Meat-chomping “Chickenman” convicted of assault
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, July/August 1999:
OTTAWA––Eric Wolf, 26, of Ottawa,
who spent a week in a mock battery cage in 1997
as part of a performance art expose of poultry farming,
was convicted on June 18 of kicking and
punching his former girlfriend Rhonda Major.
Major spent much of the week-long
demonstration in October/November 1997 alongside
the cage, shared by Pamela Meldrum, then
27. Wolf and Meldrum were chosen by artist and
film maker Rob Thompson from among 80 people
who auditioned for the chance to win $2,500 by
enduring the entire week in the cage, which was
placed in a downtown Ottawa storefront. They
were allowed to eat only a vegetarian mush similar
to chicken feed, and were not permitted to have
books, radio, or television.
Meldrum, a pharmacy technician from
Aylmer, Quebec, is a committed vegetarian who
trained for the event by spending up to eight hours
a day in a similar cage her boyfriend built.
But Wolf, admitting he was in it just for
the money, took the media spotlight by declaring
on the first day, “I had Kentucky Fried Chicken
before I came in here, and I’ll have it the day I get
out,” and addiing, “I’d kill a thousand baby seals
if I thought it would cure cancer.”
On the last day, Wolf said his first meal
after getting out of the cage would be “some meat,
a hamburger or maybe a big steak.”
Major testified that when she went to
Wolf’s apartment on March 14 to drop off some of
his possessions, “He pushed me to the floor and
just went crazy.” She then threw the manuscript of
his unpublished novel into a puddle, she admitted,
whereupon, she continued, he tried to strangle her.
Wolf claimed he only defended himself.