Millions of People Could See McDonald’s Animal Cruelty Ad in Times Square on New Year’s Eve

About 1 million people will visit New York’s Times Square this New Year’s Eve to count down the seconds to 2019 and watch the famous ball drop. Millions more will watch the ceremony online and on TV as some of the biggest stars perform for the packed crowd.

This year, every one of them could also see an ad showing chickens suffering at factory farms in McDonald’s supply chain.

A coalition of animal protection groups including Mercy For Animals recently renewed the ad to continue into the new year. The ad has been running since July, several times an hour from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. More than a million people pass by it every day. And millions more around the world could see it online and on TV during the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square.

McDonald’s suppliers breed chickens to grow so large so fast the birds often can’t support their own weight. Many can’t walk or even stand without severe pain and spend most of their lives sitting in old litter soaked with feces and urine, resulting in painful sores. Chickens are crowded in filthy, dark barns and are forced to breathe acrid ammonia-filled air that burns their lungs and eyes. Many birds die from organ failure before reaching the slaughterhouse.

In 2015, MFA released an undercover investigation into a factory farm supplying McDonald’s. The footage shows owners impaling birds with makeshift spiked clubs and stepping on birds’ heads while pulling their wings or bodies to break their necks; sick and injured chickens left to suffer without proper veterinary care; and birds collapsing under their own weight.

Two years later, McDonald’s released a weak statement outlining a vague and potentially misleading eight-point plan about the company’s treatment of animals. The statement fell far short of addressing many of the most pressing animal cruelty concerns.

So MFA joined forces with five other animal protection groups—Animal Equality, The Humane League, Compassion in World Farming, World Animal Protection, and Compassion Over Killing—to demand McDonald’s clearly and explicitly ban the worst abuses birds endure in its supply chain.

The coalition published an open letter in The New York Times last spring and organized grassroots outreach events, online and on the ground. McDonald’s knows consumers want to see these cruel practices end. Their customers won’t stand for the abuse the company allows its suppliers to inflict on animals raised and killed for chicken sandwiches and nuggets.

Disgusted by McDonald’s lack of compassion? Take action at

And remember, the best way to end animal cruelty is to withdraw your support of it by choosing compassionate plant-based foods.

For help switching to a vegan lifestyle, check out MFA’s FREE resource: The website offers a complimentary Vegetarian Starter Guide, tips and tricks, vegan recipes, product launch announcements, and even one-on-one advice from our vegetarian support specialists.