Oprah Gives Out Free KFC in Most Hypocritical Move Yet
May 6th, 2009 By Paula Crossfield
FROM Civil Eats
Perhaps it was all just too much, too kind and too ahead of the curve, all that work she had done recently to expose what truly goes on for chickens and other animals in the factory farm setting. Because now Oprah has decided to bolster one of America’s worst offenders when it comes to support for factory farming, KFC, by giving away two pieces of chicken to every human in America.
It may seem harmless: a mass market “they want it, so I’m giving it to them” kind of campaign. But because Oprah has marketed herself as one who cares about animals, even getting a “Person of the Year” award last year from PETA, this KFC campaign is a serious disappointment to say the least.
This is because KFC buys their meat from Tyson, which is the largest chicken processor in the United States and is known for supporting a conglomeration of chicken CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations).
Inside these daylight-free hellholes, chickens are crammed so tightly together they can barely move. Worse, if we were to grow as fast as these broilers are bred to grow, we’d be 350 pounds by the time we were 2 years old. This is largely because these chickens are bred to have more breast meat (because that’s what the consumer wants), so many of them can’t even stand up.
On top of that they produce so much shit that many farm workers get asthma just doing their job — and that is just the workers on the farm. Most of the Tyson workers spend their entire day on one part of the production line, slitting throats, de-feathering or removing intestines for hours on end. Yum. (video made by one worker, be warned, it is quite grotesque)
Just a recap: in order to have what we want to eat, we have created little monstrosities, which then get essentially tortured before routine killings performed by ill and disgruntled workers. And Oprah is encouraging this practice to continue!
If she would have taken the time to think about all this, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she would see that encouraging these practices is not in line with the Eckhardt Tolle, Live Your Best Life, “We will all be judged on how we treat the least among us” persona she sells on her popular television show.
Individual choices do matter, especially the choices of those with enough money to buy every person in the United States two pieces of chicken.
If I were Oprah, I’d have struck a better deal with the fried chicken hawking establishment: She could have told KFC to change their buying practices, and only serve free-range chicken, and THEN give away free chicken. Had she done that, producers would start to see the value in letting their chickens outside to scratch the soil, eat grubs and peck grass.
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Paula Crossfield is the managing editor of Civil Eats. She is also a contributing producer at The Leonard Lopate Show on New York Public Radio where she focuses on food issues. She is currently developing a plan for an urban vegetable garden on her rooftop in Manhattan.
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Wisconsin Fourth-Graders Boycott School Lunch Food Policy In the Kitchen
May 5th, 2009 By Gordon Jenkins
Patricia Mulvey reported on the blog F is for French Fry that a group of fourth-grade students at Nuestro Mundo Elementary School in Madison, WI had planned to protest the unhealthy food served in their cafeteria by staying behind in class during recess and enjoying a home-cooked meal.
Their “Real Food Picnic” – you might call it an Eat-In – was cancelled, however, when the school district’s assistant superintendent alerted parents and school administrators and asked them to discourage the event, citing concerns about food allergies, lack of supervision and the presence of news media.
The fourth-graders are members of a student-run group called “Boycott School Lunch (BCSL)” that they founded last fall after conducting some “gross experiments” in the school cafeteria, like measuring how much grease they could squeeze out of a hamburger. At the time, the students happened to have been learning about Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement in history class.
When teacher Joshua Forehand showed them a movie about the Children’s Crusade that took place in Birmingham, AL in 1963, the students were inspired to organize a peaceful protest in support of bringing healthier food into the school.
Fourth-grader Sierra Mueller-Owens told The Capital Times that “We had planned really good meals [for the protest], and I was hoping a lot of people would enjoy it.” She also had hoped that the school district’s food service program would feel the impact of fewer lunches sold that day.
Instead of organizing a protest potluck, the students involved in Boycott School Lunch are now planning a letter-writing and petition campaign. Their parents have requested a meeting with the school district to discuss supporting the students’ efforts and ensuring that the lunch program provides the real, nourishing food they want to eat............More on CIVIL EATS