McDonald’s wants you to “see what we’re made of.” Brace yourself.
The pork in your Egg McMuffin or McRib comes from pigs, of course. What you may not know is that those pigs are birthed by female “breeding” pigs who lead miserable lives, to put it mildly. They live in impossibly small enclosures called “gestation crates,” in which the pigs can barely move. These dirty, restrictive enclosures frequently cause pigs to become covered in sores, open wounds, and infections.
It doesn’t have to be that way: Burger King and Wendy’s have completely phased out gestation crates from their pork supply. Now it’s up to McDonald’s to do the same.
McDonald’s has the power to push its pork suppliers to eliminate gestation crates and improve the lives of female breeding pigs. Please add your name to the petition asking McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner to ensure McDonald’s pork suppliers stop using gestation crates.
McDonald’s has paid lip service to freeing pigs from gestation crates; in 2007, the company even said moving away from these unnecessary enclosures was “at the top of its agenda.” Five years later, pigs at Smithfield Foods, where McDonald’s buys its pork, are still in gestation grates.
McDonald’s is the biggest customer of Smithfield Foods, the largest pork producer in the world. While Smithfield initially pledged to eliminate gestation crates entirely by 2017, the pork processing corporation went back on its promise in 2009.
Smithfield Foods initially blamed the poor economy for indefinitely sticking its pigs in cramped quarters. Yet now Smithfield is posting record profits, meaning the company can recommit to phasing out gestation crates by 2017.
Meredith Slater started a petition on Change.org asking McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner to pressure Smithfield to renew its promise and completely phase out gestation crates by 2017. Click here to sign Meredith’s petition to bring McDonald’s in line with the rest of the fast food industry: