Anorak News | Fowl Play

Fowl Play

by | 21st, July 2004

‘WHEN the first torture pictures from Abu Ghraib prison came to light, we were assured that it was an aberration, the work of a few sadistic warders.

‘Hmmm. I fancy battered chicken tonight’

When it became clear that the abuse of prisoners was widespread and officially sanctioned, the White House started talking about rogue elements within the military.

It was, said President Bush, a stain on the things that Americans hold most dear – life, liberty and the belief that they’re better than everyone else.

However, this morning it appears that not only is torture not un-American but it is not confined to foreign nationals either.

The Independent has seen a video shot in West Virginia, which catalogues the most revolting scenes of torture directed against…chickens.

The paper says the film was shot by an undercover investigator from Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) at a plant owned by Pilgrim’s Pride, the second largest processor of chickens in the United States and a supplier to KFC.

Peta claims to have witnessed workers there ‘ripping birds’ beaks off, spray painting their faces, twisting their heads off, spitting tobacco into their mouths and eyes and breaking them in half – all while the birds are still alive’.

And all for what? To try to discover the Colonel’s secret blend of 11 herbs and spices? To find out why they crossed the road? To learn which came first – the chicken or the egg?

The upshot is that Pilgrim’s Pride’s West Virginia plant is unlikely to repeat its 1997 success when it was named KFC’s Supplier Of The Year, presumably for the tenderised chicken that it produced.

For its part, Yum! Brands, which owns KFC as well as Taco Bell and Pizza Hut, said it would require ‘that the employee or employees responsible will be terminated’.

We’re not sure whether this means that the employment will be terminated or that the employee will be terminated.

Even in Bush’s America, we were under the impression that the law frowned upon killing unwanted members of staff, even if it didn’t expressly forbid it.

The tape, which was shot on April 6 this year, will now be posted on a website called

As for KFC, it insists on its website that it is ‘committed to the humane treatment of animals’.

The same sadly cannot be said of humans, as anyone who has eaten at one of their outlets recently would testify.’

Posted: 21st, July 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink