McDonald’s has finally agreed to implement a less cruel chicken slaughter method, something that PETA has urged it to do for 20 years.
Starting in 1997, we attempted to work with McDonald’s to ease the suffering of animals killed for its restaurants. After two years—throughout which time the company failed to negotiate with us—we launched our fully fledged McCruelty campaign with The Pretenders’ Chrissie Hynde at the helm. We demanded that the chain switch to controlled-atmosphere killing of chickens in place of its current slaughter method, in which the birds are shocked, shackled, and hung upside down before their throats are slit. This method leaves many chickens conscious and able to feel pain when they hit the defeathering tanks—where they’re scalded to death.
However, the new slaughter regulations won’t take effect until 2024 and will apply to only 70 percent of McDonald’s chicken suppliers. While it’s certainly a victory for the birds, why wait seven years? And why only give the mandate to 70 percent of suppliers?
The company also completely fails to address the suffering of chickens who are bred to grow so large so fast that they often suffer from organ failure or become crippled under their own weight. And why is McDonald’s still lagging so far behind so many of its competitors in offering vegan options? Even its French fries contain beef fat.
Perhaps Hynde said it best:
“McDonald’s pledge will help reduce some horrific suffering, but millions of birds will still be scalded alive for McNuggets until the policy takes effect in 2024, and the company still raises chickens with crippled legs and deformities. Other chains have enacted much stronger protections already and have broadened their base by offering vegan options.”
You can help: Tweet @McDonalds to urge the restaurant to offer a vegan burger and make the fries vegan, too!