Still Not Lovin' It

McDonald's isn't budging. Neither are we.

A full-page ad in Crain’s Chicago Business weekly newspaper called on McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook to “do better for chickens.”

An open letter to McDonald’s, published in the Chicago Tribune, listed scores of food brands that have committed to meaningful animal welfare policies and asked why McDonald’s hasn’t. Another full-page ad in the Dallas Morning News urged the company to ban the worst chicken abuse.

As the company’s executives worked from their headquarters in Chicago, just days before hosting McDonald’s annual shareholders meeting in Dallas, mobile billboards displaying Mr. Easterbrook and suffering chickens circled the building.

At the same time, dozens of activists held signs and distributed flyers outside the building’s entrance.

Two huge inflatable chickens and Abby, our abused chicken mascot, caught the attention of passersby on Randolph Street in busy downtown Chicago throughout the week.

These eye-catching displays were part of a coalition-wide McDonald’s week of action Mercy For Animals organized with Animal Equality and The Humane League. The week was part of a campaign that launched in March 2018 against the fast-food giant.

Actions extended far beyond Chicago. Hen Heroes took daily actions, including a tweetstorm and comments on McDonald’s Facebook and Instagram posts. Attendees of our digital action parties left phone messages for McDonald’s executives and amplified the public outcry on social media. Demonstrations were held at McDonald’s locations in cities across the country.

We also tapped into the influence of our celebrity supporters with a powerful video calling on McDonald’s to take action.

Twenty-five celebrities lent their voices, including James Cromwell, Emily Deschanel, Alison Pill, Kimberly Elise, Matt Lauria, Daisy Fuentes, Andrew Keegan, Emma Kenney, John Salley, Joanna Krupa, and Moby.

The ad has received more than half a million views online, and nearly a million viewers in the Chicago area saw it on TV.

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McDonald’s restaurants in the United States receive more chicken from Tyson Foods than from any other supplier.

Mercy For Animals investigators have repeatedly exposed egregious animal abuse inside Tyson Foods contractor farms, even prompting criminal investigations.

Some of the abuse—and downright torture—included a factory farm owner clubbing and stabbing chickens using a wooden pole with a large spike attached to the end and standing on the birds’ heads and pulling their bodies to break their necks.

The investigation footage also reveals birds bred to grow so fast they became crippled under their own weight. Unable to move, birds developed painful sores and open wounds exacerbated by feces-covered floors.

Companies can alleviate some of this suffering by shifting to different breeds; giving birds more space; improving lighting; providing enrichments, like perches and nesting areas; and making other changes.

Every day that McDonald’s refuses to act, they are allowing extreme suffering to continue and ignoring their customers.

Join us in telling McDonald’s to adopt a meaningful welfare policy for chickens.