Friday, April 9, 2010

KFC - Double Down on an aneurysm

Wow. The KFC Double Down.
There is so much for a vegan blogger to say about this that it actually renders you speechless.

Here's a news story on this new menu item from the L.A. Times. That should cover the basics for you. Additionally, I'll let all the other vegan and diet bloggers do the ranting.

Here's my main thought right now - in 2010, when you're talking about the primary problems facing N. America, you're talking about climate change and health issues. And by health issues the big topics are the diabetes and obesity epidemics hitting both the U.S. and Canada.

Other companies are starting to see the light on the health front. Pepsi for example has recently dedicated itself to making all of its snack foods less "junky". The CEO has flat out said that they feel a certain amount of corporate responsibility for N. American health problems, and want to be part of the solution.

So this kind of thought is percolating in some company's head offices, but KFC? Well, KFC has suddenly decided upon a "What would Homer Simpson do" approach to menu planning.

A funny side-story to all this is that about a year or two ago, KFC in Canada succumbed to pressure from some animal rights groups, and started offering something close to a veggie-burger. The Double-Down must be their little "f*^k you!" to the forces that put a non-meat item on their menu.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Meatlessness hitting the mainstream

The March 29 issue of Maclean's magazine (this is Canada's national news magazine, something like Time and Newsweek in the U.S.) devoted a four page spread to a story called "Save the Planet / Stop Eating Meat."

Wow - Due to the environmental movement, and the C02 emissions related to the meat industry, "anti-meat" stories have been getting more space in the mainstream media. I'm still surprised though at this four page spread in what I imagine is Canada's best selling magazine.

The content is pretty good and wide-ranging. For readers (and writers) of veggie blogs it is probably well-known stuff, but for your aunt who doesn't know what a vegan is, this is a good introduction.

Some things I learned from the article are the following:

The American Meat Institute has launched a website called Meat Fuels America to fight back against the attacks being made upon them by environmental groups. Interestingly, their only argument seems to be economic - Meat is a Big Industry, so let's keep it going!

The Baltimore Public School system has instituted Meatless Mondays! This is awesome, and I'm impressed they did this despite the fact that they must have known it would make them the target of attack from the meat industry.

Of course, this isn't such a big deal when the meat industry is inept. They apparently wrote to Baltimore school officials and said that meatless mondays were wrong because they were preventing children from getting adequate protein. They did not seem to know that other foods apart from meat contain protein:

If [the meat lobby] had bothered to contact the Baltimore City Schools [it] would have found that each meat-free meal contains more than the amount of protein required by the USDA