Singer Paul McCartney has joined an animal rights campaign against fast food chain KFC, urging the company to ensure better treatment for chickens in the U.S. newspaper advertisement last week.
"If KFC suppliers treated dogs or cats the way they treat chickens, they could be charged with the crime of cruelty to animals," said a letter signed by McCartney on behalf of the group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
"I am a vegetarian because I realize that even little chickens suffer pain and fear," the letter said. "These remarkable animals are deserving of at least a little kindness." The letter appeared in the Louisville Courier-Journal, a newspaper in the hometown of KFC and its parent company, Yum Brands Inc. It was addressed to Yum Chief Executive David Novak.
KFC spokeswoman Bonnie Warschauer said the fast food chain was committed to the humane treatment of chickens.
"Paul McCartney is a music legend and he's entitled to his opinion, but we think he's misinformed," she said in a statement. "While PETA would prefer a world of vegetarians, most people disagree, so we think PETA should follow one of Sir Paul's songs, and just 'Let it be.'"
Earlier in July, PETA filed a lawsuit against KFC, accusing the company of making misleading statements on its Web site regarding how the chickens it sells are treated. PETA contends that the chickens KFC buys from suppliers are abused through drugging, feeding and slaughter practices.
In May, KFC announced plans to adopt more humane poultry-handling guidelines that address the breeding, hatching and raising of chickens. At the time, PETA said the guidelines did not go far enough to prevent cruelty to the animals.
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