by Michael dEstries
Categories: Animals, Eats
Tags: .


After we wondered aloud why PETA was so quiet regarding Oprah’s free chicken dinner promotion with Kentucky Fried Chicken, a rep sent us this official statement from the group:

PETA was horrified and immediately wrote privately to Oprah to enquire as to whether KFC had deliberately misled her the way it has been misleading other consumers on its Web site. Seeing how strongly Oprah had publicly criticized cruelty to chickens in the food industry, PETA believes that Oprah was likely the victim of the very consumer deception practices that PETA cited in its recent complaint to the FTC about KFC. PETA president Ingrid Newkirk wrote, “I believe you had no idea that KFC has refused to take any action to stop its suppliers from scalding birds alive and breaking birds’ wings and legs during live shackling.”

This angle is definitely in line with what some commenters were saying: that Oprah’s reps were given the run around regarding the chain’s factory farming conditions. What do you think? Was Oprah deceived? Or was there simply not enough vetting on the part of her reps to make sure this move didn’t contradict her earlier critiques of animal factory farming?

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

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  • Missy (from Groovy Vegetarian)

    No. I don’t believe Oprah was deceived. I believe she didn’t think this one through.

    It’s cool to give away free meals. Who can argue with that. But why chicken – with all the awesome healthier cheaper and greener options out there?

    Oprah + KFC = Big Fail.

  • Eileen

    there is an ad at the bottom of the kfc story just above for free kfc coupons. maybe someone at ecorazzi should be editing the ads.

  • Michael Andre d’Estries


    We do our best to sieve through Google’s Adsense content targeting, but sometimes some unfortunate matches get through. For what it’s worth, there was also an ad for Kentucky Friend Cruelty right next to that ad. I’ve removed the coupon ad.

  • Biff Henderson

    Amazing what money does to people…

  • Allison

    I agree Missy. Oprah isn’t stupid and she has a whole team who checks everything thoroughly before she puts her name on it. It doesn’t take much sense to realize that the only way for KFC to sell that many chickens daily is to raise them in factory farms.

    This was a ridiculous move on her part and even more ridiculous for PETA not to call her on it. If this were anyone else, they would have fired back immediately and mercilessly.

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  • Sally

    Oprah had no idea KFC sold chicken!!

    PETA believes Chickens should commit suicide or willfully kill themselves for us to eat them. Silly silly people.

  • anonymous

    This is RIDICULOUS.
    Oprah has now proven to be about money first – as KFC must have paid her in excess of $5 million for an integration of this magnitude…
    How could PETA’S Person of the Year be deceived by KFC? KFC’s cruelty is common knowledge to ANY vegetarian. And PETA’s Person of the Year? Give me a break. That’s like Barack Obama saying he didn’t know there was a war in Iraq.
    Oprah took the money and ran, she obviously didn’t care enough.
    This makes PETA look bad too, so obviously they can’t attack her – either that – or she paid them off.
    By no means was she duped – Give me a break.
    I am so furious!!!!

  • Jay

    I love free chicken. Really dont care too much how it gets to my plate. Peta is a bunch of nuts anyways. Good for Oprah for hooking it up. Now we need her to give up some fried chicken.

  • oversneer

    Bwah-ha-ha-ha …

    PETA isn’t attacking Oprah for the same reason they never hassle bikers in leather jackets. Oprah could CRUSH them.

  • Jeff

    Of all the “legitimate” causes facing the world today…this is where some people choose to focus their time, energy and money…with movements such as PETA!

    PETA….Proof that Common Sense really isn’t that Common!

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  • Hmmm, chicken

    Yeah, we should save the chickens, not give out free food to people! Geez, what was Oprah thinking! The only ones offended by this are the short-sighted, priority-confused animal-rights fringe. *LOL* Time for some KFC, folks!

  • Ashley From Mass

    Like I said before, this isn’t an issue of pleasing vegetarians, this is an issue of helping poor families. Don’t like it, don’t print out the coupon. Simple, no?
    What’s next, people are going to protest soup kitchens and military cafeterias from serving meatloaf?

  • alex

    I knew it! Oprah is NOT a god given gift, she just wants to be for her career image.

  • Ashley from UK

    Ummm, Sally….peta believes we just shouldn’t eat chicken, period…ya know, because we don’t actually need it.

  • pleinelune

    I don’t believe this is a vegetarian/vegan issue… People are angry and annoyed first of all because PETA named Oprah their person of the year, she has protested against cruelty before… and adding to that, KFC is one of the worst fast-food companies out there, not only vegans think so (or actually, know so).
    There is so much else she could have done. She could have donated money to a soup kitchen (or probably more than one), urged people to donate money/food or volunteer helping the homeless/needy.
    Instead this stunt is giving KFC lots of free publicity. How many of the people using the coupon will actually be in direct need of a free meal? If a person is in real need of food, KFC is useless.
    The whole thing is just stupid.
    With thousands of soup kitchens probably in dire need of donations – money and food – the so called help is grossly misdirected. It’s a publicity campaign.

  • Ron

    KFC gets its chicken from companies like Tyson and Pilgrims Pride… it’s the same chicken often found in grocery stores and many other restaurants. Most of the chicken in the entire country comes from just a few main suppliers (KFC uses more than just one chicken company).

