Both of the below stories were in our local paper and caught my attention
Russell Simmons takes on KFC
February 15. 2005 8:00AM
NEW YORK - Hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons has joined other celebrities and activists who have criticized Kentucky Fried Chicken, saying he will call for a boycott if the company doesn't reform its slaughter practices.
Simmons called slaughter practices used by the fast-food chain's suppliers "grossly inhumane" and has filmed a commercial "showing some of the very worst abuses chickens undergo" before they are served to customers, the Daily Newsreported Sunday.
Simmons, who is chairman of Def Jam Records and is a vegan, said he has talked to officials of Yum! Brands, the parent company of KFC, and said he will release the ad and start a boycott if the company does not reform its practices.
"When a company targets our community, disrespects us as consumers and sells us products ridden with negative energy and laced with toxins, that is our business," said Simmons.
Other celebrities and activists who have raised their voices against KFC include the Rev. Al Sharpton, comedian and social activist Dick Gregory, actress Pamela Anderson and musician Paul McCartney.
negative energy? I've never gotten that at any KFC I've visited; but I have gotten their chicken livers (love'em).
I have friends who are "vegen". I respect their choice and decision to do so. I have no problem with it one bit at all. That's their personal choice. But I don't think those same feelings are reciprocated towards those within our society who are meat-eaters. I'm not making that claim towards all vegetarians; but only those who seem high-profile, and such groups as PETA and others. I personally think they are nutcases.
Over the years I've listened to them say we shouldn't eat meat, some even go as far as saying the same for fish, and some go as far as saying we shouldn't eat dairy products (that milk was only intended for that young calf).
But isn't a plant a living entity?
Mr Simmons is upset over the "inhumane" way they slaughter chickens. He would have really been upset at some of my relatives (who were farmers), who would go out into the pen, grab a chicken and snap it's neck before cutting it up. Or what they did when they butchered a hog or cow.
My diet is pretty balanced. I eat alot healthier as I've gotten older. I daily eat fresh fruits and vegetables, along with grains, in place of the vending machine snack items at breaktime at work.
But there ain't nothing like a burger or steak sizzling on the grill IMO. You give me a fershly cut vidalia onion and a garden tomatoe, and I'm in heaven!
And here is another example of what I deem to be extreme....
Study: Lobsters unlikely to feel pain
By CLARKE CANFIELD
ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER
PORTLAND, Maine -- A new study out of Norway concludes it's unlikely lobsters feel pain, stirring up a long-simmering debate over whether Maine's most valuable seafood suffers when it's being cooked.
Animal activists for years have claimed that lobsters are in agony when being cooked, and that dropping one in a pot of boiling water is tantamount to torture.
The study, funded by the Norwegian government and written by a scientist at the University of Oslo, suggests lobsters and other invertebrates such as crabs, snails and worms probably don't suffer even if lobsters do tend to thrash in boiling water.
"Lobsters and crabs have some capacity of learning, but it is unlikely that they can feel pain," concluded the 39-page report, aimed at determining if creatures without backbones should be subject to animal welfare legislation as Norway revises its animal welfare law.
Lobster biologists in Maine have maintained for years that the lobster's primitive nervous system and underdeveloped brain are similar to that of an insect. While lobsters react to different stimuli, such as boiling water, the reactions are escape mechanisms, not a conscious response or an indication of pain, they say.
"It's a semantic thing: No brain, no pain," said Mike Loughlin, who studied the matter when he was a University of Maine graduate student and is now a biologist at the Maine Atlantic Salmon Commission.
The Norwegian report also reinforces what people in the lobster industry have always contended, said Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute, a research and education organization in Orono.
"We've maintained all along that the lobster doesn't have the ability to process pain," Bayer said.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, an animal rights organization based in Norfolk, Va., has made lobster pain part of its Fish Empathy Project, putting out stickers and pamphlets with slogans such as "Being Boiled Hurts. Let Lobsters Live." Group supporters regularly demonstrate at the Maine Lobster Festival in Rockland.
PETA's Karin Robertson called the Norwegian study biased, saying the government doesn't want to hurt the country's fishing industry.
"This is exactly like the tobacco industry claiming that smoking doesn't cause cancer," she said.
Robertson said many scientists believe lobsters do feel pain. For instance, a zoologist with The Humane Society of the United States made a written declaration that lobsters can feel pain after a chef dismembered and sauteed a live lobster to prepare a Lobster Fra Diavolo dish on NBC's "Today" show in 1994.
It's debatable whether the debate will ever be resolved.
The Norwegian study, even while saying it's unlikely that crustaceans feel pain, also cautioned that more research is needed because there is a scarcity of scientific knowledge on the subject.
And, many consumers will always hesitate at placing lobsters in boiling pots of water.
New Englanders may feel comfortable cooking their lobsters, but people outside the region often feel uneasy about boiling a live creature, said Kristen Millar, executive director of the Maine Lobster Promotion Council.
"Consumers don't generally greet and meet an animal before they eat it," she said."