How would YOU like to be boiled alive?

Reproducing verbatim a letter written by my daughter Kanchana and her friend Gayatri to the Chairman of KFC when they were both ten years old. Have preserved this gem to give it to him should i ever bump into him – if he is not bumped off by Kanch and Gayatri long before that! Unfortunately, Mr Novak did not see fit to reply – maybe he never got it!

“Date : January 3, 2004 

Kanchana Venkatesh and Gayatri Muralidhar




David Novak, Chairman and CEO

Yum! Brands

1441 Gardiner Lane

Louisville, KY 40213

                                                        Sub: KFC’s cruelty to chickens

Dear Sir,

We are of the opinion that the manner in which you (KFC) treat the chickens is unacceptable. After all, chickens like us have feelings and have the right to live. A chicken’s life is as important to it as your life is to you. Chickens are like dogs and cats but people don’t realise that chickens are as important as dogs and cats. Before you burn the chicken’s beaks, please think of how it would feel if somebody burnt your nose. Before you throw the chickens in boiling water, please think of how you would feel if you were thrown into boiling water.

Please give the chickens more space to live and please don’t separate them from their families. After all, none of us would like to be cramped up with a bunch of strangers, or taken away from our families. Put yourself in their (the chickens) positions – cramped up in a tiny cage with a million other people, dropped into boiling water while you are still conscious, having your bones broken by people crammed on top of you and having your neck slit open while still conscious.

We would appreciate it if you would put the chickens to sleep in a more kindly manner. They might not be human, but they can still feel pain. Human beings are not the only inhabitants of this earth. And it’s only in our minds that we are the most important.

Yours sincerely,

( Gayatri M and Kanchana V)

Ages: 10

p.s. Perhaps you could use chloroform to kill the chickens as it won’t hurt them much.”

My own helpful suggestion is to find a vegetarian option to KFC – presenting Kadhai paneer!


  • Paneer – 200 gms – cut into 1 cm cubes. Soak in warm, salted water and set aside
  • Onions – sliced – 2
  • Tomatoes – chunked – 2
  • Capsicum – cut into 1 cm squares – 1
  • Zucchini – optional – 1 cup sliced
  • Green chili – minced – 2
  • Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger – julienned – 1 cm piece + 1/2 tsp fried juliennes
  • Garlic – optional – 2 cloves – minced
  • Jeera – 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  • Chaat masala – 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt
  • Ghee – 1 tbsp
  • Sunflower oil – 1 tbsp
  • Kasooti methi – 1/2 tsp
  • Chopped coriander – 1 tbsp
  • Chopped mint – 1 tbsp – optional
  • 1/2 lemon  sliced

Heat the oil and ghee together in a pan – kadhai. Add jeera and sugar and when it sizzles, add the green chili. Stir and add the onions. Fry till golden brown. Add ginger and garlic and fry. Add the tomatoes, capsicum, zucchini, paneer and salt. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the kasooti methi, chaat masala and garam masala. Cover and cook for another 3 minutes till vegetables are tender but still retain their crunch. Switch off and sprinkle herbs over. Sprinkle some fried ginger juliennes over. Squeeze lemon just before serving with rotis or rice.

And oh, if you happen to meet Mr Novak, give him a dirty look from Gayatri and Kanchana!