UPC in Action

Thursday, Sept 28, 2000
Gazette community News
KFC Gazette
Rob Ostermaier/The Gazette
Franklin Wade and about five others from the United Poultry Concerns stage a protest outside a Hyattsville KFC restaurant Sunday. The group protests cruelty in the poultry industry.

Animal rights group protests
at Hyattsville KFC restaurant

by Jeremy Breningstall
Staff Writer

Protesters from Virginia-based animal rights group United Poultry Concerns picketed the Hyattsville KFC Sunday.

Targeting heavy traffic on Ager Road, seven protesters brandished signs proclaiming “Friends Don't Eat Friends,” “Slaughter of the Innocent,” and “Imagine How They Feel.”

“Any chicken that anybody eats had its throat slit while fully conscious,” said Franklin Wade, of Bethesda, a member of the United Poultry Concerns.

United Poultry Concerns was founded in 1990 and has been protesting KFCs around the Washington Metropolitan Area since February, according to the group's Web site.

Wade said he does not believe KFCs treatment of chickens is worse than any other restaurant or grocery store's, but that the organization is focusing on KFC because the fast-food chicken restaurant is a mass marketer.

“KFC really makes it convenient for people to eat chicken,” Wade explained.

There are 8.5 billion chickens killed in the U.S. each year, according to Wade.

“Obviously, we cannot rescue all of them,” said Wade. “But to those chickens we save, it matters a lot ... They are thankful that we have rescued them from the torture and slaughter most humans would inflict on them.”

Wade said the United Poultry Concerns is opposed to using all animal products, including fish, eggs, milk and leather.

Customers entering KFC on Sunday said the protest would not impact their eating habits.

“I'm not going to stop eating chickens,” said Marie Charles, a Hyattsville resident.

KFC's manager Nicola, who would not give her full name, refused to comment at length. “I don't know what they're saying out there and it doesn't matter,” she said.

The animal rights group operates a sanctuary for 100 chickens in Machipongo, Va.

“When people meet the chickens and see how companionable they are, they have a more difficult time thinking of them as food,” said Wade.

“We're living proof that you can have a healthy lifestyle and not eat any animals,” Wade said. “We've been sitting out in the hot sun all day.”

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