This week an anonymous donor made a generous $10,000 gift to Mercy For Animals in honor of Dr. Elliot Katz. Dr. Katz is a veterinarian who has taken his love of animals above and beyond, surpassing even the most dedicated of activists. With a long history in the animal rights movement, he is also the founder of the organization In Defense of Animals, which has worked to protect animals, people, and the environment for over 30 years.
This generous donation to MFA comes with a mandate to focus on one of the most daunting issues in farmed animal advocacy: the immense suffering of chickens used for meat. Sadly, chickens are some of the most abused animals on the planet, making up 98 percent of the animals raised and killed for food in the U.S. Thanks to a cruel combination of genetic manipulation and drugs, chickens raised for meat are bred to grow so large so fast that they often become immobilized under their own weight and endure debilitating pain. Many suffer heart attacks, organ failure, and other problems. Chickens are intelligent and sensitive animals who are denied even the most basic legal protections, so the horrific scale of their suffering makes advocating for them a top priority at MFA.
To reduce these birds’ suffering, MFA has been working tirelessly to persuade some of the largest food companies—and many up-and-coming restaurants—to adopt meaningful animal welfare standards for chickens. In 2018 alone, our corporate engagement team secured commitments from 22 companies, covering 34 brands, that will spare millions of chickens some of the worst cruelties of the meat industry.
We’ve also joined forces with several of the most effective animal protection organizations to take the campaign against McDonald’s to the next level. The coalition launched a 56-foot video ad in Times Square revealing the cruelty McDonald’s permits. Each day, over a million people pass by and see the truth about how chickens are treated in the company's supply chain.
Our joint campaign to pressure McDonald’s continues, and you can join it here. The anonymous and incredibly generous gift in Dr. Katz’s name will help ensure our work can continue. If you’d also like to support MFA’s work defending chickens and other abused animals, you can make a donation here. Any amount, large or small, makes a difference for animals.