MBA 605 ??“ Business Gov??™t & Society
July 21, 2010
A Campaign Against KFC Corporation
1- Do you support KFC Corporation or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals in this controversy Why
PETA is the world??™s largest animal rights group. PETA focuses its attention on factory farms, in laboratories, in the clothing trade and in the entertainment industry. PETA focus their time on a variety of issues especially those issues that create the most media attention. PETA is an extremist group that may sometimes become violent and dangerous. PETA has been successful in its campaign against McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy??™s having each company assume animal-welfare reforms.
KFC buys the chickens from independent companies and pursues similar arrangements in other nations. It is only a purchaser and does not own the animal farms and slaughterhouses where the abuse may occur. PETA sought out KFC because of the brand recognition. KFC has a powerful image and PETA hoped to make KFC use its market power to influence growers and slaughter plants to stop the abuse on chickens.
KFC interest is the bottom line, not the well-being of chickens but it is far from a malicious company. KFC is just another chicken buyer. Some of PETA??™s demands are impossible to fulfill. PETA may force more humane tactics on the treatment of chickens but the business of selling chicken and other meats will always be problematic. PETA will never be satisfied. PETA??™s main goal is total animal liberation, anti-meat, anti-egg and anti-dairy. PETA is an organization more interested in promoting vegetarianism than the truth.
It should go without saying that we are morally obliged to treat animals decently and to prevent suffering whenever possible; however since a company??™s goal is to enhance the shareholders price sometimes the moral obligation can become jaded. PETA??™s tactics are too extreme. Activist groups should not express violence or instill fear in others. There are other activist groups which prevent the cruelty to animals such as the American Humane Association or the Humane Society. They believe in kindness to animals and do not use extreme tactics to achieve their mission.
2- What are the basic criticisms that PETA makes of KFC Are they convincing Are its criticisms similar to timeless criticisms of business mentioned in the chapter
According to PETA, chickens are carelessly slaughtered. While still alive the chicken??™s throats are slit and put into tanks of boiling water. PETA is aware that KFC does not process the chickens sold in their stores but believe that KFC has enough pull with their suppliers that if they asked them to switch the method PETA advocates as more humane, their suppliers would do so.
PETA held KFC responsible for the cruel treatment of poultry raised and slaughtered for its restaurants. PETA demanded new, more humane practices on its suppliers. PETA says that its demands are modest and large corporations should now have an issue following through on the request. One of PETA demands is they want suppliers to replace electrical stunning and throat slicing with gas killing. This will ensure that the chickens are insensate and will not be exposed to the painful procedure. PETA also wants KFC to institute humane, mechanized chicken gathering as opposed to manual methods which may subject chickens to additional injuries.
Businesses have a huge amount of power to change society. They can convince people to buy certain products or shop somewhere else. The criticisms occur after people have followed the guidance of these corporations and as a result have found dissatisfaction. The criticisms that KFC faces are similar to the examples presented in the chapter in which people in business place profits before ethics and values.
3- What methods and arguments has KFC used to support its actions Is it conducting the best defense
KFC took several actions to appease PETA. KFC assemble an Animal Welfare Advisory Council which composed of outside academic and industry experts. KFC worked with industry associations to develop new poultry welfare guidelines.
KFC complies with all laws in more than a hundred countries where it has restaurants. KFC accepts that its size as a chicken buyer gives them responsibility and the power to lead in humane treatment of chickens and KFC has taken action. In 2008, KFC Canada agreed to PETA??™s demands for better welfare standards, including favoring suppliers who use controlled-atmosphere killing of chickens and other welfare standards as well as introducing a vegan sandwich at 65% of its outlets. PETA has called off its campaign against KFC Canada, but continues to demonstrate against KFC elsewhere in the world.
KFC stated that they buy their chickens from the same trusted brands that consumers buy in local supermarkets. They require all of their suppliers to follow welfare guidelines developed by KFC. In mass growing and slaughter of chickens some pain for animals in inevitable. Alternating productions to address chicken discomfort, injury and behavioral deprivation raises costs.
4- Is the range of PETA??™s actions acceptable Why does the group use controversial tactics What are some of its sources of power in corporate campaigns
PETA??™s aim is to stop animal suffering and they use every opportunity to reach people with their messages. Colorful and controversial gimmicks make headlines which brings animal rights message to audiences around the county. Since most people give no thought to animal rights, PETA??™s actions are designed to attract attention, even at the cost of offending some people. PETA freely uses sexuality to get attention. PETA believes fame and glamour attract.
PETA??™s actions are unacceptable; the activist groups go to extreme lengths to get their point across. PETA crosses the line from simply expressing their views to corporate attacks and personal violence. For example, when KFC CEO David Novak appeared at the opening of a restaurant in Germany, two activists doused him with fake blood and feathers. KFC issued a statement calling the attacks corporate terrorism. The group has harassed KFC officials at their homes. They will knock on neighbor??™s door, imploring the neighbors to lobby the officials. As a last resort, PETA will run full-page advertisements, protests and boycotts.
A source of power PETA has in corporate campaigns is that PETA now owns a piece of at least 80 companies. PETA will buy stock in the company and will express its agenda with shareholders at their annual meetings. PETA hopes to influence their animal welfare policies on these companies. By buying stock, PETA is guaranteed the right to present its ideas directly to officials and other shareholders, many of whom would otherwise likely pay little attention to the group.
5- As it proper for PETA to pressure KFC for change when the company is following the law and public custom Does PETA represent so compelling a truth or enough people to justify attacks on and perhaps damage to, major corporations supported by and supporting millions of customers, employees, and stockholders
PETA can apply as much pressure on KFC as they wish. Attacks on corporations create pressure and enough pressure will create change. Even though KFC follows the laws and customs they have a moral obligation to uphold. KFC hides behind its Animal Welfare Advisory Council, even though five members of the council have resigned in frustration. According to PETA, KFC does not listen to the advice that their own animal welfare advisors give them.
The attacks represented by PETA are not justifiable. PETA is trying to draw as much attention as possible to achieve their results; however the acts can be violent, dangerous and unruly. PETA does not have a limit to the attacks.
PETA??™s controversial campaigns grab the public??™s attention but also capture public support for animal rights. PETA??™s increasingly radical behavior and publicity stunts challenge corporations. PETA??™s use of publicity and controversy has impacted all nonprofit organizations dedicated to animal issues by raising public awareness on the
6- Do animals have rights If so, what are they What duties do human beings have toward animals Does KFC protect animal welfare at an acceptable level
Animals do not have rights; however humans have an obligation of moral rights. Since animals are living and capable of suffering, their interests are entitled to equal consideration with human interest. Denial of these rights is speciesism, favoring of one species over another. Animals are defenseless.
There is nothing wrong with using animals as resources so long as there is no unnecessary suffering.