be a right in a free society, yet are restricted by government regulations and laws that are supposed to “protect” us.
  • The Humane Society A short, informational slide show about factory farms and the conditions that animals that we eventually eat live in.
  • Wegmans Cruelty How are supermarket eggs produced? If you don’t know, you MUST see this movie.
  • See a chicken slaughter house in a factory farm.
  • Poultry facts and figures such as 90% of the nation’s poultry production is controlled by 10 companies.
  • Did you know that an estimated 70% of all antibiotics in the U.S. are fed to pigs, poultry and cattle merely to promote growth and to compensate for the unsanitary and confined conditions on factory farms. This medically unnecessary use of antibiotics fosters the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria that can spread to other animals and humans.