While Burger King is hanging out with Clive Owen, its rival burgermeister, McDonald’s, is being egged by the likes of Ryan Gosling over its poultry practices.
The back story: When McDonald’s was informed that one of its egg suppliers was treating its chickens horrendously by shoving them into increasingly crowded spots to live upon the remains of now deceased chickens as well as cutting off their beaks so they couldn’t peck one another, the company immediately got out of the contract.
But protestors and activists want the fast-food giant to do a lot more than that. Celebrities including Ryan Gosling, Zooey Deschanel, Alicia Silverstone, and Steve-O (of Jackass fame) have signed a letter to McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner that asks Mickey D’s to release the birds from their impossibly small cages, according to ABC News.[more]
“On behalf of compassionate people everywhere, I implore you to help end the needless suffering of these animals by adopting strict and meaningful animal welfare policies worldwide, including the commitment to prohibit the purchase of eggs produced by hens who spend their miserable lives crammed into tiny wire cages,” says the letter. “While McDonald’s brags about the ‘billions and billions served,’ millions of hens exploited for your restaurants are being grossly underserved.”
The Sparboe situation was captured on video by the animal rights activists at Mercy for Animals. McDonald’s responded that it is checking out the idea of cage-free, ABC reports: “McDonald’s cares about how our food is sourced and we have a long history of action and commitment to improve the welfare of animals in our supply chain around the world,” the restaurant chain’s U.S. leadership rsponded, according to ABC News.
“In the United States, we are a founding member of the Coalition for Sustainable Egg Supply (CSES) and are participating in an unprecedented three-year study that compares traditional, cage-free, and enriched laying hen housing systems on a commercial scale. For our customers, that means we’re working with scientists and suppliers to determine the most optimal hen housing method considering impacts on hen health [and] welfare, food safety, environment, and other important factors. As a result of the study, McDonald’s USA is purchasing approximately 1 million eggs per month from each of the housing systems, including cage-free.”
Mercy for Animals executive director Nathan Runkle would like to see McDonald’s invest in a little more oversight over its suppliers. “McDonald’s lacks the basic policies and oversight to prevent blatant animal abuse at its egg suppliers,” he told ABC. He also noted that the battery cages chickens are kept in are “the model of efficiency but they place an emphasis on profit over animal welfare.”