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The Chicago Tribune reports that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is planning to relaunch its “McCruelty” campaign against McDonald’s as it looks to get the fast feeder to pressure its chicken suppliers to kill their chickens more humanely.

According to the story, there are two ways to kill a chicken before slaughter. One is to knock it unconscious with an electric jolt before cutting its throat, and the other is to gas it – which is the more humane practice preferred by PETA.

PETA and McDonald’s called a truce back in 2000 when the fast feeder agreed to pressure its slaughterhouses to use more humane ways to kill cows that eventually were going to be turned into Big Macs and Quarter Pounders. But PETA apparently isn’t satisfied with progress on the chicken front, and plans to expand a campaign it has been using – with limited success – against KFC.

McDonald’s, for its part, maintains that its research shows that gassing isn’t necessarily more humane than electric shocks and throat cutting…and there are at least some animal experts who agree.

KC's View:
Readers of this site know that I take a certain perverse pleasure in tweaking PETA, mostly because we all know that its ultimate goal is to turn the world into a spinning globe of vegetarians. But I have to admit that the various descriptions of how chickens are out to death – the Tribune writes that “in most U.S. chicken slaughterhouses, birds are plucked from bins by workers and hung upside down on an assembly lines … their heads are dragged through brine and a shock is administered, which if done properly knocks the bird senseless … a whirring blade then cuts its throat” – certainly goes into the “you really don't want to know how sausages are made” file.