Founded in the 700’s (not a typo. Seven hundreds, not seventeen), The Guinness Book of World Records recognizes it as Britain’s oldest pub. Since 1872 it has been known as Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, but not for much longer if the U.K. branch of People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals has their way.
PETA says the name is offensive to our feathered friends, and is pushing the bar to change the name to Ye Olde Clever Cocks.
In their official letter, PETA UK representative Dawn Carr says:
I hope this message finds you well. I’m writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) to propose that Ye Olde Fighting Cocks pub in St Albans adopt a new name: Ye Olde Clever Cocks to reflect society’s rejection of needless violence and help celebrate a fascinating but often abused and misunderstood animal, the chicken.The name Ye Olde Fighting Cocks calls to mind the violence and gore of cockfighting, a hideous blood sport so cruel that it has been outlawed in the UK. A change of name to Ye Olde Clever Cocks would help highlight the fact that chickens are intelligent, sensitive and super social animals much like your punters!
Firstly, we would just like to go on record and say that we are big fans of the work PETA do, their campaign for banning fur was spot on and something they managed magnificently. However, when it comes to the naming of historic English pubs, on this occasion, we think we might have pass them up on the offer of help!
In all the conversations that we have both been part of and witnessed today, whether it was social media or the radio phone in that we were part of on the JVS show this morning, one thing has stood out and that is the overwhelming support we have from everyone in the area and we assure you that the love is mutual!