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Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons

Posted: August 6, 2008 04:56 PM

"New Flava"


Today I ate a vegan lunch like any other day -- except it wasn't like any other day. Today's vegan sandwich was delivered from Canada and was made by KFC. Yes, the very same Kentucky Fried Chicken that I, along with many celebrities and activists made headlines boycotting just a few years ago. As I bit into the delicious un-chicken and lettuce wrap, I remembered how frustrating and seemingly unfruitful mediating those talks between KFC, their supplier Yum Brands, and PETA were. We were asking KFC to take what we believed were financially achievable steps that would lead to more healthy and compassionate menu choices for their customers. As an example, we cited one of KFC's competitors, McDonalds, who has made great strides in these areas (including: agreeing to phase in chicken flesh and eggs from suppliers that don't de-beak chickens; no longer buying eggs from suppliers that give hens less than 72 square inches of space per bird; refusing to buy eggs from suppliers that withhold food and water in order to increase egg production -- a process known as forced-molting; instituting more-humane catching methods for chickens; offering financial incentives to employees who handle the birds carefully; ordering audits of slaughterhouses and, for the first time ever, recently cutting off several suppliers that are out of compliance with basic humane slaughter guidelines).

I have long been concerned with promoting better eating habits for myself, my family, my community and the planet. I am saddened by the fact that the most accessible and affordable food to low income communities is fast primarily unhealthy food. Therefore, I view KFC's Canadian launch of this new vegan sandwich as the first step toward a more compassionate KFC and hope it will be made available here in the United States for all to enjoy.

The subject of animal rights is one of the centerpieces in the promotion of a new consciousness. There are many karmic effects that can be seen because of our abuse of animals, including the number one factor of global warming -- the factory farming of animals. The unconscious mind tends to ignore their karmic footprint on this earth. If each one of us has a more watchful eye where we step, we will create a new earth where the abuse of the planet, the animals, and each other will be less prevalent. For that I thank KFC in Canada for making a conscious effort to support the growth of this new earth.