When TIME Magazine reported last week that U.S. troops would be using live chickens as early warning systems against chemical attacks, it was just a matter of time before United Poultry Concerns (UPC) stuck its beak into the story.

UPC’s Karen Davis is nonplussed, insisting that “forcing innocent birds to participate in human warfare isn’t a fair way of fighting.” Neither, may we add, is forcing American troops to do without nature’s own coal-mine canary.

The U.S. military brass actually anticipated that animal-rights lunatics would object to this arrangement, telling the Scripps Howard News Service that the 250 birds used for this purpose “would be chickens destined for Kuwaiti dinner plates and thus already doomed.” And the rank-and-file are already adjusting to their new “equipment.” One U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his unit had already named its two birds: “Stewed and Fried.”