Bruce Friedrich Cited at Anti-KFC protest

The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, reports that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ Bruce Friedrich was cited by police at a protest outside of a Louisville church in December. According to the Courier-Journal,

A demonstrator for the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was cited by off-duty police officers yesterday during a demonstration in front of Southeast Christian Church. PETA organizer Bruce Friedrich said he was cited for disorderly conduct and blocking a sidewalk.

The group has been conducting a publicly campaign against Kentucky Fried Chicken to dramatize what it calls unnecessarily cruel treatment of chickens in the U.S. poultry industry. David Novak, chief executive of KFC parent Yum! Brands Inc., is a member of Southeast Christian.


PETA demonstrated cited at KFC protests. Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), December 25, 2003.

Activists Throws Fake Blood on Yum! Brands CEO

German animal rights activists threw fake blood on Yum! Brands CEO David Novak is June as Novak arrived at the opening of the first A&W Restaurant in Germany. Along with A&W, Yum! Brands is the owner of KFC.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has been waging a public campaign against KFC for what PETA claims are the cruelties that chickens killed for KFC are subjected to. PETA, however, claims that it was not behind the fake blood incident.

Which is a bit odd, considering that PETA is the group that initially notified the media that the action had taken place and was able to supply photographs of Novak covered in fake blood to news media quickly after the incident.

The brave animal rights activists who threw the red liquid immediately fled the scene.

PETA’s Dan Shannon claimed that,

It was an independent person, working on their own, on behalf of our campaign [against Yum]. We are not asking or encouraging people to do this sort of thing.

Somebody forgot to tell Bruce Friedrich they’re not encouraging such actions. In a quote on PETA’s web site, Friedrich says,

KFC stands for cruelty in our book. There is so much blood on this chicken-killer’s hands, a little more on his business suit won’t hurt.

Yum! Brands wasn’t buying Shannon’s pathetic spin. Yum! spokesman Jonathan Blum said,

This is the type of corporate terrorism groups like PETA have endorsed in the past. Corporate attacks and personal violence of this nature cross the line from expression of views to unacceptable acts of corporate terrorism. The perpetrator of this crime should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.


KFC Chief “Blooded” In Germany. Press Release, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, June 23, 2003.

Animal-rights activist douses Yum’s CEO. Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), June 24, 2003.

Animal rights activists spray KFC chief with fake blood and chicken feathers. Associated Press, June 24, 2003.

PETA's Anti-KFC Billboard

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals found its latest billboard attacking KFC widely rejected before finding a billboard company in Illinois willing to take the group’s money.

In a press release, PETA said,

Showing Col. Sanders spattered in blood and clutching a terrified chicken in one hand and a bloody butcher knife in the other, PETA?s new billboard, reading, “Kentucky Fried Cruelty ? We Do Chickens Wrong,” has just gone up in Springfield as part of PETA?s international campaign to pressure KFC to crack down on cruel treatment of animals by its suppliers. The billboard was rejected by nervous advertisers in cities all over North America. The billboard is located along North Grand Avenue on the right side, 50 feet east of 6th Street.

In a news report from the Edmonton Sun, PETA’s Dan Shannon responded to questions about the billboard (an Edmonton billboard owner rejected it) explaining that,

We’re frustrated. We think this is an important message that people need to hear.

You have to love PETA. Kill a chicken to eat it: bad. Kill a human being as part of a serial killing spree: good.


Billboard company chickens out on campaign. Rob Drinkwater, Edmonton Sun, May 9, 2003.

Ad Depicts Knife-Wielding Col. Sanders “Doing Chickens Wrong”. Press Release, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, July 8, 2003.

PETA Protest Outside Santa Cruz KFC

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals brought its anti-KFC campaign to Santa Cruz, California in June.

Seven activists protested outside a KFC on June 15 carrying signs with slogans such as “Chicken Love,” “The Colonel’s Secret Recipe — KFC Cruelty” and “KFC Tortures Chickens.” One demonstrator was wearing a “sickly, slightly off-white chicken suit” according to the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

PETA KFC campaign coordinator Joe Haptas told the Santa Cruz Sentinel,

This is part of an international campaign of trying to get KFC to get rid of chicken abuse. . . . Our society has an obligation to treat those animals that end up on our plates ethically and morally.

At least one passerby, Nancy Kusich, was not impressed by the demonstration. She told the Santa Cruz Sentinel,

The chickens are tested by government authorities, so I don’t think consumers are getting bad meat. But I know there are some people who believe the chickens could be treated better. I don’t think the chickens are that smart.

