by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Eats
Tags: .

The following was received from Ari Soloman, President of the vegan candle-line A Scent of Scandle, in response to recent comments from Hugh Jackman on eating chickens to bulk up for his Wolverine character.

Dear Mr. Jackman,

I’m a huge fan of your work, especially enjoying the Oscar’s this year. You were very charming and brought such a great energy to the show! Also, a sincere congratulations on your star on the Walk of Fame, it is well deserved.

If you have a second, I’d like to discuss a comment you made to a reporter recently regarding getting in shape for you role as Wolverine, “Let me tell you, I’m not vegan. I ate so many chickens to make this body. If there is a place in hell for people who eat chickens, I have booked a suite bigger than anybody.”

While it’s uncertain whether or not a hell exists for people that eat chickens, I’d like to express that it’s crystal clear an undeserved hell exists for chickens themselves. It’s called modern day factory farms.

In the United States, there is no law protecting the treatment of chickens. The Humane Slaughter Act unfortunately does not include birds. Chickens, easily the most victimized animals in the world, are killed at the rate of nearly 10 billion a year – and that’s just in the US. Think for a second of the sheer enormity of that number. Since a chicken’s suffering is given absolutely no consideration and because thousands are killed per minute, they are treated as mere objects. They are brutally tossed, kicked, punched, hung upside down by their legs, and have their throats slit while still conscious. Many are boiled alive in defeathering baths.

Modern science tells us that the dismissal of birds as being not as intelligent as mammals is absolutely false. In fact, many chickens display the same level of smarts as a dog. It is undeniable that these animals feel pain and fear. In fact, the constant sound one hears on chicken factory farms is the sound of hens crying out in distress, calling for a rooster to come save them.

While I’m sure your comment was made for levity, please understand that glorifying eating chickens is no laughing matter. Millions of people look up to you and would love to be as in shape but they can certainly do so while still being compassionate to animals. There are many amazing professional athletes who are vegan or vegetarian. In fact, Stan Price, the world record holder for the bench press, just happens to be a vegetarian. I’m sure he could even out lift Wolverine!

Thank you for taking time to consider the horrific suffering and violence experienced by birds on factory farms and in slaughterhouses. Please know that you can still be gorgeous and buff and choose not to eat them. For more information, please visit or check out the myriad of books written specifically for men regarding plant-based diets. Some of my faves are Skinny Bastard and The Engine 2 Diet.

My best wishes for your continued success,

Ari Solomon

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Mikko

    Thank you for writing this, Ari. I hope Mr. Jackman sees it and takes it to heart. No one should make light of the horrifying torture and neglect suffered by animals on factory farms. If people just took one minute to glance at what is happening in these places, most would likely never eat meat again. And as we’re learning now with the emerging swine flu pandemic, the hidden, unconscionable practices of factory farming have a harrowing price not just for the animals, but for humanity, as well.


    yeah good letter.


    Nobody writes a more eloquent letter than Ari Solomon. He makes us all proud.

  • The Discerning Brute

    Thanks Ari, I couldn’t agree more!

    Someone should send Hugh a copy of the vegan bodybuilding documentary: Vegan Brother in Iron

    The myth that you need animal protein to have muscles is archaic.


  • JL

    send him the link to this documentary via twitter @RealHughJackman

  • Ashley

    You think he’ll become vegetarian after reading that? Let’s make bets :]

  • CH

    So well said, Ari. Thanks for articulating so many important points. Making light of the holocaust of animals is unacceptable and surely Mr. Jackman will appreciate the diplomatic manner in which you addressed the issue.

  • Sonia

    Awesome letter!

  • erin

    perfect letter. there are also a TON of other professional athletes who are strictly veg.. Don’t forget the old ones like Bob Delmontique and freakin JACK LALANNE!

    They’re in their 80’s and 90’s!


  • Wendy Bryan

    What a fantastic letter to Hugh Jackman. Beautifully written and a convincing argument on behalf of chickens everywhere. Check out YouTube video on Russell Simmons, Founder of Def Jam Records, Body Builder, proudly and successfully Vegan.

  • Brad

    To the comment that Russell Simmons being vegan. Unfortunately he used to be but now admits to “sneaking fish” sometimes and eating eggs in his soup.

    Great letter though – I lost a lot of respect for Hugh Jackman after that comment too.

  • Angel

    Animal protein is the best for bulking up the quickest. And I’m pretty sure eating animals and being cruel to them are two very different things. I’m sure many of you eat plants but that doesn’t mean you don’t care about their well being. We have to kill something to survive a healthy existence. I’m pretty sure plants have feelings too, why do you think they grow better when you talk to them. Don’t be so judgemental, it’s nature. And besides, we don’t feed lions tofo.

  • Investigator

    That guy in the underwear ad on the right is a pervert!!! Look at him grabbing the girl’s butt.

  • Get Technical


    No, he’s just inspecting for pesticides.

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