In Georgia—the poultry capital of the world—drivers in the city of Cumming will now encounter massive billboards asking whistleblowers to speak out against any wrongdoings they’ve witnessed at Tyson Foods or McDonald’s. In English and Spanish, the signs are intended to reach thousands of people affected by the chicken industry and introduce them to our new resource: ChickieLeaks.com.
A secure online platform meant to give a voice to those who've suffered in the chicken industry, ChickieLeaks.com is a place where folks can report wrongdoings by Tyson or McDonald's. Tyson Foods is the largest poultry producer in the United States and supplies McDonald’s with most of its chicken.
Mercy For Animals has conducted four undercover investigations into Tyson chicken facilities, and each time we’ve documented animal abuse. See for yourself:
McDonald’s is the world’s largest fast-food chain and purchases hundreds of millions of chickens annually in the United States alone. Despite its enormous power, the company has fallen behind many of its top competitors when it comes to the welfare of chickens raised for meat.
While chickens suffer immensely at the hands of these companies, the human cost is also steep. Contract poultry farming for companies like Tyson Foods is often referred to as indentured servitude by farmers themselves, since they take on excessive debt, struggle to pay it off, and are forced to compete in a zero-sum tournament system with fellow contract farmers.
Christopher Leonard, former Associated Press agriculture reporter and author of The Meat Racket, said:
The farmers have almost no control over the most important things in the operation. The farmer has no control over what quality of chicks are delivered to the farm, whether they are healthy or not. The farmer doesn’t control what kind of feed is delivered to the farm. So essentially they end up taking orders from a big company like Tyson Foods in the same way a serf might be tied to a lord many, many years ago.
We know many contract farmers and processing plant workers are deeply unhappy with how big meat companies treat them. They have many harrowing stories to tell. Collaborating with them presents a powerful opportunity: If we can gain the support of the very people who raise animals for food, we can work with them to reduce suffering inside their farms—and we might even be able to encourage them to shift their careers away from animal exploitation.
In addition to the billboards, Mercy For Animals will purchase print ads in local Georgia media and initiate direct-mail campaigns in chicken farming communities in several states, such as Arkansas, where Tyson Foods is headquartered.
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