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PETA: Denver is for (chicken) lovers

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By now, you've no doubt heard that PETA wants to install a bloodied-and-bandaged 250-pound, five-and-a-half-foot chicken statue on the 16th Street Mall to protest the inhumane ways that McDonald's turns chicken-shaped chickens into Shrek-shaped Chicken McNuggets.

PETA has gotten tangled in some red tape, though; click here to see PDFs of PETA's permit application, a letter from the Downtown Denver Partnership pooh-poohing the statue (but then, it didn't want a Pinches Tacos gourmet food cart, either), and a terse e-mail to PETA from Denver Public Works.

If the outspoken animal-rights organization manages to win permission (over the objections of the Denver Post, among others), the Denver installation would mark the debut of the organization's "McCruelty" statue, reportedly designed by New Yorker cartoonist Harry Bliss. Why did PETA choose the Mile High City for its beat-up bird's coming out? Because we're just so darn nice.

"We have brought our McDonald's campaign ... to Denver before and have gotten a very sympathetic response from the public," says PETA senior campaigner Ashley Byrne. "We found that people there are compassionate and don't like to see animals suffering, and that when they heard chickens were being scalded alive or having their wings and legs broken, they were horrified and didn't want any part of it."

Byrne says PETA hopes to have the statue in place by mid-June, just in time for summertime visitors to the 16th Street Mall to be shocked, horrified and grossed out.

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