Vegan chicken alternative brand VFC has won an award for its film exposing conditions on a UK farm supplying KFC.
Matthew Glover, the owner of the brand, made the film in response to a video released by KFC called Behind The Bucket. The fast food restaurant teamed up with Joe.co.uk and social media influencer Niko Omilana to create a film that appeared to show chickens living in reasonable conditions on a meat farm.
But when Glover visited the same farm, which is in Lincolnshire, he found dead chickens on the floor and sick and injured birds. He also discovered plastic-wrapped bales and perches that the birds could not access.
“Being able to make these films and raise awareness of the terrible suffering these gentle creatures have to endure is enough of a reward for me,” Glover told Plant Based News (PBN). “I am only doing what I believe is right. The only way for people to stop participating in these cruel industries is if they see the truth. That is what motivates me to continue this work everyday.”
He added that he’s “humbled and honored” to receive the award, and expressed hope it will help it reach a wider audience of people. “The truth is our greatest weapon in this fight for change,” he continued.
Filmmaker Chris Shoebridge said: “telling powerful stories and creating beautiful images that reveal difficult truths and celebrate solutions is the very best way I can contribute to animal protection and a kinder world. When a film like this one receives an award it’s a huge honour, but what really motivates me is using storytelling to inspire change.”
Shoebridge added that the KFC investigation “underscores the significance of film as a medium for this kind of activism.”
“Powerful companies spend tens of millions of dollars hiding the truth from consumers through marketing, frivolous lawsuits, lobbying for ag gag legislation, or setting up their own ‘assurance schemes’. Yet just a few nights of investigative work, costing only a few thousand pounds, was featured in national newspapers, received more than 15 million views across social media, and showed people all over the world what really happens on chicken farms.”
Chicken farming in the UK
The UK often claims to have “world-leading” animal welfare, but numerous investigations have called this into question.
So-called “broiler chickens” (those raised for meat) are almost always raised in horrific conditions. Around 95 percent of them are factory farmed, and some are now being housed in barns with up to a million other birds.
Most have been selectively bred to be ready for slaughter at around 35 days old. They have been dubbed “frankenchickens,” and many suffer from mobility, heart, and respiratory problems because of their size. If a human baby grew at the rate they did, the baby would be the size of an adult tiger at eight weeks old.
You can watch Where Does KFC Chicken Come From? on the Plant Based News YouTube channel