Protesters picketed outside the shareholders' meeting of KFC Canada Wednesday, just days after the company's CEO invited Hollywood animal-rights activist Pamela Anderson ( search) to lunch.
Last week, Anderson, star of the TV sitcom "Stacked," ( search) called for a boycott of KFC ( search), alleging suppliers of the fast-food chain mistreat the chickens they slaughter.
John Bitove, chairman and CEO of KFC Canada operator Priszm Canadian Income Fund, fired back, issuing a letter saying Anderson had been misinformed. He invited the 37-year-old actress to have lunch with him "anywhere, anytime."
Bitove declared "the facts are 'Stacked'" against Anderson and said he wanted her to be "kept fully abreast" of KFC's ethical practices.
Anderson responded Wednesday, turning down the invitation and saying in a letter that Bitove would be "dining alone" if the company didn't change its ways.
"Your attempt to spin your company's involvement in the crippling and drugging of millions of animals each year is a turnoff," she wrote.
Her call for the boycott is being publicized by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. On a PETA Web site, Anderson narrates a five-minute video that documents apparent mistreatment of chickens at KFC suppliers in the United States.
"If KFC treated dogs or cats as abusively as it treats chickens, Mr. Bitove, you could be prosecuted for the crime of cruelty to animals," Anderson said in the letter, which was relayed by PETA.
About 20 protesters demonstrated outside Priszm's shareholders meeting, handing out pamphlets that quoted Anderson.
Bitove said KFC buys its chickens from the same places that sell to grocery stores and other restaurants in Canada, and company officials "regularly and randomly audit our suppliers to augment government oversight and better ensure that chickens are treated ethically."
Yum! Brands, the U.S.-based parent company of KFC, also has disputed the claims of mistreatment.