Accused Chicken Killer Asked to go Vegetarian - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Accused Chicken Killer Asked to go Vegetarian

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The animal rights group, Mercy For Animals, sent a letter to 21-year-old Joshua Shelton of Delmar, asking him to make the dietary change as "penance" for his alleged crimes. (Photo: WBOC) The animal rights group, Mercy For Animals, sent a letter to 21-year-old Joshua Shelton of Delmar, asking him to make the dietary change as "penance" for his alleged crimes. (Photo: WBOC)
Joshua Shelton Joshua Shelton

DELMAR, Md.- A national organization is urging a Wicomico County man accused of killing 70,000 chickens, after shutting off the power to a Delmar chicken house last month, to go vegetarian.

The animal rights group, Mercy For Animals, sent a letter to 21-year-old Joshua Shelton of Delmar, asking him to make the dietary change as "penance" for his alleged crimes.

"It was a loss for everybody," noted Mark Shockley, owner of the chicken houses. "A loss for me, a loss for the company."

But Shockley said he does not see the gain in asking Shelton to lay off meat.

"I think that's very out of place," he explained. "It doesn't even make sense to what happened. Being a vegetarian is not going to change what went on here."

Neighbors agree, saying Mercy For Animals is just trying to promote their own vegetarian agenda by exploiting an unfortunate situation.

"I think it's wrong," remarked Tom White. "The animal rights group should keep their own business and let the farmers do what they have to do. It was an accident, I'm sure."

"I don't think he should just turn, you know, be vegetarian on that account," added Edna McKelvey.

And Shockley has his own ideas about what should happen next for Shelton.

"I think he should pay restitution and I think he needs to give his life to God and he needs to go through a course of drug and alcohol class. I think that would help him tremendously," Shockley said.

Shelton was released from jail on Sept. 1, after posting $75,000 bond.

He is awaiting trial on the charges of second-degree burglary, trespass and malicious destruction of property.

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