What’s Wrong With McDonald’s?

If you were a chicken, Ronald McDonald would represent the devil and the golden arches would be Hell on Earth. Of course, many restaurants contribute to the killing of animals for meat, but in the United States, McDonald’s is one of the worst culprits when it comes to the suffering of animals in its supply chain.

DENIED EVERYTHING THAT’S NATURAL TO THEM: Chicks in a natural setting would form strong bonds with their mothers, who would nurture them and teach them life skills. But chickens in the commercial meat industry, like those raised for McDonald’s menu items, never get to meet their moms. They’re hatched in incubators and treated like commodities from the moment they’re born. The chickens spend nearly their entire lives crammed into filthy sheds where they’re unable to take dust baths, smell fresh air, or do anything that these normally curious birds enjoy to do.

NO ROOM TO MOVE: Chickens on McDonald’s supply chain farms are trapped with tens of thousands of other birds. Typically they’re packed so tightly, that each bird only has as much space as an iPad to move about. But there’s no minimum space requirement for chickens on these farms, so the birds could oftentimes even have less space. This intense confinement not only is psychological torture, but it also causes health issues and limits the birds’ access to food and water. Could you imagine being stuck inside an overcrowded bus or elevator for your entire life?!

LIVING IN FILTH: The birds’ litter is rarely changed, forcing chickens to sit, eat, and sleep in their own waste. Because they’re often too heavy to lift themselves off the ground, the ammonia-laden litter burns the birds’ bellies causing feather loss and boils, while the putrid air stings their eyes.

PURPOSEFULLY BRED TO QUICKLY GROW ABNORMALLY LARGE: In order to increase profits, McDonald’s uses suppliers that breed chickens with unnaturally rapid growth rates. This causes many chickens’ legs to buckle under their own weight, leaving them in constant pain and unable to stand or walk. Because of their crippling leg deformities, many chickens languish and die when they can’t reach food and water. The chickens’ organs also can’t keep up with how quickly their bodies grow, and heart attacks and organ failure are common.

HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF CHICKENS KILLED ANNUALLY: The birds who survive the terrible conditions at the farm are shipped to the slaughterhouse where they endure a horrifying death, just for McDonald’s. Workers shackle the terrified birds upside down by their legs, and because the slaughter process moves so quickly, many birds aren’t properly stunned. This means that they’re often conscious when their throats are slit and are scalded to death when they reach the defeathering tanks.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: The best way to help chickens and other animals raised for meat is simply by not eating them, but you can also help the millions of birds suffering for McDonald’s right now by joining us in asking the fast food chain to ban the cruelest farming practices in its supply chain.

Over 200 brands – including many of McDonald’s competitors – have already committed to making meaningful changes that will improve the lives of these smart and social animals. Meanwhile, McDonald’s continues to put profits over compassion. It’s time for a change!