Today Kraft Heinz, the third-largest packaged food company in the U.S. and the fifth-largest in the world, publicly issued an animal welfare policy that commits to preventing some of the worst forms of cruelty to chickens raised and killed in conventional factory farms and slaughterhouses. And while we hate that any company would raise and slaughter animals for food, we know that as long as they do, they must have strong animal welfare policies to prevent the most horrific abuse.
Unfortunately, today is also a day of bad news. McDonald’s, just hours after Kraft Heinz issued its new policy, announced one of its own that fails to address many of the abuses Kraft Heinz, Burger King, Subway, and dozens of other companies have banned as too cruel for their supply chains.
McDonald’s is aware of these abuses—we know because we met with the fast-food giant’s leadership and repeatedly told them. Yet the company decided to allow extreme animal suffering by failing to adopt the minimum standards necessary to prevent it.
The new policy allows McDonald’s chicken suppliers to continue using birds who are genetically bred to grow so fast that many can’t support their own weight. Their legs are in constant pain, and as a result, most birds are forced to spend their lives sitting in their own waste. This often leads to severe feather loss, scabs and oozing sores, and painful lesions. It’s truly horrific, yet McDonald’s policy permits it.
What’s more, the policy fails to guarantee enough floor space for birds raised and slaughtered for McDonald’s products. Birds at factory farms are crammed into overcrowded barns. Even worse, the barns are dark, and the birds don’t see sunlight until the day they are brutally loaded into transport trucks and sent to slaughter.
McDonald’s knows consumers want to see these cruel practices end. This policy is truly shameful.
We believe that McDonald’s will eventually adopt the necessary animal welfare standards, but only after enough people make clear to the company's leadership that animal cruelty will not be tolerated. Let them know you’re disgusted with their failed policy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram right now! The more McDonald’s hears from you, the sooner the fast-food chain will accept that allowing extreme animal cruelty is wrong, immoral, and unacceptable.
And remember, the best choice we can make to help chickens is simply to leave them off our plates. Visit ChooseVeg.com for a free Vegetarian Starter Guide and free recipes and meal plans.