For the past five years, Ms. Anderson has been a big part of PETA’s international campaign against KFC, whose suppliers have been responsible for some serious Kentucky Fried Cruelty. While the KFC boycott continues to rage outside Canada, the United Purchasing Group of Canada—which is responsible for coordinating the purchasing of all chickens for Canadian KFCs—entered into an agreement with PETA to dramatically improve animal welfare standards and reduce suffering.
Yes, before you comment—we’d rather all the KFCs were all-vegan and we’d rather the whole world went vegan. But if you were a chicken with the choice of whether or not you wanted to have a wing painfully broken and be scalded to death, I’m guessing I know which option you’d go for.
The new faux-chicken Classic Vegetarian Sandwich is available at most KFCs in Canada, so head on up north of the border and try one yourself!
12:04 A handful of grinning dudes talking on cellphones linger near the KFC, for once salivating over PETA’s “Lettuce Ladies,” not a big crunch combo.
12:06 First impression, disappointment. They are not even dressed in real lettuce — a fashion marvel I was interested in seeing in action. Green, frilly skirts and stable tops adorn the two women wandering through the crowd instead.
12:10 A leering streetcar driver misses a green light. Two guys chatter about “humane treatment of chickens” as they approach. I’m starting to think the scene is all part of the vegetarian “agenda.”
12:15 “If it wasn’t good, I wouldn’t be eating it,” says Dan Jones, in Toronto on vacation from France (that’s backwards, buddy). He’s a PETA member who heard about the giveaway through their newsletter. Something smells fishy here (or at least like a soy-based fish substitute).
12:24 There is a lot of familiarity between the Lettuce Ladies and many of the people who stop to sample. It’s like a curbside PETA club meeting. Other people do stop and take a sample, and seem to enjoy it. Others who pass by do the “Toronto Stroll,” weaving through the crowd without acknowledging anything out of the ordinary.
12:25 A truck driver honks his horn. Novel.
12:27 Redheaded Lettuce Lady Nicole Matthews urges a response from a sampler. “Tastes like chicken?” she asks hopefully. So even vegetarians admit chicken is delicious.
12:35 Ms. Matthews says the agreement between PETA and KFC Canada is monumental, with KFC Canada agreeing to cut out inhumane suppliers and add a vegetarian option. “It’s cruelty free for sure. So that’s a big win for the birds,” she said. Apparently eating vegetarian saves about 100 animals each year. One hundred delicious animals.
12:36 Fun fact: Ms. Matthews protested outside the same KFC location in November, wearing a yellow bikini. It’s not until I write down these words that I connect “November” and “bikini.”
12:40 Celebrities that vocally protest KFC’s treatment of chickens: Pam Anderson, Al Sharpton and Golden Girls’ Bea Arthur — only one of whom I would like to see dressed in a lettuce bikini. Bea is a handsome woman.
12:48 A man driving a blue van marked “John’s Sharpening,” a travelling knife sharpening business, rings his bell at the Lettuce Ladies. One offers him a vegetarian recipe book. Do you know what sharpened knives are used on? Not tofu, I assure you.
12:54 After remaining unfed for the entire lunch rush, I concede to a taste test. The faux-chicken stand-in is a bit simple, but anything crispy and slathered in mayonnaise has a pretty good head start.
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