Dalai Lama To Kfc: Stay Out Of Tibet

Spiritual Leader Joins PETA’s Fight for a ‘KFC-Free Tibet’ and an End to KFC Cruelty

For Immediate Release:
24 June 2004

Andrew Butler 020 7357 9229, ext 230
Dawn Carr 020 7357 9229, ext 224

London – Writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), His Holiness the Dalai Lama dispatched a letter to David Novak, CEO of KFC’s parent company, Yum! Restaurants International, imploring him to abandon plans to expand KFC restaurants into Tibet, the Dalai Lama’s birthplace, from which he was forced to flee during the Chinese invasion. His Holiness explains that the cruel treatment endured by chickens who are raised and killed for KFC ‘violate[s] Tibetan values.’

‘It is … quite natural for me to support those who are currently protesting … the introduction of industrial food practices into Tibet that will perpetuate the suffering of huge numbers of chickens’, says the Dalai Lama, who also points out that the practice of eating chickens was popularised in Tibet by Chinese communists.

PETA attempted to work with Yum! Brands executives prior to launching its ‘Kentucky Fried Cruelty’ Campaign, but despite assurances made long ago by Senior Vice President Jonathan Blum that KFC would ‘raise the bar’ on animal welfare, the company refuses to eliminate the worst abuses. PETA has had additional high-profile support from internationally acclaimed sitarist Anoushka Shankar, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, actors Pamela Anderson and Richard Pryor, rock icons Sir Paul McCartney and Chrissie Hynde, and civil-rights leader Dick Gregory.

Undercover investigations into KFC suppliers in Germany, India, the United States and Australia have turned up exactly the same abuses as were found in the UK – crippled chickens living in crowded, filthy conditions.

There are more than 1,000 KFC locations in China – the most of any country outside the United States.

‘The Dalai Lama, who has spent his entire adult life advocating compassion, agrees with PETA that KFC stands for cruelty’, says PETA Director Dawn Carr. ‘Our motto “A KFC-Free Tibet” now joins “Free Tibet” as the Dalai Lama voices his objections to cruelty to animals.’

For more information, please visit PETA’s Web site KentuckyFriedCruelty.co.uk. Click here to read the Dalai Lama’s letter to David Novak.