Twitter is buzzing about Oprah at the moment, and not regards to the quanity of her followers. Apparently she’s promoting KFC’s new grilled chicken giveaway. Though feeding people is a good thing, this promotion is a bad thing because Oprah has said she’s opposed to factory farming and KFC, obviously, gets their meat from factory farms, which are obviously not good. The saga is well summarized here. At first I was really excited to retweet the protests (check the tag #oprahkfc if you’re interested) and get in on the action. I mean, really Oprah, what were you thinking? Factory farms are terrible!
But then I got to thinking about it. How often do I promote something (businesses, restaurants, activities) that actually has underlying negative aspects? Nothing anymore is clear cut. If I were Oprah (and its probably good I’m not) I probably wouldn’t have given the chickens’ origin a second thought. Same as I usually don’t think about the origin of the food at the restaurants I promote on this blog, or the conditions of the factories at the stores I buy my clothes from. Yes, ideally I would, but it just doesn’t seem practical to do so all the time.
I realize that Oprah is a very public figure and PETA’s 2008 person of the year. She shouldn’t be promoting companies that utilize factory farms. But I suspect she was more interested in helping people get a free meal than she was factory farms when she made the decision to support KFC. Hunger is an important issue, poverty is increasing in this economic downturn. A free meal could make someone’s day. I’m opposed to factory farming, but I’d rather people eat Kentucky Fried Chicken for dinner than not have any food at all. I’m gonna cut Oprah a little slack on this one.