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Question Of The Day

What's More Important: Fried Chicken or Animal Rights?

"I think I'd do my bit and pay 50p more for ethical KFC."

by Rachel Hardwick, Jim Roberts and George Marsden
11 January 2013, 4:45pm

Photo by Mike DelGaudio

After saving up throughout his entire summer, British teenager Olly Tyler bought (not rented; bought) a £700 chicken suit and headed to his local KFC to protest against the way the chickens are reared for their spicy wings and pieces. The diners at that particular KFC are clearly very passionate about making sure their chicken remains a product of animal cruelty and battery farms, because Olly was forced to abandon his campaign after customers started throwing sachets of sauce, wings and nuggets at him, before one diner punched him in the head and another two men jumped from their car and rugby tackled him to the ground.    

So it seems – even in this Pamela Anderson-approved PETA age of battery awareness – fast food chains still have their fans. Their weirdly aggressive, over-eager fans. That got us thinking: what's more important – fried chicken or animal rights? So we asked some people in the street. 

Dan, works in business development: Animal rights, of course.

Really? You're not just saying that?
Nah, honestly. I try not to eat at KFC or shop at big multi-nationals if I can help it.

Get you. That's good, I suppose.
Interestingly, I was in Japan over Christmas and found out that KFC has sort of persuaded the Japanese that it’s a Western tradition to have a family bucket of chicken for Christmas dinner. So there are massive queues to get in and they dress the colonel up as Santa. I couldn’t believe it, but it’s a good marketing ploy. Whoever came up with it is a genius.

Jawa, works at Penfield: It’s a really difficult question, because I wholly believe that we should eat meat. But the way they produce the meat is disgusting – battery farming and battery henning. Urgh, horrible. Free range chickens and all that are good, but I'd never eat at KFC. You’d have to be retarded.

So you never eat at KFC?
Nah, never – not McDonalds, not KFC. No, mate – I eat real food, thanks.

Alright. Do you think people should be aware of how their chickens are treated?
Well, I grew up with a family who cooked. I’ve not got a lazy mum or a lazy dad who’d be like, "Alright, we’re eating McDonalds tonight, here’s your pile of shit." I ate fresh food, so having two good chefs inspired me to cook. Even when I’m pissed, I’d rather go to a kebab shop and eat a shish kebab, which is gonna be a lot healthier and you’re not gonna have the shits the next day.

Wise, if not slightly smug words.

Joanne, graphic designer: Animal rights! I never go to KFC – it’s disgusting.

What about McDonalds?
Erm, every now and again, yeah.

Is that because of ethical reasons? Or just because you don't like KFC’s food?
Actually, I rarely even have McDonalds, to be fair. I only have it maybe once a year, and only when I’m hanging. I’m very healthy – look, I’m powerwalking on my lunch.

It’s OK, we believe you.

Howard, works in advertising: Animal rights.

Do you ever eat at KFC?
No.

Is that purely for ethical reasons?
I’m vegetarian.

Have you ever taken part in any animal rights protests?
No

Would you ever consider it?
No.

Okay, fair enough. I'll leave you alone now.

Patricia, marketing manager: KFC!

Finally some balance. Do you not care about the ethical stuff, then?
It’s not that I don’t care about it, but – I mean – I’m literally holding a bag full of fried chicken right now. I guess if they could maybe find a way of keeping KFC but treating the animals better, that would be a happy medium.

Would you be willing to pay a bit more for free range KFC?
Yeah, I’d pay, like, 50p more.

Oh, that's good. So, if you came out of KFC and found someone protesting outside, would you throw chicken at them?
No! I’d maybe offer him some chicken, but I wouldn’t throw anything at him.

I'm not sure if he’d really appreciate that, but I guess it’s the thought that counts.

Previously - What Part of Your Body Would You Make Bionic?

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