25 February 2011

Will Lady Antebellum take a stand for anti-cruelty?

Just weeks after the group's triumphant appearance at the 2011 Grammy Awards, Lady Antebellum plans to take the stage at quite a different gathering—a convention for KFC franchisees.

Yes, the multi-award winning country trio is scheduled to entertain KFC owners next week in San Diego.

According to its website, the 2011 AKFCF (Association of Kentucky Fried Chicken Franchisees) Convention will be an "important time to come together to learn, share fellowship, and show our strength as an association."

If you find this an odd choice of venue for a group with five Grammys and a triple-platinum-selling disc, Hall of Fame rocker Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders agrees with you.

Hynde has written an open letter to Lady Antebellum, asking them to rethink their KFC gig:
KFC has refused to heed its own advisory panel's recommendations to eliminate its most cruel and archaic slaughter practices, so my friends at PETA and I are hoping that you will use your unique position to appeal to the company. With your influential public platform, KFC might not so easily turn a deaf ear to you. As you can see at KentuckyFriedCruelty.com, chickens killed for KFC live their entire lives in cramped factories, mired in their own waste. At the slaughterhouse, the birds' throats are cut while they are still conscious, and they are often scalded to death in defeathering tanks.
If KFC bills next week's convention as a "time to learn," then Lady Antebellum could teach the company an important lesson in compassion by not performing.

And if Lady Antebellum has no concern for the 850 million chickens tortured and killed annually for the fast-food chain, then what about the humans who eat the stuff?

KFC has been selling unhealthy food since its founding in 1952, but last year's introduction of the notorious Double Down (essentially a bacon and cheese sandwich that uses fried chicken as the "bread") marked an all-time low for the finger lickin' chain. Inventing and marketing a high-calorie, high-fat, high-sodium time bomb for a nation in the middle of an obesity epidemic is nothing if not irresponsible.

Will Lady Antebellum serenade KCF next week, or will they seize this moment and try to teach the franchise to sing a new tune?

Elizabeth Gordon | Facebook
Elizabeth is an Asian-Appalachian writer, activist, and college professor living in north central Massachusetts. Once an avowed carnivore, she was a vegetarian for 15 years before making the conversion to veganism. She is passionate about trying to live a life that lessens, rather than contributes to, the amount of cruelty and suffering in this world. Follow Elizabeth on her Vegosphere blog and Facebook page.

Photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/28722563@N05