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Russell Simmons Headshot

"New Flava"

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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.

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