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

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

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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.

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=1203842478 Kim Pulido

    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.

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=1491131944 Danielle McNulty

    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!

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=1470134482 Diane Hebert Pease

    I’m vegetarian. I never eat there and I urge my friends and family to do the same. Most have stopped because of this cruelty issue.

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=667997008 Susan Livingston

    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!

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=535086327 Don Scott

    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!

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=721900731 Evelyn Ball

    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.

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=1497339133 Julie Long Gallegos

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

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=653020317 Anna Weldon

    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.

  • Nette

    I can proudly say I have never eaten anything at McDonalds. Can you?

    • Ethan

      No i cant but i can proudly say i will never have another on

  • Debra

    I have been boycotting McDonalds for the past fours years and will continue to do so.

  • V.E. Perkins

    I do not eat at McDonald's. Vivienne Perkins

  • Julie

    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.

  • Kyle Young

    AT LEAST MAKE IT PAINLESS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • http://www.momsacrossamerica.com daysleeper3

    YES, never ate there.

  • shelva wood

    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.

  • Barbara Dougherty

    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?!

  • Cha

    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!

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=806414255 Callie Touloumes

    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.

  • Tracy Gagnon

    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.

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004406342474 Sherri Lord

    There’s alot to stand and fight for

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004406342474 Sherri Lord

    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

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=822474200 Maya Morrow

    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.

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=1129463688 Joyce Karen Drena

    McDonald’s….how come your window posters do not show these horrors?

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004547679493 Dubbel Henke

    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!

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004547679493 Dubbel Henke

    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!

  • James

    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

  • abc321

    i am a vegaterryen and they strangled baby chickens