    There is nothing particularly ‘cruel’ about KFC… at least nothing particularly cruel when compared with grocery stores and other restaurants. KFC doesn’t own chicken farms. They are a restaurant and account only for a fraction of the national demand for chicken. It makes no sense to blame them in particular.

    it’s sad this topic is so misunderstood… it’s based on ignorance but really if PETA wants to be taken seriously it should stop spawning cheerleaders that go onto every forum on the internet and protest against KFC… everywhere I go I see more peta-bots… please make it stop!

  • erin Rawfoods Retreat

    To the folks out there who said they want to eat all the KFC they can and they don’t care how it got on their plate and they love KFC etc.. Don’t come running to us when you have health problems. I would think even MD’s who think eating meat is ok would agree KFC is UNhealthy. If you get sick I don’t want my tax dollars paying for it.


  • D.

    Oprah is a racist human being. Expect nothing from a person who thinks her specie is superior and enslaves miserable begins.

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  • Whoever…

    I agree with Erin regarding all of those stupid, ignorant, obnoxious (I’m the one who is insulting them, not her) people who claim they want to ‘feast in meat’ without even caring how it gets on their plate.
    When you start having health problems related to the excessive consumption of meat, you should have to pay for all the treatments you undergo. It’s because of your gluttony that you will get sick. And it’s not fair that other people should pay for your mistakes.

    Regarding the free meals… Hello!?
    How on earth is a free meal, handed out indiscriminately, going to help the real needed families? How stupid is that? From some of the comments I read above, you are extremely selfish! If you are not financially in trouble, why should you accept that free meal?

    And the only one who is really going to benefit with all of this is KFC… and probably Oprah.

    Not one single family in trouble will be truly helped. It would be better to select the ones who do need help and try to solve their problems for real.
    Is this so hard to understand?

    Ignorant people!!!!!

    And I’m not even going to mention the tens of thousands of animals who will be sacrificed so that people who don’t need this free meal can feast on meat like vultures!!!

  • confused

    This is sickening. Why isn’t PETA raising hell about this? Their silence on this makes it possible for the average idiot to assume that they’re somehow aligned with KFC, since their 2008 Person of the Year is now promoting their factory farmed chicken meals. It’s probably all about money, as always.

  • birdgherl

    PETA is covering their ass plain and simple. They are consistently inconsistent when it comes to celebrity. They will defend Pam Anderson going to a steakhouse and Oprah giving away millons of dead chickens if it works for them. The more I know about them, the less I am inclined to support them.

  • Carrie

    i agree. this is not a vegetarian/meateaters debate. if oprah’s reasoning for giving out the free meals, was to help americans during this difficult time, she could have done a lot better. there are 36+ million americans who face food insecurity every day. what is ONE free little meal really going to do for these people? if she really cares, she needs to start using her millions of dollars and her fame/celebrity to start lobbying and working with the govn’t to increase funding to food assistance programs that have been PROVEN to work (food stamp program, school lunch, WIC).

  • TRU

    neither nor. Oprah did it as she does any other business. Shame on her.

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  • Sonia

    Oprah’s a moron!

  • Sonia

    A very hypocritical moron!

  • American Hulk

    PETA want save animals? want save envaioment? want save health? PETA bad! stupid! morans!!! me hate them!!! me eat meat everyday! me LOVE meat! me no care bout chickens feelins. maybe me no kno about condition on farm or in ocean or health things or animals feelins but me kno one thing… me eat meat!!! oh oh PETA so stupid!!! did me say that b4?

  • Lucy

    Maybe none of you remember Oprah’s long drawn out court battle with the beef industry, but I think it’s incredibly likely that this was a move in part to prevent another industry from trying to come at her the same way.

    Though I don’t think Oprah’s ever claimed to be a vegetarian. If PETA has a problem with that, they shouldn’t have given her the award.

  • heather

    Just like with the book scandal of James Fye’s “A Million Little Pieces”. She was warned that it was made up but left it up to the editors of said book to be the judge. Apparently they don’t do their research well over at HARPO…I saw where she was named PETA person of the year in 08 i think it was ..UT OH

  • Sid Samant

    Read more about Rodger Eaton’s apology at–apologies-part-i

  • Rachel

    Just imagine how many more chickens will be slaughtered now since they’ve run out of chicken at all of the KFC restaurants; how sad. I’m not a vegan but that’s definitely one restaurant I want say out of. I just don’t understand why she had to use KFC to promote healthy eating?!

  • Ashley From Mass

    The KFC in my city is offering rainchecks for the coupons and some old lady was complaining about it at the bus terminal. That’s kind of funny.

  • gooniebird

    Good gosh cant anyone do anything without these PETA jerks raising such a rucus WHY DONT PETA GO AND TAKE A WALK THOUGH WILDLIFE SAFARI ON FOOT

  • deena

    Based on the history of human madness, no ‘real problems’ will ever be solved. I’m thankful to those to help beings that cannot speak and help themselves. Who else will speak for them?
    Chickens are life forms that become food, and deserve to be respected as such.

  • Andre

    It reminds me of Naomi Campbell promoting fur after participating in the “I’d rather go naked than wear fur”.
    People without character put money before anything.