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The Chicken Run 10/21/10

A recent demonstration by Peta South Africa has put KFC in the spotlight, again


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Yesterday PETA South Africa held a demonstration in Randburg against KFC’s unethical treatment of their chickens.   Peta members locked themselves in small wire cages with signs that read, “Confined. Tortured. Scalded: Boycott KFC”. 

This comes shortly after Peta SA learned of their sister organisations in Europe and Asia investigating KFC’s chicken farms.  Their investigations found that KFC keeps their chickens locked up and living on top of each other, their bodies so injected with hormones to make them fatter that they become too heavy to move.  Their little legs often break under their own weight.  Their lives are short and they don’t see sunlight.  They also live in damp, dirty conditions amongst their own faeces, which finds its way into their food and eventually, into the consumer’s mouth. 

This is the picture that Peta paints in order to make KFC frequenters aware of what they are putting into their bodies, and also what they are supporting.  Peta has often been criticised that their campaigns are aggressive, in-your-face, and too extreme.  In South Africa, with such a large section of the population that eat meat with little concern for the face on their plate, I would agree that extreme measures are necessary to make people aware of what goes into their food.

When the article appeared in Beeld yesterday comments streamed from the readers.  Most of them support KFC and think that what they eat is great and have no regard for calling the chickens used by KFC ‘chickens’.

Alarming? Ignorant? Inhumane?

I would agree that measures such as Peta’s demonstration although a step in the right direction, aren’t enough for the South African market to merge tastebuds and ethics.  What Peta did demonstrate though, was that questions should be asked, whether in our own communities, or on a global level.  Perhaps this is the only thing that will plant awareness of what our actions are doing to not only smaller beings, but also inadvertently to ourselves.

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9 Responses to this article

 
KaB October 22, 2010 Reply

Those people are completely ignorant of what KFC are doing. As like many situations in South Africa, people do not comment from a knowledgable point of view and very little do any sort of research or reading on what they’re commenting on. I bet, if you had to take each of these people to a chicken factory farm and show them exactly how these poor animals suffer, their stomachs would churn in revulsion!

KFC should be ashamed of themselves but as most consumer product companies, born and bred through the injection of capitalism, they don’t care about poisoning their consumers or the ‘products’ they’re manufacturing!

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Anon October 22, 2010 Reply

If you are going to publish statements you should check your facts first! KFC is supplied with chickens from Rainbow Chickens, who do not feed hormones to their chickens – this is cleary stated on their website and is in . Rainbow Chickens complies with all the necessary national regulations and standards. If PETA really wants to make a change they should be directing their argument towards the necessary bodies who establish these regulations and standards in our country. There are numerous other companies who are also supplied by Rainbow Chickens in South Africa, so why only focus on KFC?

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editor October 22, 2010 Reply

It seems as though PETA may have the wrong end of the stick on this one….
It would be interesting to see what the national regulations and standards specify as “suitable” environments for chicken farms. Perhaps it’s worth investigating this further. As Anon rightly says, the argument shouldn’t be levelled at KFC, but the industry as a whole.

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KaB October 22, 2010

Agreed but KFC is the biggest contributor with a lot of influence, one would hope that such a company would be at the forefront of ensuring better living standards for chickens.

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Alex October 22, 2010 Reply

@Anon – I agree that perhaps PETA’s protestations could have to be better targeted, but have you visited a Rainbow Chickens battery recently?

KFC knowingly supports the abhorrent treatment of sentient animals. That is a fact. It does not matter if they comply with gov standards. We all know that many standards set by our (and other) governments are incongruous with common morality, never mind basic logic.

The point here is that most people who support such commercialisation of animal livestock would think twice if they spent some time in a poultry battery.

You can nit pick, but the point of the protest (and the article) is 100% valid.

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Anon October 25, 2010 Reply

Thanks for the feedback guys. My point was not that the standards are acceptable, but rather that Rainbow Chickens does comply with these standards and that the article had indicated otherwise. The related articles to the PETA protest seemed to exaggerate the conditions in which chickens are allowed to be kept and fed. My main concern was the inaccuracy of some of the reports. Stating things as though they are fact without any evidential proof is defamation. I totally agree that the standards and regualtions need improvement and this is why PETA should rather focus on this. Rainbow Chickens supply many other companies just as capable as KFC of making a statment against these standards – this is why I felt that focusing only on KFC was unfair and ineffective.

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KaB October 25, 2010 Reply

Anon, okay…I hear your point and can understand your argument. Do you have proof that Rainbow Chickens complies with acceptable standards?!? Websites, statements in the press etc are not reason to believe a company but more so reason to question and investigate their truths!

I’ve just read and researched enough to know that 9 times out of 10 these companies continue the practice inhumane conditions that are not fit for animal survival and to believe them is tantamount to just about turning a blind eye to animal cruelty. I do agree that perhaps PETA could have focussed differently or have done the protest from a different perspective but as Alex says, the bigger picture was quite clear.

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Roline.Bosch October 25, 2010 Reply

Points to note when reading the above article:
1. Nowhere does the above article maintain that PETA’s protest was based on factual or false information and nowhere does it claim that KFC does or does not have their chickens injected with hormones.
2. The article speaks of PETA’s research internationally, on which PETA South Africa’s demonstration was based.
3. The article supports awareness in individuals taking responsibility for knowing what process their chosen food undergoes.
4. The article supports the role of organisations in asking moral, ethical, social and economic questions.

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Anon October 25, 2010 Reply

@Roline – I was not talking specifically about the above article, this is why I said related articles – there are plenty on the web which seem to exagerate the conditions in which the chickens are kept, I know Rainbow has in the past has similar issues. I understand that the above article only brings to light the reasoning for PETA’s protest. It seems as though PETA SA has merely replicated the issues which PETA were protesting overseas, without really looking at whether the situation was different with KFC is SA or maybe considering how such a protest could be more ineffectively undertaken in our country. At the end of the day I agree that PETA is really about creating awareness, but it would be great if some productive results could come about from their efforts too.
@KaB – I suppose we don’t know that Rainbow Chickens is complying with these standards even though they state it on their website and also have legal letters which state the same. They do however get independantly assesed as well to ensure compliance.

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