“We have a responsibility to care for the millions of animals in our supply chain… We understand and acknowledge the significant responsibility we have to help ensure these animals experience good welfare throughout their lives.”
These are the statements that head the Animal Health and Welfare section of the McDonald’s website.
Let’s imagine that you are a chicken born onto a farm that supplies McDonald’s. During the course of your short, miserable life, your baby body will grow to mammoth proportions. If you’re unlucky enough to survive the first weeks (about 4.4% of birds will not), your weak legs, likely deformed skeleton, and underdeveloped internal organs will all strain from the pounds of meat you were born to grow. (Here’s some startling context: if humans grew at a rate similar to McDonald’s chickens, they would weigh 660 pounds at just two months old.) Your weak body will rest on soiled litter, so you’ll develop painful lesions on your legs and the bottom of your feet. After a few weeks of life, you’ll be trucked off to the slaughterhouse, never having known anything but your miserable time in an overcrowded, noxious shed.
This is standard treatment for virtually all chickens in the U.S., but things are starting to change. Thanks to the efforts of compassionate people and organizations around the country, major companies—including Subway and Burger King—have signed on to major reforms in their supply chain. These comprehensive changes include breeds of birds who will suffer less as they grow, more space for each animal, and better housing conditions. Despite nearly 100 major companies signing on to this pledge, there has been one standout who has resisted change: McDonald’s.
In fact, worse than resisting, McDonald’s has misled their customers by putting out a policy that mimics the tone and style of the real pledge, but omits the most meaningful reforms.'
Read more: What's Really in McDonald's Happy Meals? Here's the Awful Truth
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