This was emailed to me today and I had to share it.
KFC to put ‘vegan chicken’ on the menu
June 02, 2008 By Canadian Press
Following a five-year roasting by animal-rights activists, KFC Canada is promising improved welfare for the chickens it buys for its fast-food outlets in exchange for an end to a boycott campaign that will continue in the U.S. and elsewhere.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has agreed to call off its Canadian “Kentucky Fried Cruelty” campaign, which featured high-profile actress Pamela Anderson among others, following a signed agreement with the company.
Among other things, the deal obliges KFC Canada to buy from suppliers who use gas to kill their chickens painlessly, considered to be the least cruel method of slaughter. The company is also promising to insist on other “animal-welfare friendly” measures relating to how the birds are kept, including a maximum on crowding and phasing out non-essential growth hormones and other drugs.
Customers of the popular restaurant chain will also be able to order a vegan “chicken” item, according to the deal that followed almost seven months of negotiations.
“It’s going to drastically reduce the suffering of chickens in slaughterhouses and also... improve the living conditions for animals while they’re on the farm,” Matt Prescott, PETA’s assistant director of corporate affairs, said from Norfolk, Va.
KFC Canada president Steve Langford said he was delighted with the agreement.
“It will be nice to put this behind us,” Langford said. “Our preference is to have nothing negative attached to our brand.”
Langford said the Canadian operations, which are independent of those in the U.S., chose to take the situation into its own hands and talk to PETA about animal welfare.
“Once I got involved and we actually met face to face, we found out that we had no differences of opinion about how animals should be treated,” Langford said.
PETA’s campaign included more than 12,000 protests at KFC restaurants and outside the homes of company senior executives.
KFC Canada is owned by Priszm Income Fund, based in Vaughan, Ont., which operates 465 outlets across the country. The fund has been struggling to stem a flow of red ink and shore up falling share values.
Most of the 300 independent franchisees have agreed to abide by the agreement with PETA.
While the anti-KFC campaign will now end in this country, PETA said it would continue in the U.S., the U.K. and other countries. However, it is hoping to persuade Yum Brands, which owns KFC outlets in the United States, to follow the Canadian lead.
Originally published in Marketing Magazine, June 2008