KFC made a video game. It’s terrible. What’s worse, though, is literally everything else about KFC. Don’t let them off the hook.
Content warning: animal abuse
This week, international fast food chain KFC entered the tedious space of advert-games with I Love You Colonel Sanders, a dating sim done up in anime style meant to be a lighthearted promotion of the brand among gamers.
In reality, there’s nothing fun about it. Other outlets have already dished on why the game is a trash heap, but I couldn’t let the brand’s brief, unearned moment in the sun pass without also offering a reminder of what makes Kentucky Fried Chicken so problematic in ways well beyond just horrible commercials masquerading as video games.
For one, KFC is singularly responsible for slaughtering over one billion chickens annually. Often regarded as the most abused animal on earth, KFC takes up a sizable portion of that systemic abuse in the name of gross sandwiches and low wages. The average food prep worker at KFC doesn’t even make $10/hour.
KFC is complicit in a supply chain which crams birds into spaces that often don’t allow them to simply turn around. They overfeed birds to ensure maximum meat on their fragile bones, leaving many unable to walk at all. This means some female chickens must be artificially inseminated by human workers with turkey basters so they can lay eggs and keep the horrific assembly line of exploitative practices moving swiftly.
This same supply chain forcibly removes the beaks from female baby chicks. The males, meanwhile, are often thrown away — literally. Like garbage, even while they’re still alive, because they can’t lay eggs.
Chickens still on route to KFC will have their throats slit and get dropped into scalding-hot water to quicken the removal of their feathers. These are conscious creatures that cannot speak our verbal languages, but they blatantly express pain and an innate desire to live — and live well. Many choose every day to ignore their systemic, inhumane suffering because we have normalized this behavior, and because it’s conveniently been made illegal to expose slaughterhouses with photos or videos due to factory farming lobbies.
According to PETA, one of KFC’s “Supplier of the Year” award winners was revealed to involve “workers[…]tearing the heads off live birds, spitting tobacco into their eyes, spray-painting their faces, and violently stomping on them. This was discovered more than two years after KFC promised PETA that it was taking animal welfare seriously.”
KFC doesn’t want you to think about these things when you play their dating sim. They want you to laugh at its awful writing. They want you to connect your feeling of hunger with their dollar sandwiches made by underpaid staff around the world. That would be convenient for them, but they couldn’t possibly deserve such a blind eye.
Factory farming is one of the chief contributors to global warming.
Factory farming disproportionately affects low-income communities.
Year after year, factory farming is unsafe for millions of humans, deadly for billions of nonhuman animals, and more quickly harming our planet than any other source. KFC doesn’t want you to think about their complicity when you play their terrible advert-game, but you should.
Ask KFC why they so willfully trade the health of our planet and its inhabitants for profit. Tag us in your questions to them and feel free to share this article with them and their proponents. Change is so desperately needed for all conscious creatures, and KFC clearly isn’t getting the message when they’re spending resources on bad ads pretending to be games while they could be cleaning up their mess to improve living conditions worldwide. No one should let KFC off the hook, especially as that’s where they love to put victimized animals.