PETA's feathers are ruffled, clucks over street name in Idaho

Are we all ready to lighten things up a bit? Let’s do that. There is a story that caught my eye because it’s odd and a little funny. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has an objection to the name of a rural road in Idaho. Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas has been asked to change its name.


The name of the road is Chicken Dinner Road. PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman is clucking over that and she has written a letter to Mayor Nancolas about it. The road’s name is not kind to poultry, she says, and well, chickens have feelings, too. A press release from PETA came out announcing that the letter had been sent.

“Just like dogs, cats, and human beings, chickens feel pain and fear and value their own lives,” said PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman, in the letter.

She wants 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 went on to say that she didn’t want to ruffle any feathers but words matter. Reiman further described the handling and slaughtering of chickens, which is a legitimate concern if you are an animal loving vegan or a less than enthusiastic carnivore. One could even expand out the argument and address the mass production of farm animals – chickens and cows included – but that isn’t the focus here. Her focus is on feelings. Nevermind the fact that her letter implies that chickens are reading the sign and feeling threatened.

Mayor Nancolas isn’t amused. He essentially told the folks at PETA to cluck off. He posted his opinion on Facebook and explained that even if he was inclined to make a change in the road’s name, it isn’t in his jurisdiction. It is a rural county road.

Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas isn’t sure why he got mixed up in an animal rights group’s mission to change the name of Chicken Dinner Road to something it thinks is more poultry-friendly, but he decided to share his opinion about it on Facebook late Wednesday night.

“When I first received the letter, I thought it was a joke, I literally laughed! When I realized the letter was for real, it made me extremely irritated that they would waste our time with such a ridiculous request!,” he wrote in a message posted at 10:45 p.m.

“Even if it was (in Caldwell’s jurisdiction), NO WAY, NO CHANCE I would ever consider this truly unbelievable request! We have many issues to consider, but this IS NOT one of them!” Nancolas wrote.


I’m not exactly sure what a name change to celebrate chickens would look like. PETA labels the current name as “speciesist. They suggest the name “Chicken Road”. There is a reason for this road’s name, though. Formerly named Lane 12, there are various versions of its history. Most local people agree it is in recognition of a chicken dinner prepared in the 1930s by Laura Lamb, who lived on the road. She prepared her famous fried chicken for Governor C. Ben Ross, a family friend. Laura asked the then-governor his opinion of the rough road. He told her he would get the road oiled if she would get the county to grade the road. Confusion about the story comes from the uncertainty over if the official was the governor or a county commissioner.

According to some versions, the street name first appeared on cardboard “chicken dinner” signs placed along the route to direct the governor — or commissioner — to his supper. After the road was oiled, vandals supposedly wrote “Lamb’s Chicken Dinner Avenue” on its freshly oiled surface in bright yellow letters. The name was catchy, so it stuck.

There is wine involved in this kerfuffle, too. A vineyard is selling t-shirts and bumper stickers to support the road’s name.

Huston Vineyards, which is located at 16473 Chicken Dinner Road, celebrates the name through its Chicken Dinner wine series.

“The naming of our Chicken Dinner wines celebrates and plays off a classic Southern Idaho tale — the story behind one of the most curious road names around,” Huston states on its website.


To each, his or her own. We are meat-eaters in our home. Chicken is served at least a couple of times a week for dinner here. As a conservative, I say let the local county make a decision about the road’s name. From the comments, it looks like the locals are perfectly fine with it.

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Jazz Shaw 8:31 AM on December 03, 2023