Chalk up another victory for the animal rights crusaders at PETA, who this week convinced their former nemesis in Canada, KFC, to start buying chickens from suppliers who kill the birds in a more humane method (called controlled atmosphere killing).
KFC isn’t the first chain to have ended up in PETA’s cross hairs. Burger King, Wendy’s and McDonald’s have all shifted their buying practices at least partly in response to pressure from the animal rights group. (Amazingly, the fast food restaurant business now has among the best animal rights records around, says PETA)
The big question for KFC: what took you so long? KFC has long had a reputation for making gut-wrenchingly greasy food. And that wasn’t helped much by PETA’s long-standing campaign to brand KFC ‘Kentucky Fried Cruelty.’
KFC foolishly fought the animal rights group beak and claw (apparently oblivious to the fantastic and free PR its competitors were getting by working with PETA). John Bitove, CEO of Priszm Income Fund, which operates KFC in Canada, even got into a public spat with PETA’s celebrity supporter Pamela Anderson. He once invited her to lunch at a KFC saying he wanted her “kept fully abreast’’ of KFC’s ethical standards. A cheap joke, indicative of what was one of the most terribly ill-advised PR strategies of all time.