The Sentinel noted that “the small group [of protesters] was greeted with honks, waves, cheers, jeers and even a one-finger salute by a passing motorist.”


PETA demonstrators protest in front of KFC. Ramona Turner, Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 16, 2003.

PETA Launches KFC Campaign

In January People for the Ethical Treatment of animals launched a global boycott of KFC aimed at convincing the company to change its policies regarding who it buys chickens from. So far the KFC down the street doesn’t exactly seem to be suffering, but your mileage may vary.

According to the New York Times, KFC purchases about 700 million chickens annually. PETA wants KFC to require its suppliers to improve the diets of breeder hens and gas chickens before they kill them (hmm . . . I suppose they got that idea from their “Holocaust on a Plate” campaign).

Bruce Friedrich told the NYT,

If people knew what happened to those chickens, raising them in their own filth and then dumping them on an assembly line to have their throats cut when they’re still alive, they wouldn’t got to Kentucky Fried Chicken.

As the NYT notes, the campaign worked against Burger King and McDonald’s, so PETA seems to be trying KFC on for size. KFC may give in at some point as well, but it should be noted that McDonald’s and Burger King have a much higher media profile than does KFC. Both the Burger King and McDonald’s campaigns were covered regularly by national media, whereas the KFC campaign seems to have received far less coverage.

The NYT interviewed an independent expert on chickens, University of Guelph in Canada poultry sciences adviser Ian Duncan, who had a very odd response (emphasis added),

I’ve been doing research into chicken welfare since 1995 and change has been slow, very slow. PETA is very extreme and they exaggerate, but maybe that’s what it takes. I used to be very much against them, but I can see they are getting things done.

I wonder if Duncan would buy the same explanation from a student who “exaggerated” on a class project or paper. “Well, it did get the job done, Dr. Duncan, and that’s what’s important, right?”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the National Chicken Council told the NYT,

PETA’s objective is not to improve animal welfare but to eliminate the use of food from animal sources. A proper concern for animal welfare is already well established in he broiler chicken industry.

PETA has been holding occasional protests against KFC ever since, including everyone’s favorite advocate of murder for the cause, Chrissie Hynde, at a March protest in Washington, DC. Hynde and other activists stood outside a KFC chanting such witticisms as,

KFC what do you say? How many chickens did you kill today?

Gee, that’s almost as clever as Hynde’s line about how it may take the murder of a researcher to get people’s attention. Ah, those nutty celebrities. (For those counting, the answer to that question would be 1.9 million per day assuming the NYT’s figure is correct).


Group says it will begin a boycott against KFC. Elizabeth Becker, The New York Times, January 6, 2003.

‘How Many Chickens Did you Kill Today?’. KOMO-TV, March 9, 2003.

UPC's Anti-KFC Protest

Recently I wrote about a United Poultry Concerns planning to protest at a KFC. Apparently they went ahead and protested at a Washington DC-area KFC. An account from the Lexington Herald-Leader reported that while the rain soaked the activists, they carried signs in front of the restaurant with slogans such as “Chickens Have Feelings” and “Imagine How They Feel” (I’d think “Imagine How Good They Taste” would be more accurate, but that’s just me).

Anyway, there were some interesting details in the report. Like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other groups, UPC apparently does some serious padding with its membership numbers. UPC claims it has 10,000 members nationwide and last year raised $122,000. Unless I’m mistaken that’s just $12.20 per member. Since UPC lists its membership dues as $30 for new members, $25 for renewing members, and $10 for students, its hard to see how they have 10,000 new members unless all but a handful are students.

The Herald-Leader quoted protester Jean Colison, 57, of Bethesda, Maryland, as complaining that “Nine billion animals are killed in the United States for food, and eight billion of them are chickens. I think it’s unjust. I think it’s unfair.” (She might be right, maybe we should eat more turkeys and beef so the chickens don’t feel like they’re the only ones being picked on).

Karen Davis showed up to add that, “They [chickens] are very zesty, cheerful beings when they’re not being abused. We speak about loving the earth. Well, if anybody loves the earth, it’s a chicken.”

The best line, though, had to be from KFC customer Loria Suggs who happened to be ordering some chicken strips in the drive-through. Asked whether the protesters had convinced her to give up chicken, she indicated they had not and added, “There are much greater causes they could stand out in the rain for than, ‘Don’t eat chicken.'”


Animal activists protest restaurant chain’s fare. Frank E. Lockwood, Lexington Herald-Leader, July 30, 2001.