Our Unhappy Meals campaign puts McDonald’s on alert to end chicken cruelty

By on June 21, 2018 with 30 Comments

Today, we are launching a new campaign that calls out McDonald’s for allowing extreme animal suffering in its chicken supply chain. Our goal is to get the fast food giant to join its competitors—including Burger King, Subway, Jack in the Box and nearly a hundred others—in adopting meaningful reforms for these animals, whose suffering occurs at an almost unfathomable magnitude, given the fact that American producers raise some nine billion chickens every year.

Our website, UnhappyMeals.com, will educate consumers about the conditions of factory-farmed chickens, like those raised for McDonald’s, and urge people to contact McDonald’s. We’re also airing television commercials to press the company to take action.

A majority of the chickens raised for food are bred to grow so large, and so fast, that they suffer extreme leg pain and even heart attacks. Many are unable even to move. Researchers in Arkansas, the heart of chicken country, found that if a human baby grew in the same way, she’d weigh a whopping 660 pounds at just two months of age.

What makes things even worse for these genetically manipulated birds is the way they’re packed into massive, barren warehouses that lack any environmental enrichments necessary to allow them to express their natural behaviors.

Dozens of other major food companies have pledged to overhaul the way chickens are bred and raised for their products. But McDonald’s has chosen to make vague public relations statements about animal welfare instead. For example, while these other companies have announced concise, meaningful, time-bound commitments to eliminate the worst abuses chickens suffer as a result of the way they’re bred, McDonald’s has said that it will “study” the issue. And while these other companies have announced very clear mandates in terms of providing more space, environmental enrichments, improved air quality and better lighting conditions, McDonald’s statements around these issues remain imprecise and noncommittal and any of the standards the company has set fall far short of being meaningful.

We are hopeful that McDonald’s will correct course on this important animal welfare issue. In 2012, we partnered with McDonald’s to announce its plans to end the gestation crate confinement of mother pigs in its pork supply chain, which was a game-changer. In 2015, we once again partnered with McDonald’s on its announcement to switch to 100 percent cage-free eggs.

The company has the opportunity now to take the same kind of meaningful action for broiler chickens. And it should.

We would welcome an opportunity to work with McDonald’s to help the company join its competitors in meaningfully improving the lives of chickens in its supply chain. In the meantime, we hope you’ll take action by visiting UnhappyMeals.com and calling McDonald’s today.

Take action at UnhappyMeals.com

Farm Animals

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  1. Kelly Rutkowski says:

    Although I think that this is great to see HSUS is doing something to help end this…..what about all the thousands of roosters who are abandoned across the country every week due to discriminatory municipal regulations which allow people to keep hens and not roosters? Only a small fraction of these birds end up in animal shelters (the small percentage that actually take them in), and even then, many are euthanized. Just check out Adopt a Bird Network (http://www.adoptabirdnetwork.com), who lists them on their website and does daily posts on social media in order to help find them good homes and create awareness to the public about the problem at large.

  2. Anthony Lyle McGarry says:

    Yes I stopped eating at McDonald’s years ago because of the way the Burgers tasted.
    Two weeks ago I went back because of the commercial saying they went to Fresh hamburgers instead of the Frozen and when I tasted it it was awful it wasn’t even cooked all the way it was pink in the middle and the next day I had stomach irritation I was sick and and would wonder if I would get sicker fortunately I was better than next day but unfortunately for McDonald’s I will never go back there.
    I’ve told my friends and families the experience of the difference between McDonald’s 2 years ago and the McDonald’s today and my experience and I don’t think any of them will go back either for fear it might make their kids sick so McDonald’s you really have to do something different.

    • darrell says:

      I’ve eaten at McDonalds for over 50 years and never gotten sick, where do you eat?

      • Joseph says:

        Thats because you are used too eat McDonald’s and next time you eat healthy food you wont like it and keep on eating McDonald’s.


  3. Laura Kearney says:

    All the cruelty must stop, regardless of animal type. All animals deserve respect & love. We’re inhabiting their land

  4. Mandy says:

    Will there be a petition or maybe a letter to send to McDonald’s? I saw the only way to contact them about this was with a 1-800 phone number. Will I reach someone who cares or will send my complaint on to someone?

  5. Anahid Dominguez says:

    This is insane, when is animal abuse going to stop. This is 2018 and we were given the impression that cage free will be the new thing, and animals will be protected. If everyone stopped eating animals, for heavens sake, the misery will end. I just don’t understand how we can possibly eat living beings. They are just like us but look different. We all bleed the same way.

    • darrell says:

      I respect your decision to not eat animals but as a Christian my lord created humans to eat animals just like every other carnivore. I just can’t understand anyone thinking that animals should get the same treatment as a human. Now I do agree that the animals we do eat should be treated in a more human fashion. They don’t live very long and should at least live with some peace. For this reason I don’t eat Veal as the way baby cows are caged from birth and not allowed to move to keep the meat tender.

