Jewish World Review June 25, 2003 / 25 Sivan, 5763
PETA -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- is on a tear this
In January, it launched a campaign against KFC, giving it the
nickname Kentucky Fried Cruelty, and accusing the fast food chain of
cruelty to chickens. It urged KFC, for one thing, to kill chickens using
gas rather than a knife, and give the poor doomed poultry more room to
roam while they live.
All of this is well and good, but PETA certainly overreached when it
made the claim in the campaign that "chickens are thought to be at
least as intelligent as dogs or cats."
I have been around dogs, cats, and chickens, and I can state with
assurance that chickens may be smarter than turkeys, say, they are still
dumber than a bag of hammers. And they certainly taste better than cats.
Or so I imagine.
Then in April, the wily zealots of PETA, approached Hamburg, New York
and urged them to change the name of their town to Veggieburg. Hamburg
superviser Patrick Hoacke declined the suggestion, saying, "We're proud
of our name, and proud of our heritage."
That heritage is: Hamburg claims to be the birthplace of the hamburger,
which is pretty thin gruel for a heritage in my opinion, not quite in
the league of "George Washington Slept Here," or "Birthplace of the
But be that as it may, there's a certain amount of illogic in
PETA's request. The hamburger was named for the town, after all, not the
other way around. Next thing you know they're be going after the Earl of
Sandwich heirs to get them to change their name to Salad Bar. Big fuzzy
sideburns will no longer be called mutton chops. And if you're
embarrassed by an inappropriate gesture or remark you've made, the last
thing you'll be is sheepish, not if PETA has its way.
And even if Hamburg does change its name to Veggieburg, I suspect its
residents will still enjoy a pattie melt from time to time.
On the other hand, if all it takes is a name change to make everything
better, I see a way in which KFC could still keep its initials. Repeat
after me: I hereby declare that chickens are now carrots.
that, problem solved.
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JWR contributor Ian Shoales is the author of, among others, Not Wet Yet: An Anthology of Commentary. Comment by clicking here.
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© 2001, Ian Shoales