The late colonel's fried chicken deserves the title because of the worldwide attention and economic benefit it has brought to the state, Siler said. KFC, a subsidiary of Louisville-based Yum Brands Inc., has 11,000 restaurants in more than 80 countries.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals bristles at the idea. The animal rights group claims that the chickens KFC serves are abused, even tortured.
"If the state legislature moves forward with this one, then they should change Kentucky's state bird from the cardinal to the debeaked, crippled, scalded, diseased, dead chicken," said Bruce Friedrich, PETA vice president.
PETA has been involved in a long-standing battle with KFC, and even began a push two years ago to have a bust of the bespectacled Colonel Sanders removed from the Kentucky Capitol. Sanders, with his white goatee and black string tie, became recognizable worldwide by marketing his fried chicken.