PETA – a Campaign Against KFC

PETA, is an animal advocacy rights group that publicly held Kentucky Fried Chicken responsible or the mistreatment of chickens raised for KFC commercial use. Measures taken by KFC were subpar and inconsequentially not enough to satisfy the members of PETA A Campaign Against KFC PETA, (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has for the past years raged campaigns against many fast food chains including McDonalds and Burger King. KFC is no exception to their attempts at benefiting the quality of life or animals.

This campaign has affected the sociological and economic status of the KFC corporation. In some way shape or form, tarnishing their label forever.

A Corporation is Born Harland Sanders, who eventually founded Kentucky Fried Chicken Corp., was operating a service station in Corbin, Kentucky during the Great Depression when he began cooking for travelers who stopped for gasoline with his “secret recipe, enticing Them, many fell in love with his unique method of cooking fried chicken. He took upon the idea of franchising and in 1957 the iconic “bucket of chicken” was born.

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Today, this symbol is recognized worldwide. Unfortunately, a series of events led the once profitable KFC Corp. to an ultimate demise. This story begins with PETA. Social Responsibility Between 2001 and 2003 PETA’s concerns were publicly voiced. Cheryl Bachelder, who was president at the time of KFC Corp. from 2001 to 2003 received a letter from Bruce Friedrich, who was Vice President of PETA. This letter asked why KFC had not taken any actions in light of their competitors being targeted by PETA.

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The letter asked what actions could be taken to improve the lives of chickens that are raised for their restaurants. In the economic point of view, KFC and its competitors can be classified as “fast food chains” generally speaking, these share the same core characteristics when it comes to its supply chain. That’s why it was no surprise KFC was targeted by PETA, after PETA, had just finished a successful campaign against McDonald's two years before in 1999.

Within a year of PETA’s campaign against McDonald’s the renown fast food chain had no choice but to implement regulations and operating standards that met PETA’s requirements. The result was a win for PETA. After other competitors of McDonald’s saw what happened, Burger King and Wendy’s both adopted animal welfare guidelines before PETA could come after them. The managerial perspective explains that the parties affected were anyone who had any part of ownership in KFC. In this case, Cheryl Bachelder, president of KFC. Bachelder had a series of treacherous decisions to make. Bachelder was not the only person affected, KFC is not a public company, meaning it is not open for stock purchasing in the marker, it is privately owned by what is referred to as a parent company. David Novak, CEO of Yum! Brands. Yum!, the parent company, which is also the world's largest quick service restaurant corporation, was also faced with a series of unresidente events. Novak and Bachelder represent KFC, their objective is to profit off their food service and avoid any situation where bad press would tarnish their name. PETA While many can make their decision very clear, others may not be aware of the current situation when it comes to opting to boycott an establishment. Some feel strongly about animal care and vow to never consume food produced by companies or corporations that buy poultry from suppliers that use questionable tactics to kill their animals. On the other hand, many people simply do not care, as long as the consumer is getting there quick fix of quick food, they’re happy. What PETA is doing, represents a great vision, to treat animals respectfully and humane.

PETA’S demands

PETA publicly voiced multiple criticisms about KFC, one of the foremost important criticism made was that PETA hated the animal cruelty that KFC suppliers were doing to the chickens. PETA protested in many ways to support their claims. For example, they would protest and hand out “Buckets of Blood” containing “Psycho Col. Sanders” figures and toy chickens with slit throats. PETA also made posters and billboards with strong images to try to prove a point of how bad the animal cruelty was. PETA was trying to prove that the chickens were not treated humanely and that suppliers should treat them better. We believe these actions by PETA were convincing to some people but not all. The people that were convinced by these actions are the people that truly care about the topic and have a deep care for animals. That ones that won't be convinced are the ones that don't truly care about the topic/situation and just want to get their food and enjoy their meal. The criticisms are similar to the timeless criticisms of business mentioned in the chapter. PETA has had loyal supporters in the past with previous campaigns against other fast food chains and has not let up. Their aim has become clear and they attempt to utilize every opportunity they have to share their message. Some may call their tactics questionable. PETA has been no fool is using great marketing tactics, those including billboards, articles and even celebrity endorsements.

Despite PETA’s numerous attempts to gain supporters and members, many consumers turn the cheek in current events regarding animal cruelty. For this reason, PETA has resorted to using extreme gimmicks in attracting attention, even resorting to offensive content. PETA started out with a purpose to change the way animals are treated, somewhere along the line, they resorted to unacceptable and controversial acting. They are no longer on the path to change the lives of animals rather they are on the path of changing the lives of the owners of companies that don’t even own the farm houses where the violence occurs. CEO of parent company Yum! David Novan visited Germany in 2003 for a grand opening of a new KFC restaurant, two unidentified PETA supporters harassed him by throwing theatre blood and fake chicken feathers at him.

Although this is unacceptable, PETA has taken some peaceful measures to try to influence policy in the corporation, one of the most notable and petty tactics is that they purchased stock in KFC Corp. that way they had a direct voice in the annual stockholders meetings. Everyone had to hear what they had to say, to date PETA owns portions of over 80 food companies, this way they are guaranteed a voice in dictating policy in the respective corporations.

Updated: Feb 22, 2024
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PETA – a Campaign Against KFC. (2024, Feb 29). Retrieved from

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