business news in context, analysis with attitude

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) reportedly has filed a shareholder resolution against Costco Wholesale, asking that the company disclose what it has done to evaluate “controlled atmosphere killing,” which generally is considered to be a less cruel way of slaughtering poultry. PETA says that Costco has not made public its animal welfare policies, and that Costco is selling “tortured, crippled chickens who are scalded to death,” according to PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich.

PETA reportedly owns 65 shares of stock in Costco, which allows it to file shareholder resolutions such as this.
KC's View:
First of all, just to be clear about this, I want to say that I’m not in favor of torturing and crippling chickens that are scalded to death before they are defeathered and sold to be cooked and eaten. If they can be gently put to sleep before they are defeathered, packaged, cooked and eaten, all the better.

But here is where I have a problem with PETA. It is the organization’s use of pronouns.

PETA Vice President Bruce Friedrich talks about chickens “who” are scalded to death.

Last time I checked the old stylebook, “who” was a pronoun reserved for actual people. Not animals.

I’m not saying that PETA is wrong on this, or that chickens ought to be tortured. Far from it. I just think we have to keep our pronouns straight – an “it” is an “it,” and a “who” is a “who.”