Written by PETA
If I were to list the most interesting experiences I've had in my 26 years of life, I'd say that eating a meal of vegan fried chicken with the president of the company that coordinates the purchasing of chickens for all Canadian KFCs at the PETA HQ—in the midst of our bitter five-year battle with the chicken chain—would make the top 10.
That was back in December. Six months later, I'm happy to report that our bread-breaking (along with negotiations, dozens of e-mails and phone calls, and a meeting in Toronto that preceded my "chicken" dinner) was successful: PETA has officially ended our Kentucky Fried Cruelty campaign in Canada. Our decision came with a new animal welfare plan that will affect all chickens killed for KFCs in Canada.
For one thing, 100 percent of the chickens killed for Canadian KFCs will be purchased—through a phase-in program—from suppliers that use "controlled-atmosphere killing" (CAK), the least cruel method of bird slaughter available. CAK works by replacing birds' oxygen with a mixture of nonpoisonous inert gasses to gently put them "to sleep." It may sound horrible—because killing animals for a fleeting taste sensation always is—but for animals killed for food, it's a 180° turnaround. Gone will be the days of broken bones, abuse by workers (because with CAK, workers never handle live birds), electric shocks, and live throat slitting and scalding.
The conditions for animals on farms will also be improved. In addition, the company that coordinates the purchasing of chickens for all Canadian KFCs will encourage the chicken companies supplying Canadian KFCs to move away from the cruelest breeding and farming practices and will also form an animal welfare advisory council.
But I haven't even gotten to the best news yet. That vegan fried-chicken meal that I ate with the head honcho in December might not be his last. Most KFCs in Canada will now be adding a vegan chicken item to their menus. That means that at least 65 percent of KFCs in Canada will now have a totally cruelty-free option (ask for the item, called the Classic Vegetarian Sandwich, in a wrap and with no mayo to make it vegan). Not too paltry, huh? (Get it?)
As for our campaign against KFC, it continues in full force everywhere else. In fact, I sent a letter to the CEO of KFC's parent company, Yum! Brands, today urging him to make the same changes that are being made in Canada.
Thank you to everyone who helped us win this historic victory by staging protests, writing letters, and forwarding videos (among other things).
To everyone who has yet to help: Lend a hand by logging on to KentuckyFriedCruelty.com and signing our petition urging KFC to improve animal welfare worldwide.
Posted by Matt Prescott, Assistant Director of Corporate Affairs
If you’re one of those upstanding animal lovers who’s been digging in and taking your pet-related business elsewhere until the PetSmart people stop selling live animals, here’s an opportunity to take some credit for it. If you still have that old PetSmart Pet Perks card, you can finally dust it off and do something useful with it: We’re looking for pics and video of you cutting up your PetSmart cards, and we’ll post any good ones we receive on our Flickr page, so you can bask in the warm glow if Internet celebrity while you pat yourselves on the back for having done the right thing. You can send pics or video here.
If you’re looking for a little inspiration (or if you’re in the mood to irretrievably lose two minutes of your precious time), the Princess and I have put together this neat little instructional video.
We've all been there—holding our signs, chanting our protest slogans, passing out our leaflets, and smiling and waving until we felt like the bloody Queen of England. And then some person who's having a bad day decides to take it out on you because you're an easy target.
He or she says something mean or stupid—or, ingeniously, both—and you need a comeback … fast. Here's the catch: Your comeback has to be polite. And since you're not going to change the person with one quick-witted quip, you need to try to engage him or her by making a quick point and then asking questions so that you can have a conversation about the issues. Seem like too tall of an order? Not at all! Check out our top 10 comebacks at a protest (to keep it simple, let's say it's a pro-vegetarian protest). Keep in mind, there's no "right answer." Basically, you want to open the person's mind to the fact that animals suffer terribly and he or she can do something about it.
Posted by Grace Friedan, Researcher
Update 12/22/2008: Donna Karan has announced that her fall 2009 lines will be fur-free and that she has "no plans" to use fur in the future! Read more.
I'm not quite sure what Sag Harbor Village, New York—a self-proclaimed "spiritually oriented" town—is thinking by welcoming Donna Karan into their peace circle. But they have, and they are allowing her to set up shop near the wharf. So amongst the yoga shops and raw-food eateries, there will soon be Urban Zen, DK's yoga-inspired store, which plans to sell DK's fashions, amongst other things. Catch the details here.
The nagging question on deck is: Why would someone so relentless in the promotion of fur and the killing of innocent animals for their skins have any interest in associating herself with yoga and its quintessential beliefs? One just doesn't seem to go with the other. Yoga is, after all, a spiritual awakening and a practice of love and nonviolence. (Forgive me for getting all "hippie" on you, but it is.)
Somehow, I just don't think the practice of yoga will cleanse the karma of a desperate, bunny-butchering fashion designer who continues to use real fur in her collections when there are so many great alternatives out there. There's no violence in yoga, DK. And there definitely isn't any peace for animals who are skinned alive and anally electrocuted for your clothes. However, we do have a suggestion for you to turn your bad karma good: Stop killing animals! I know, you've never heard that before, right?
Posted by Jennifer Cierlitsky, Membership Correspondence Coordinator
The guy’s leading the charge to invigorate global warming advocacy, he’s consistently getting attention for the issue in the mainstream media, and he’s setting the agenda by which people think about global warming and its effect on our lives. So why the hell is PETA publicly rebuking him? Well, honestly, it’s for pretty much those same reasons. It’s great that he cares —; it really is — but for him to leave factory farming (i.e., the number one cause of the problem in the first place) out of the debate just because it doesn’t seem particularly convenient to him to have to reevaluate his lifestyle is irresponsible to a degree that’s almost unfathomable in light of the influence that he has on public opinion about this issue.
Of course, if you’ve been reading this blog more or less regularly, you will have already heard variations on this theme—but I’m bringing it up again today to highlight a really fantastic article by PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich in yesterday’s Huffington Post. Here’s an excerpt:
“Personal choices can only be allowed to go so far. For example, most environmentalists would agree that people shouldn't have the personal choice to dump their motor oil in a river. And if our choices involve direct support for the number one human cause of global warming—and a refusal to even mention the meat industry when telling people what they can do to decrease their global-warming footprint—at what point is someone's oversight on such a crucial issue cause for publicly calling them out on it?”
I think Bruce nails it with this one, so be sure to check out the full article here, and feel free to comment with your perspective. I know this issue’s a bit controversial, but it’s a vitally important discussion to have.
you have a general question for PETA and would like a response, please e-mail Info@peta.org. If you need to report cruelty to
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Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights? Read more.