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Historic Victory! PETA Wins KFC Campaign in Canada

Written by PETA | June 1, 2008

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.

—Matt

Posted by Matt Prescott, Assistant Director of Corporate Affairs

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  • Jasmin says:

    Thank God! I can’t wait for the US to pass that right here. Its been 2 almost 3 years since I’ve eaten KFC here and I’m 13 years old.

  • Dan Vermulst says:

    I just had one and while it was great at the same time it had to be microwaved in order to not be deep fried in the same oil kfc deep fries their chicken in as per the emloyee said. Still very tasty and a step in the right direction.

  • ashley says:

    glad to hear this news!

  • lynda downie says:

    Tom Peta isn’t MAKING anyone stop eating meat. Peta provides information and encourages eating foods that are healthy alternatives that don’t involve cruelty to animals. The choice is still yours. As for animals killing other animalsthey don’t have the options humans do to survive. And their methods are far superior to the hellish nightmare of factory farms and slaughter houses.

  • Tom says:

    For a start making people go vegetarian is not the answer.. Secondly most people know how the chickens are treated in KFC yet they still eat the food. This just goes to show that many people just do not care about the welfare of chickens. Its part of the foodchain.. For example when a lion is attacking an animal it doesnt treat it in any nice way so why should we. If you do not want to eat at KFC thats fine but you cant make other people to do so.

  • Carly says:

    Great News!! This is a major step in the right direction. As a US Citizen I am envious of people living in Canada who will now have this option. Congrats PETA! Keep up the wonderful important work you do.

  • Colleen says:

    Wow!!! That is so great! I am very proud of Peta! I am soo worried abiout chicken that are abused by KFC everyday. I am soo happy that Cananda agreed with Peta! Thank you Peta!!! Great job!

  • Alison says:

    This is really fantastic! Keep it up PeTA!

  • Holly says:

    This is a very big step. Thanks PETA. Keep the pressure on KFC USA and others! Go Vegan

  • liliana says:

    I LOVE PETA THANKS TO PETA!

  • Michele says:

    Wow as a Canuck it’s great to see Canada taking the lead in something like this! I just ripped my “Boycott KFC” bumper sticker off my car this afternoon as soon as I heard the news!!!!!! I might just have to try the new faux chicken sandwich too Everyone else keep up the pressure on those other nasty KFC’s surely they will have to give in soon…

  • Kathy LLewellyn says:

    Congratulation PETA You guys ROCK!!

  • rags says:

    I do not understand this claim about workers not handling the birds in the CAK system. If that is the case how do they end up in transportation crates? rags

  • nobilitee says:

    I had the opportunity to run this deal between PETA and KFC past a few chicken friends of mine and the response was something less than the overwhelmingly positive spin taken by PETA. Oh sure the chickens felt that its just really great to know that their early demise will be by gas rather than some other harsher means. As far as the faux chicken item that will appear on the menu they all thought that it will be wonderful for vegans to finally be able join their friends at KFC as they consume the body parts of fallen comrades. The big disappointment and the question that had all the chickens I talked to scratching themselves was thisif the action against KFC was so successful that it was affecting the bottom line WHY STOP NOW? Isnt the objective to put operations like KFC out of business? The barnyard poll that I took left no doubt that the chickens will not ratify this agreement. They will look to others to support their desire right? to be free to live their lives out of the factory and back in the barnyardwithout the constant threat of being eaten by humans hanging over their neck.

  • Pamela L. says:

    Another HUGE victory really huge. I am in tears How wonderful is this news! So many innocent chickens will be spared great pain. The CAK is such great news as is the vegan sandwich to get the message out to those who are not aware. Every condition met is terrific. I am running out of adjectives here We will all continue our crusade against KFC U.S. as well as KFC’S everywhere.

