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Updated: Oprah in hot water with chicken lovers on Twitter

May 6, 2009 |  4:08 pm


What is it with Oprah and farm animals? First, Oprah was in trouble with the beef industry. Now, it's chickens.

Some chicken lovers -- as in those concerned about the welfare of our fine-feathered friends -- are mad at The O for promoting Kentucky Fried Chicken coupons for a free, two-piece grilled chicken meal. As for everyone else? They can't get enough.

How successful is this giveaway? There are lines, lines, lines at KFCs everywhere. And consider this note at the Oprah website: Due to heavy demand, you may experience some slowness navigating to the website. Please be patient and try again later.

But some critics are calling foul (Sorry! Couldn't resist) on Oprah. They say it's hypocritical, particularly since Oprah has tried to shed a spotlight on farm animal cruelty -- a spotlight that helped lead PETA to award her its "Person of the Year" honors. On Twitter, @civileater and others are urging opponents to voice their opinion using #oprahkfc. (You can read more about this blogger's objections here at Civil Eats.) 

Hmmm. All adds up to lots of traffic: Maybe that's why Twitter's been so slow today.

A spokeswoman said that Oprah's intent was simply to give families a financial break during these tough economic times. (Here's what one Twitterer, @nickolausjoshua, had to say about it: Free KFC!!!!)

On a mildly related front, it's worth mentioning that it's International Respect for Chickens Month. And that we, uh, had two-front page Food section stories today about, um, buying them and marinating them.

-- Rene Lynch

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