Karen Davis
Karen Davis 20180310-0615.jpg
Davis in 2018
Born (1944-02-04) February 4, 1944 (age 78)
EducationPhD in English, University of Maryland, College Park
Alma materUniversity of Maryland, College Park
OccupationWriter, animal rights advocate
Years active1983–present
SpouseDr. George Allan Cate (deceased)
Parent(s)Amos and Mary Elizabeth Davis
RelativesShe has three brothers: Tim Davis of Palo Alto, California, Amos Davis of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Andrew Davis of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania
WebsiteUnited Poultry Concerns

Karen Davis (born February 4, 1944) is an American animal rights advocate, and president of United Poultry Concerns, a non-profit organization founded in 1990 to address the treatment of domestic fowl – including chickens, turkeys, and ducks – in factory farming. Davis also maintains a sanctuary.

She is the author of several books on veganism and animal rights, including Prisoned Chickens, Poisoned Eggs: An Inside Look at the Modern Poultry Industry (1997) and The Holocaust and the Henmaid's Tale: A Case for Comparing Atrocities (2005). Karen Davis also has written the foreword to Michael Lanfield's book, The Interconnectedness of Life, which was released December 6, 2014.[1]


Davis was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania; her parents were Amos and Mary Elizabeth Davis.[2] Amos was the Blair County District attorney from 1966 to 1975. Davis graduated from Hollidaysburg Area High School in 1962. She studied for her undergraduate degree at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. Davis obtained her PhD in English from the University of Maryland, College Park.[3] She also taught English at the University of Maryland while she started United Poultry Concerns. Davis married Dr. George Allan Cate (deceased). She has three brothers: Tim Davis of Palo Alto, California, Amos Davis of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Andrew Davis of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.


Davis regularly addresses the annual National Animal Rights conferences, and was inducted in July 2002 into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame "for outstanding contributions to animal liberation."[4] Since 1999, she and United Poultry Concerns have hosted 19 conferences on farmed animal-vegan advocacy issues. She launched a campaign against National Public Radio's This American Life for its annual "Poultry Slam" show, arguing that host Ira Glass was contributing to the poor treatment and slaughter of chickens and turkeys. Eventually, Glass visited Davis's sanctuary and announced on the Late Show with David Letterman in 2008 that he had become a vegetarian thanks to Davis.[5]

Davis is one of several people who provided information used in the writing of the book Striking at the Roots: A Practical Guide to Animal Activism (2008) by Mark Hawthorne.

Davis paid for an advertisement in the New York Times in protest at the practice of killing chickens in the streets of New York during the Yom Kippur ritual of kapparot.[6]



See also


  1. ^ Lanfield, Michael (2015-01-16). "The Interconnectedness of Life with Foreword by Karen Davis, PhD". Retrieved 2014-12-12.
  2. ^ Downey, Beth Ann (2012-10-07). "Altoona native pursues poultry advocacy". Altoona Mirror. Archived from the original on 2016-01-28. Retrieved 2012-10-08. It was a day when Altoona native Karen Davis was just a child, walking to a friend's house near 58th street in the Eldorado neighborhood.
  3. ^ For a story that mentions her early activism, see "Campus Life: Maryland; A Regent's Seat For Frank Perdue Draws Protests", The New York Times, March 3, 1991.
  4. ^ "U.S. Animal Rights Hall of Fame". arconference.org. Archived from the original on 2010-12-13. Retrieved 2010-12-02.
  5. ^ "Ira Glass on David Letterman". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2012-04-16. Retrieved 2010-12-02.
  6. ^ Schelling, Ameena (2015-09-18). "50,000 Animals About To Be Brutally Sacrificed On Streets Of NYC". The Dodo. Retrieved 2018-02-21.