Kentucky Fried cruelty

About 50 young animal-rights activists protested last Saturday from 2:30 to 3:15 p.m. outside the KFC on Sixth Ave. near W. Fourth St. The demonstrators, many of them from out of town, were attending a conference on animal rights at nearby New York University. There were apparently no arrests.

Dan Shannon, 24, campaign coordinator for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said PETA has specific demands for KFC, including that it stop scalding chickens alive in hot water; stop debeaking young chickens by slicing off the beaks with a hot blade without anesthesia; and stop making young chickens so top heavy from overfeeding that they break their legs from the weight and spend their lives crippled.

Also Shannon said, KFC should “Give them some straw in the sheds to peck at, bottle caps to play with — or they’ll just go crazy and start pecking each other,” adding that the space each chicken has to move around in roughly equals a letter-size sheet of paper.

Chickens are basically unregulated in that they are not mammals and so are exempt from the Humane Slaughter Act, Shannon added. PETA says chickens “are at least as intelligent as cats and dogs.”