      • anita says:

        While I know many people will never stop eating meat they need to know where it comes from and demand compassionate raising of these poor animals who have no voice. We need to demand companies stop partnering with cruel factory farms.Both the farms and companies only care about the bottom dollar at the expense of suffering animals who have only known pain,suffering and fear during their short sad lives.

      • Justine says:

        I so don’t agree with you. Why are animals on earth for you eat at a time of your choosing and not have their own destiny?Thou shalt not kill is what I remember 🙅

    • Rita Cistone says:

      I Agree Completely! Thanks!

  6. Lisa says:

    I am grateful that HSUS is drawing attention to and prompting action against McDonald’s abuse of food animals! As I have been transitioning to a plant-based diet, I feel like I am making a small difference for animals every day.

    Do you have any good guidance for what we should say when we call the phone number to make the best impact? Such as specifics on optimal living environment, chickens per amount of perch available, etc?

    Thank you!

  7. Parent says:

    I am all for stopping animal cruelty. That being said, the commercial is so harsh that my 8yr old gets terrified from this commercial pertaining her favorite place to eat. Tis every kids favorite place and it’s a discrace to terrify children over a movement. McDonald’s needs to put an end this.

    • Parent says:

      I 100% agree with this. Please stop showing these commercials on sports games and children’s channels. They get terrified.

      • KrystalKalleen says:

        So you think bringing your child up with lies is better? No one wants they’re children to know they are eating poor tortured little animals. Why is that? If it was ok to eat them then who cares!

    • Michelle says:

      I agree that they’re disturbing images for a child to see, and I’m sorry your daughter had to see them. : ( But at the same time, you can turn it into an opportunity to educate your daughter that some places do not treat the animals she eats as nicely as other places. Children are naturally empathetic – maybe she’ll decide for herself it’s no longer her favorite place!

    • Marcia says:

      Totally agree

  8. Shannon says:

    People need to really think about this…The companies that supply chicken, are providing product to companies like McD’s, Burger King, KFC, Chick Fil A, and even your local grocery chains. If you think the chicken suppliers have a “McD Only” section for proteins they provide, you’re living in fantasy land. That chicken from your freezer…probably the same source of supply as McDonalds. So this information is deceiving and likely inaccurate.

    • anita says:

      I do not believe McDonalds is being targeted solely. This is a teachable moment for people who are unaware or do not want to believe the horrible cruelty that goes on through out the meat industry.

  9. Robert Goldman says:

    This brutality and cruelty towards any innocent animal is simply not acceptable anymore. Shame on McDonalds. Anyone who loves animals and is still eating chickens, turkeys, cows, pigs and other living beings who are raised in such brutal, heartless conditions of misery and suffering, is part of the problem of cruelty towards animals. Look in the mirror and into your heart. Be the kind person you wish to be.

  10. robert jones says:

    Good idea I would sign it send it off to McDonald’s Robert Jones

  11. Humans are Carnivores says:

    Ok, we get it, there are inhumane conditions in food prep. But running your commercials every 15 minutes during a news cast is ridiculous. Why don’t you spend that money used in running those to further better the shelters or rescues that house animals?

    • anita says:

      The Humane Society is very dedicated to rescuing countless abused and neglected cats and dogs, rehabilitating them and finding them happy homes..I applaude them for also bringing to light the cruel practices in the meat industry. No animal should suffer.

    • Humans are not Carnivores says:

      Before you try and make a comment, at least make sure your name does not make you look uneducated. Humans, by fact, are NOT carnivores. Open up a dictionary and look at the definition of a carnivore. Now look at the definition for herbivores and omnivores. Humans, by fact, are OMNIVORES. If you are a carnivore, you are eating ONLY meat. Meaning you are never getting any vegetables or fruit in your diet. Which in turns just means you are very unhealthy. So no, human in general are not carnivores. It is not hard to look up one question that takes less than two minutes to find the answer of. So if you are saying that YOU are a carnivore, I mean okay, but that just means you are admitting you are unhealthy. So congratulations?

  12. Marcia says:

    This is a horrible commercial to run during a baseball game. I agree so.ethings need to change. But kids don’t need exposed to this.
    A little ruff on the yougsters….

  13. Jen F says:

    Just called 800 # at 2:20 p.m. today, a SATURDAY. Spoke to nice agent in ~15 sec. Shared my concerns, & stated I won’t make ANY purchases at McDonalds until major policy changes are made. also sharing concerns w/ family & friends. She thanked me many times for calling, said my feedback is very appreciated and will be shared. This WILL make a difference! CALL TODAY!

  14. Michele says:

    Yes!!! Let’s support a voice for the voiceless. Those poor unborns that are ripped limb by limb before their birth. Those that aren’t able to cry out. How about getting their brains sucked out while in the birth canal. Allowing the newly born to die if born alive. “Comfort care” they say. Protect babies before chickens. Honestly people, think about that.

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