PRAY 4 JEFF. The Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos had the unpleasantness of briefly having to deal with a member of the public yesterday.
During a 'fireside chat' interview at Amazon's re:MARS conference, covering robotics and artificial intelligence, a protester broke on stage to talk to Bezos about the plight of chickens. Something that wasn't on the agenda.
Perhaps naively thinking that Bezos might give more thought to livestock than he does to his employees, the protester announced" "I have been inside Amazon chicken farms, where animals are criminally abused."
Bezos must have pressed the Amazon Dash button marked "security" pretty quickly, because immediately four people emerged to escort her offstage. "You're the richest man on the planet, you can help the animals, you can help the environment," she called as she exited.
This is all true, but his first thought may well be to up the $1.6m a year the company spends on security to protect him from having to consider such things. Or he might have been daydreaming about buying another multi-million-pound timepiece. Who can say?
In any case, Bezos' immediate response was to ask the interviewer "do you have a response to that?", prompting laughter from the audience. He then got back to talking about more comfortable topics: Amazon's broadband satellite plan, the infrastructure needed for space travel and his advice for entrepreneurs. Nothing further was said on the plight of Amazon's poultry.
Direct Action Everywhere claimed credit for the protest, putting out a press release highlighting animal cruelty at an Amazon chicken supplier in California.
As for the protester, she was later identified as 30-year-old Priya Sawhney, who was promptly arrested on charges of misdemeanor trespassing. Hopefully, the cells in Las Vegas offer better conditions than Amazon's chicken coops. µ
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