Birds Aren’t Real and the Church of Bacon—what you need to know about Birmingham’s strangest new billboards

IMG 6275 Birds Aren't Real and the Church of Bacon—what you need to know about Birmingham's strangest new billboards
…or are they? A peek at the billboard on University Boulevard. (Gabby Gervais / Bham Now)

Seeing tons of billboards on your daily drive is a given, but these new additions have raised a few eyebrows for Birmingham drivers. One simply states “Birds Aren’t Real” and another is dedicated to the United Church of Bacon. If you’re scratching your head, read on for the answers to what they mean.

What’s going on?

Birds Aren’t Real

IMG 6280 Birds Aren't Real and the Church of Bacon—what you need to know about Birmingham's strangest new billboards
A nationwide conspiracy. (Gabby Gervais / Bham Now)

With no website, company name or attribution on the billboard, it’s hard to tell exactly where this one came from. What we do know is that Bird’s Aren’t Real is a huge satirical movement that has been sweeping the nation for a few years now.

The claim? That all birds are fake, as the government has replaced them with robotic surveillance drones. Yes, really.

With coverage on CBS News, The New York Times, USA Today and beyond, this Gen-Z conspiracy theory has certainly made waves. The movement aims to shine a light on the (oftentimes absurd) misinformation that can easily spread like wildfire across the country.

The movement’s founder, Peter McIndoe, told CBS News about the reasoning behind it all:

“It’s taking this concept of misinformation and almost building a little safe space to come together within it and laugh at it, rather than be scared by it, and accept the lunacy of it all and be a bird truther for a moment in time when everything’s so crazy.”

Peter McIndoe, Founder, Birds Aren’t Real to CBS News

Not only has the movement spread through billboards, thousands of fans proudly wear their “bird truther” gear, from hoodies and t-shirts to bumper stickers and mugs.

Well, now I’ll be eyeing the pigeons downtown extra carefully.

United Church of Bacon

IMG 6270 Birds Aren't Real and the Church of Bacon—what you need to know about Birmingham's strangest new billboards
The view of the billboard from 1st Ave N. (Gabby Gervais / Bham Now)

As Southerners, we’ve all seen billboards at every turn brandishing various religious and political messages. However, a huge billboard for the United Church of Bacon is something none of us saw coming.

After doing some research, we found that the United Church of Bacon is a very real and legal practicing church—they even have their own 8 Bacon Commandments.

Their website states that they’re a church of skeptics that proudly accepts members from all backgrounds and religions:

“We are a real church with real members from all walks of life and even all religions. Bacon is our symbol of worship because it is representative of things that we love and that we can prove exists. Because of that, if you believe in the existence of Bacon… you’re welcome in our church!”

United Church of Bacon

As it turns out, there are a lot of perks to being a member of this unique church, including free legal weddings from United Church of Bacon officiants. Plus, the church has raised millions of dollars for charities since its inception in 2010, as they work to become the most charitable church in America.

With three sects (including Turkey Bacon and Vegetarian Bacon) and even the opportunity to earn your Bacon PhD, this is definitely one of the most unique churches I’ve heard of.

Where can I find them?

The official United Church of Bacon account gave The Magic City a shoutout, including the addresses of the current bacon praising billboards across town.

The Birds Aren’t Real billboard can be found on University Boulevard by the Retina Specialists of Alabama parking lot.

What do you think about these interesting billboards? Tag us @bhamnow and let us know!

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Gabby Gervais
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