Time for McDonald’s to change its ways on chicken welfare?

Time for McDonald’s to change its ways on chicken welfare – words Alexa Wang

Slowly but surely, over many years, high street restaurant chains have been changing their ways. A lot of this change has been driven by pressure from consumers and campaigners. Major food chains value their brand image very highly so if that image is threatened, they can respond in two ways. They can fight back and try to regain the upper hand and regain control of the story or they can face up to criticism and maybe do something about it.

McDonald’s have often been the company under most scrutiny. They have been changing their ways, increasingly aware that the paying public care about what goes into their food and animal welfare. But when it comes to treatment of the chickens they raise though to use in their restaurants they are woefully coming up short.

With that in mind, The Humane League is launching a global brand-jacking campaign that brings their commitment-phobia to light. #McGhoster aims to attract public attention towards McDonald’s failure to commit to meaningful improvements for chickens, creating a pressure group that’s impossible for them to ignore: their own consumers.

McDonald’s invests so much in portraying itself as the friendly ‘good-guy’ and as industry leaders. And, while it has taken progressive steps on some animal welfare issues, the truth is that when the suffering of millions upon millions of chickens—the most numerous animals in McDonald’s supply chain—is at stake, McDonald’s fails to live up to the upstanding image its portrays”, said Elliott from The Humane League.

Yes, they have come up with a new ‘improved welfare’ policy but it’s more of a PR fudge than any real improvement. The chickens are still unnaturally bred so that they grow much larger, and much faster than they should. This is obviously done to maximise meat and thus profit but it can have a disastrous effect on the birds themselves. This means that they are often unable to stand up or walk and can be left to lie in their own excrement. What’s more, eating meat from sick and debilitated chickens, raised within cramped and confined factory farms, can put humans at risk of contracting bacterial infections such as salmonella and campylobacter. 

Instead of fobbing the public off with a PR led policy, ‘ghosting’ us, McDonalds should be shamed into putting a real and meaningful policy into place that would have a real impact on the welfare of their chickens. 

To highlight this issue a film has been produced that takes place in the ‘McDonald’s Mansion’ in the aftermath of a raucous party. As the scene unfolds, we hear angry voicemails from people who feel they’ve been misled and ‘ghosted’ by the host of the party. Overlayed on this grand scene is a stern wake-up call to the corporation: The Party’s Over, McDonald’s. 

You can watch and share the film from Facebook or YouTube.

Viewers are then encouraged to sign the petition at McGhoster.com to apply pressure.

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