McDonald’s Cruelty: Creating Mentally Broken & Physically Destroyed Animals

McDonald’s Cruelty: Creating Mentally Broken & Physically Destroyed Animals

By Bruce Friedrich

More than 99 percent of eggs used by McDonald’s in the U.S. come from chickens confined in tiny, barren cages, in what is certainly the most abusive factory farming system in existence.

As you can see in this video from a Mercy for Animals investigation into a McDonald’s supplier, the animals’ muscles and bones deteriorate from lack of use, and these inquisitive and doting mothers go insane from having almost every natural desire thwarted.

I remember when I saw my first video from a battery cage; I couldn’t believe the mummified bodies of hens in cages with live hens, the investigators peeling the rotting corpses from the cages. I was sure it was a particularly bad “farm.” But it turned out that all of the many subsequent undercover investigations found this same gruesome reality in battery cage facilities, and it’s common enough that the industry has a name for it — “cage fatigue.” It happens when the animals’ bodies deteriorate so thoroughly that they become paralyzed, causing them to dehydrate to death. Click here or here for documentation and video.

The animals also go insane. It’s worth remembering that chickens do extremely well in tests of cognitive function and behavioral sophistication. Discovery Magazine reported on research from the University of Bristol: “Chickens do not just live in the present but can anticipate the future and demonstrate self-control… something previously attributed only to humans and other primates…” But in battery cages, chickens can barely move; like a dog or cat would in similar conditions, the animals go insane from the lack of mental stimulation.

In Europe, McDonald’s has received awards for getting rid of this same system beginning in 1998. In 2008, I attended a ceremony in the Houses of Parliament in the UK at which a McDonald’s Europe executive said about getting rid of battery cages, “We believe this is the right thing to do. This is the latest step in McDonald’s evolution from being a fast food company to a company that serves good food, fast.”

He was right, and it’s way past time for McDonald’s in the United States to listen. McDonald’s nearly-exclusive use of battery cage eggs in the U.S. is indefensible, grotesquely unethical, and hugely inconsistent with its own policies in other countries. Eating at McDonald’s, of course, directly supports the abuse.

It’s worth noting that Burger King — McDonald’s top competitor — has pledged to do away with its support for the system completely.

Bruce Friedrich
Bruce Friedrich

If you know someone who eats at McDonald’s, please send them a link to this article. Please also share it on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites.

And please click here to send an email to McDonald’s executives urging them to take action. Together, we can convince McDonald’s to stop supporting horrific cruelty to animals.

Bruce Friedrich is Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives at Farm Sanctuary.

Ocean Robbins is co-author of Voices of The Food Revolution, and serves as adjunct professor for Chapman University and CEO and co-host (with best-selling author John Robbins) of the 150,000+ member Food Revolution Network. He is also co-founder of Youth for Environmental Sanity (YES!) and author of Choices For Our Future and of The Power of Partnership.

57 COMMENTS

  1. If the mere fact that what you get to eat at McDonalds is really unhealthy is not enough for you to change your fast food ways… then maybe your compassionate side is more powerful than your taste buds.

  2. I haven’t eaten at McDonalds for years for several reasons but here is another compelling reason to not only avoid eating their food but to help stop animal cruelty and abuse that is so abundant in this country. This is absolutely, positively wrong and must be stopped!

  3. No, I won’t “click here to send an email… urging them to take action,” and I won’t eat at Burger King instead. It’s alarming to me that the animal cruelty accusation gets a response when the nutritional argument is ignored – that we care about chickens but not our own children. Despicable!

  4. Are you part of the problem…or will you help become the solution? A cone…a smoothie…a salad…it all means you’re helping perpetuate the McDonald’s abuse. McDonald’s answers to shareholders by selling more cruelty. Don’t participate!

  5. Humans should care about all animals, not just themselves. It is really pathetic that some human animals don’t give a damn about other animals even though they feel pain, suffer and feel fear just like we do!!!!!!!!!!!The human being is a virus as far as I am concerned, a very pathetic species.

  6. America is not only cruel to animals, America is cruel to people. This Congress spends millions trying to repeal Obamacare while taking food away from poor children.

  7. If the mere fact that what you get to eat at McDonalds is really unhealthy is not enough for you to change your fast food ways… then maybe your compassionate side is more powerful than your taste buds.

  8. I haven't eaten at McDonalds for years for several reasons but here is another compelling reason to not only avoid eating their food but to help stop animal cruelty and abuse that is so abundant in this country. This is absolutely, positively wrong and must be stopped!

  9. No, I won't "click here to send an email… urging them to take action," and I won't eat at Burger King instead. It's alarming to me that the animal cruelty accusation gets a response when the nutritional argument is ignored – that we care about chickens but not our own children. Despicable!

  10. Are you part of the problem…or will you help become the solution? A cone…a smoothie…a salad…it all means you're helping perpetuate the McDonald's abuse. McDonald's answers to shareholders by selling more cruelty. Don't participate!

  11. Whether or not you eat eggs or chickens, or choose McDonalds as a good environment in which to eat, maybe even so, you can feel compassion, caring for chickens and any other abused animals. More Love in the World can only be good!

  12. Humans should care about all animals, not just themselves. It is really pathetic that some human animals don't give a damn about other animals even though they feel pain, suffer and feel fear just like we do!!!!!!!!!!!The human being is a virus as far as I am concerned, a very pathetic species. Also it's up to parents to not feed their children all that crap. Stop blaming the companies about nutrition and start taking the responsibility yourselves! No one is holding a gun to anyone's head and making you go to McDicks.