  • Maya, CVT says:

    Huge congrats to you guys for this. I think this shows that “boycott Canada” is a silly refrain and that every country has good and bad points. In years past obesity was considered to be a sign of being able to afford good food and now the poor sector has suffered from this problem because nasty meat places like McDonald’s and KFC are more affordable than fresh fruits and veggies. KFC may be more affordable to poor families and we can hardly demand that they shop at Whole Foods instead. If PETA and those who could afford it supported our local farmer’s markets which sell great vegan food prices could go down and more farmers could outcompete the fast food chains. I think working towards humane conditions is so huge if an animal must die at least he or she should live in conditions that are as free and enjoyable as possible One step at a time is the only realistic way. Great work guys!!!! I’ve been impressed with y’all lately.

  • Aneliese says:

    This is so great! Excellent job PETA as a Canadian I am so happy that KFC has finally decided to stop torturing their chickens.

  • Niranjan says:

    I’m so proud of PETA! We PETA will ROCK!

  • Carla says:

    WOW!!! This is what we’ve all been praying for!! Thankyou PETA!! The pressure is on!!

  • guerline04 says:

    Congrats! That is wonderful news. Now we can focus our efforts on KFC USA.

  • Phyllis says:

    YEA!! This makes my Monday morning!!! Last weekend we noticed another KFC closed in Atlanta 3 down so far and AngryVeganChickenLady is smiling and ready for the next demo.

  • Judith, Freedom Fighter for Animals says:

    This is a great beginning. This VICTORY is wonderful. But what Ana says is correct. It shall be a true “VICTORY” when there are no dead chickens served at KFC or anywhere else. Way to go PETA! Peace for all animals!

  • Cory says:

    People are not going to stop eating meat but improving the conditions the animals live in is a big step forward.. good job. BTW I think the meatless chicken sandwich is not only good for vegitarians but perhaps also for people looking for less fat in their diet.. would like to try one when they come out.

  • lynda downie says:

    What wonderful news! Thank you Peta. There’s a distinct flicker of light at the end of the long tunnel my feathered babies!

  • Brian says:

    This is so incredible!! I’m so excited that things have started somewhere. Even though it’s not here within our own country it’s a great example for the rest of the world. I’m not a vegitarian but I do try whenever I can and I have cut down on my meat consumption by a lot. I am really big when it comes to animal cruelty though I don’t eat KFC and I don’t eat any MARS product either. This is a great success for PETA and every one of it’s supporters out there. Hopefully I can get myself to give up meat little by little!!

  • Tajinder Singh says:

    Great!

  • Brendan E. says:

    OMG this is so awesome! I have worked so hard on the KFC campaign i feel so relieved that it they have given in and have talked with PETA and are improving the lives of thier chickens! Tears are comign to my eyes lol I have spent so many hours fighting for this change it feels so good to see change happening! I can’t wait for the vegan item at the KFC though it will feel wierd to eat from there after all the boycotting! I also have to get rid of my Kentucky Fried Cruelty TeeShirt lol! Thank you to every PETA Canadain Activist this is such an awesome moment!!!

  • Tamara says:

    This is great news! I swear if the US KFC’s would have the veggie chicken meal I would be so there. That is what I like alot about Burger King the choice of the veggie burger and it’s good too

  • Heather says:

    I’d like to hear people keep saying how PETA accomplishes nothing. This is truly fantastic news! Now I wonder how long before KFC in the US catches on…

  • Becca says:

    Great news! I hope YUM will follow suit.

  • NT says:

    As a Canadian I am very happy about this news. We all know the world will not become vegetarian overnight so anything that will reduce the suffering of animals killed for food is welcome in my books. I hope KFC everywhere else in the world will follow suit. Let’s keep the pressure on KFC.

  • Rachel A says:

    Congratulations on this victory. It’s a major step forward for farmed birds everywhere. Keep up the good work PETA!

  • Ana says:

    It will be a victory when no dead chickens are served at KFC. Hopefully vegan chicken is not cooked with the dead chickens who suffered a cruel death.

  • gemma says:

    it goes to show that PeTA.. along with all other kind hearted supporters fighting and struggling for animal welfarerights.. really can make a difference..! Super kudos to you all!.. let’s just hope this is just the start or beginning of a further line of other food chain suppliers.. who yes we know.. require unwavering relentless constant reminding andor urging who are or will be prepared to make a change for hte better for animals! yeah!