Why did PETA cross Chicken Dinner Road? To get its name changed, of course. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (but not human babies!) sent a letter to Caldwell, Idaho, Mayor Garret Nancolas asking him to change the street name of what’s currently known as Chicken Dinner Road, located in rural Canyon County. The letter, from PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman, stated: “Just like dogs, cats, and human beings, chickens feel pain and fear and value their own lives.” Ms. Reiman implored the mayor to change the name of the road to “one that celebrates chickens as individuals, not as beings to kill, chop up, and label as ‘dinner.’” She opined that changing the name of the road would show compassion to chickens and respect for other species, adding that words matter and “have the power to change lives.”
It’s a weird world we live in now, one in which leftists treat people primarily as members of identity groups whose rights-- or lack thereof-- come from government, yet believe in the individuality and Creator-granted rights of fowl.
As of this writing, there was no word if the mayor intended to respond to PETA. Joe Decker, a spokesman for Canyon County, said the county has heard from a number of residents who don’t want the name to be changed. Decker noted that, “It would require a public hearing and we would have to notify all property owners having frontage on the affected road at least 30 days before the public hearing. An application and fee are also required for an unincorporated county road name change.”
The road got its name from a chicken dinner Laura Lamb prepared for then-Governor C. Ben Ross, a family friend, back in the 1930s. The road was apparently badly rutted at the time, and Lamb asked the governor his opinion of the rough road he had travelled to reach her home. Ross informed Lamb that if she could get the county to grade the road, he’d get it “oiled,” which would seal in the dust and act as a waterproof barrier. Lamb was successful in persuading the county to grade the road, and Ross was true to his word.
Legend has it that the street name first appeared when Lamb had cardboard signs reading “chicken dinner” placed along the route to direct the governor to his supper. Once the road was oiled, pranksters purportedly wrote “Lamb’s Chicken Dinner Avenue” on the fresh surface…in bright yellow letters. The name stuck.
Reports note that if the name of the road was ever changed, it would have unintended consequences for various area entities. For example, Huston Vineyards is located just off Chicken Dinner Road, and utilizes the name via its “Chicken Dinner” wine series. The vineyard’s website notes: “The naming of our Chicken Dinner wines celebrates and plays off a classic Idaho tale-- the story behind one of the most curious road names around.”
So what if Chicken Dinner Road becomes Hummus Highway, Cauliflower Street, Bulgur Lane or Quinoa Avenue? Who cares if it ends up being renamed Couscous Drive, Tofu Trail or Blueberry Breakfast Boulevard?
Well, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
And that road’s name is PETA Way.