By Becky Manley / Staff Writer
An animal rights group wants to erect a statue crafted from chicken droppings to protest the proposed installation of a bronze statue of Col. Harlan Sanders in Corbin.
The request to erect the smelly life-size statue of Sanders was e-mailed to Main Street Manager Sharae Myers Monday by Tracy Reiman, executive vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
Corbin’s project drew the attention of PETA, which has waged a years-long campaign against slaughterhouse practices used by KFC suppliers, according to Kristina Addington, campaign coordinator for PETA, which is based in Norfolk, Va.
PETA launched its campaign against Corbin’s project even as it continues to protest KFC ads on Indianapolis fire hydrants and extinguishers, Addington said.
The proposed use of chicken droppings with the Corbin statue aims to draw attention to the conditions in which chickens destined for KFC’s buckets are raised, according to PETA. The statue is meant to be a memorial to the chickens slaughtered for the KFC chain, Addington said.
Myers said the community’s effort to erect a bronze statue of Sanders in Corbin is meant to represent his connection to the community, not KFC’s current corporate practices.
“It’s our historical assets and nothing more,” Myers said.
Corbin was the location of Sander’s first restaurant featuring chicken fried in his secret blend of herbs and spices.
Both Myers and Suzie Razmus, chairwoman of Corbin Tourism and Convention Commission, said the protest would not dissuade them from pursuing the project.
“It’s something that we definitely want to move forward on,” Myers said.
Myers, who said she would support any advocacy group that respectfully promotes human or animal rights, said the wording of PETA’s letter was inappropriate, disrespectful and highly offensive to the community.
If Corbin declines PETA’s proposal, Addington said her group’s efforts will continue.
“We’re willing to do whatever it takes to raise awareness of the millions of chickens slaughtered for KFC,” Addington said.
PETA launched its campaign against KFC about 2003 when Addington said undercover videos taken in slaughterhouses by PETA representatives showed slaughterhouse workers abusing chickens. Those abuses included slaughterhouse workers spray painting chickens’ faces, tearing the heads off of live chickens and throwing live chickens against the wall.
Addington said PETA has pushed KFC to require its suppliers to use a more humane technique to kill chickens, but so far she said KFC has refused to mandate the change.
Corbin isn’t the only city to recently draw attention from PETA.
In Indiana, Addington said PETA recently offered the City of Indianapolis $7,500 for the right to display ads on city fire trucks that encourage a boycott of KFC.
PETA made the proposal to Indianapolis officials after KFC gave that city $7,500 to display ads on city fire hydrants and extinguishers, Addington said.
Indianapolis officials denied PETA’s advertising request saying the city’s private/public partnership policy mandates that ads enhance the quality of life and benefit the public, Addington said.
PETA plans to counter the response from Indianapolis officials by arguing that KFC ads promote cruelty to animals and unhealthy eating, Addington said.
PETA's letter to Corbin Main Street Program Director Sharae Myers follows.
January 11, 2010
Corbin Main Street Program
Dear Ms. Myers,
PETA would like to apply for a permit to place a life-size rendition of Colonel Sanders made entirely of chicken feces in downtown Corbin. PETA's statue radiates the smell of the crowded, filthy sheds in which chickens are forced to live out their short lives before being killed for KFC's buckets. Before Colonel Sanders is memorialized in bronze as planned, PETA wants to remind Corbin residents that cruelty is the main ingredient in KFC's Original Recipe.
Chickens live mired in their own waste for six weeks before being thrown into crates and trucked through all weather extremes to the slaughterhouse. There, their legs are slammed into metal shackles, their throats are cut while they are still conscious, and many birds are scalded to death in defeathering tanks. KFC refuses to lift a finger to improve conditions for the nearly 1 billion chickens killed for its restaurants worldwide.
Please consider this as our request for the proper permit applications to display a piece of public art in downtown Corbin. Materials can be sent to the address below or e-mailed to TracyR@peta.org. Thank you.
Executive Vice President
501 Front St.
Norfolk, VA 23510
Animal-rights group wants to erect their own using chicken droppings
By Becky Manley / Staff Writer
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