I like going to the Heart of the City Farmers’ Market (every Wednesday and Sunday) in the afternoon as mornings are most unpleasant, so I usually miss the frequent showdowns between the live poultry sellers and the animal rights advocates opposing their sales. Today I went to the market unusually early, at about 8:30am, and I was struck by the long line of chicken shoppers across the back of the UN Plaza. In spite of the protests held every Sunday, sometimes even on Wednesdays, the customers don’t seem bothered and haven’t stopped flocking to this market to get their chicken fix. Probably because it’s the only farmers’ market in the city that sells live poulty (despite it not being legally permitted), as well as the fact that the prices are cheaper than in Chinatown.
According to the daughter of the poultry stall owner, quoted in
this recent article in the Chron, chicken sales have declined about 30 percent in the past six months, since the protests started. But, apparently what bothers the vendors most is the protesters’ presence. Market manager Christine Adams is even quoted as saying “I’m tired of seeing them here. I just wish they’d give it up and go eat their fruits and vegetables”. However, before going to the market this morning I had breakfast with some friends who told me they had stopped going to the market because of the very presence of live chickens. So it’s hard to tell who or what bothers who the most. In any case, the customers I saw today didn’t seem to mind the controversy.