  13. People should just do what is right and good for all animals including humans. You don't need to hold yourself up as an example. And putting humans before other animals is makes everybody a loser. That is despicable and stupid.

  14. Susan Livingston: What nutritional argument? what are you talking about? putting humans before other animals makes everybody a loser. That is despicable and stupid.

  15. Are you joking!!!! How can you and why should any of us make these kind of distinctions. Cruelty to chickens is cruelty to our children and to you and to me. It is time that we stop this division between animals and humanns, we are ALL sentient beings, all created from Love and deserve to be treated lovingly.

  16. America is not only cruel to animals, America is cruel to people. This Congress spends millions trying to repeal Obamacare while taking food away from poor children.

  17. Right. I completely agree with the others who are not supporting Susan Livingston's comment. Actually, It's pretty appalling and quite disturbing that a human being can't see that compassion for animals is just as important. A horrible mindset you have. And any others who mirror your attitude, is part of WHY we have this problem in the first place. No compassion OR respect for God's beautiful creations … I always wonder how people like you, and the people who are taking part in such evil acts against these animals (the people behind it, on and off location), I wonder how you sleep at night (?). Evil is evil. Period. And this whole industrial farming hideosity is just that, evil!

  18. Have boycotted them forever, if I had to eat there, I feel I would certainly just die! Long before I even became a vegetarian, destroying the rain forest to raise cattle for their burgers, using styroform, just in general a very CRUEL place altogether.

  19. gross, disturbing video. just more reason to boycott #McDonald's, support sustainable farmers, and buy organic, free-range chicken & eggs. otherwise, this is what you're eating.

  20. also, if you have a small backyard, you can raise your own chickens. a hen lays one egg per day–no more, no less.

    buy a couple of chicks and have your own organic, free-range eggs for life!

  21. I have been boycotting McDonald's for several years now and will continue to do so. I'm sad that a company puts profits above what is right, but then again, it's America right?!

  22. Emailed McDickHead's to stop this heinousness. Burger King should be called on the carpet for not offering a potato alternative without animal in it. They used to have poppers that didn't and then did away with them for some stupid other product that did. Don't want to get the animal murderers mouths drooling by going into too much detail, even though there are animal-free alternatives that could give the same taste they won't care. At least they'll die a lot sooner and leave the world to the compassionate ones when they're gone!

  23. All living creatures deserve respect including chickens. They have no voice. Your health is your decision you have a voice. And children need to be nurtured by their parents. Humans have more of a choice than animals.

  24. It is time for Americans to stop inhumane practices to animals. It is as simple as driving past the Golden Arches. They are one of the biggest purchasers of meat, corn, eggs, apples and so many other products. Just drive by…..they will get the message QUICK.

  25. All living creatures deserve respect including chickens. They have no voice. Your health is your decision you have a voice. And children need to be nurtured by their parents. Humans have more of a choice than animals.

  26. I Agree with you. It’s easier to blame someone else than stand up take resposponsibilty
    and make changes yourself. If each one of us spoke up and took action and stopped eating meat and diary there would be no animals suffering, no ozone and earth suffering. Lets read, watch and educate ourselves, we can eat awesome things EATING PLANT STRONG and NOT ANIMALS

  27. Dana, you are not disagreeing with my comment. You are agreeing with Julie's interpretation of my comment as an opportunity for an accusational rant against one of your chief supporters. No wonder our adversaries think we're self-righteous assholes!

    I can't get too excited about abuse of chickens when I look at what is served in public school cafeterias and the fast food that otherwise loving parents bring home for their children. I can get VERY excited and participate with loving energy in endeavors that support humane treatment of all beings, "sentient" or otherwise, and respect for those energies the existence of which conventional science denies.

  28. I Agree with you. It's easier to blame someone else than stand up take resposponsibilty
    and make changes yourself. If each one of us spoke up and took action and stopped eating meat and diary there would be no animals suffering, no ozone and earth suffering. Lets read, watch and educate ourselves, we can eat awesome things EATING PLANT STRONG and NOT ANIMALS

  29. gross, disturbing video. just more reason to boycott #McDonald’s, support sustainable farmers, and buy organic, free-range chicken & eggs. otherwise, this is what you’re eating.

  30. Ok but if u are concerned about your children wouldn't u want to A) teach them that animal cruelty is wrong & B) make sure they were getting healthy nutritious food from animals that are raised the way they were intended to be? All that is happening now throughout the world is big corporations being greedy & cutting corners all to make a buck or save a few more cents without any care to the inhumanity going on that is becoming more & more of a normality

  31. MacDonalds now have decided to buy 500.000 ecological eggs here in Sweden, oh my! It’s only hypocrisy, to paint over what they do in other countries, it’s a bit difficult to get away with animal-torture here, so they HAVE to do things like this. Money talks. Let me PUKE!

  32. 3-4 million animals are put to sleep everyday, because the animal shelter can not afford to keep them alive. Help us, we have saved 100's! gofundme. com/ bethevoice1

  33. MacDonalds now have decided to buy 500.000 ecological eggs here in Sweden, oh my! It’s only hypocrisy, to paint over what they do in other countries, it’s a bit difficult to get away with animal-torture here, so they HAVE to do things like this. Money talks. Let me PUKE!

  34. I called the McDonald's 800 # at the end of the video and the woman said she had never heard of this issue before! 800-244-6227; I think they need more people to call in! I also asked for feedback on when they intend to change their food buying policy to humanely raised. I invite others to do the same….

  35. If you people think this is cruel and grotesque, wait until you find out how the vanilla mix for the cones is made and processed…hehe

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