PETA to Send Giant Chicken to Santa Ana

McCruelty Norfolk.jpg
Courtesy of PETA
Let's hope their signs are bigger tomorrow. Harbor has a 40 mph speed limit.
If you're going to be driving in the area of Harbor and McFadden tomorrow, Wednesday, December 9, from noon to 1 p.m., be aware that there will be a person in a chicken suit protesting McDonald's chicken slaughter practices. There may be an adverse impact on traffic as people stampede into the restaurant, thinking there's a doorbuster special on McNuggets™.

Taken directly from a PETA press release:

McDonald's allows its U.S. chicken suppliers to use a slaughter method that often forces birds to endure broken bones and other abuses. Birds often have their throats cut while they are still conscious and are frequently scalded to death in tanks of hot water. PETA has privately urged McDonald's to require its suppliers to phase in a less cruel slaughter method called "controlled-atmosphere killing" (CAK), which would eliminate some of the worst abuses that birds suffer.

Evidently, McDonald's ignored PETA's request for an immediate implementation of an huge, untested change to their production processes and so the next step in applying pressure is a person in a chicken suit marching around with a sign saying "i'm hatin' it". The backpedaling by McDonald's is expected to be immediate and embarrassing. Really.

To be serious for a moment, it's worthwhile not to be unnecessarily cruel to animals. Chickens must be dispatched in a reasonably-humane manner in order for their meat to be kosher or halal, and it's not an unreasonable standard to meet. That said, ultimately the chicken is going to die, and it's not clear that asphyxiation (which is what CAK amounts to) is more humane than scalding or throat-cutting.

Also, asking a massive publicly-held corporation to do something that directly increases their cost is generally a losing proposition, and an hour's protest at one of ten McDonald's restaurants in Santa Ana alone is not going to change that. (Incidentally, does anyone think it's a coincidence that the address of this McDonald's is 666 South Harbor?)

Hint to PETA: if you want your giant chicken to stand out, pick a city that isn't filled with sign twirlers and other outdoor advertisers. I'm sure your protester will not be the only person in a chicken suit in Santa Ana tomorrow; the difference is that the others will be hawking (ha!) chicken dinners, not trying to scare people away from them.

Meanwhile, readers, if you need a fast-food chicken fix in West Santa Ana tomorrow, throw PETA a bone and try KFC across the street instead. The chickens at KFC are gently massaged to death before being lovingly rolled in the Colonel's secret blend of herbs and spices, deep-fried, and scarfed by people who were probably texting on the phone and not paying attention to people in chicken suits.
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