McDonald’s is finally phasing out pig crates, and requiring its pork suppliers to dump gestation pens — but it took the company 11 years after Chipotle required its pork suppliers to raise pigs outside or in large cages.
Gestation cages are cruel, 2 by 7 feet pens that are way too small for a full-sized pig to even turn around in. “It’s just wrong to immobilize animals for their whole lives in crates barely larger than their bodies,” Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society, said in a statement.
Additionally, pigs kept in these pens are more susceptible to disease and illnesses such as urinary tract infections, said Paul Shapiro, a spokesman for the Washington-based Humane Society. They also suffer psychologically because pigs are “very social, intelligent animals,” he said.
McDonald’s — which uses pork in sausage McMuffins, breakfast platters and McRib sandwiches — will require its suppliers to submit plans by May to phase out the metal cages.
David Warner, a spokesman for the National Pork Producers Council, said McDonald’s is one of the largest purchasers of pork. According to Lisa McComb, a McDonald’s spokeswoman, McDonald’s buys about 1 percent of the U.S. pork supply.
McDonald’s claims its suppliers Cargill and Virginia-based Smithfield Foods are leading the way in getting rid of the animal enclosures.
From 1998 to 2006, McDonald’s owned a majority interest in Chipotle, but spun off from Chipotle in 2006. In 2010, Chipotle announced that all of the beef used in its barbacoa, a spicy shredded beef, is naturally raised.
The company uses organic ingredients, and serves more antibiotic-free, naturally raised meat than any other restaurant. McDonald’s knows all too well that Chipotle’s tremendous success serves to remind consumers what JUNK food crap McDonald’s really is, despite all the Madison Avenue hype to the contrary.
McDonald’s is involved in a desperate bid to erase its JUNK FOOD image from the collective minds of health conscience consumers, whose numbers multiply daily thanks to food activists like Jamie Oliver. Oliver succeeded in humiliating McDonald’s into terminating the use of disgusting pink slime as its hamburger base.
“The use of treated scrap meat to me as a chef and a food lover is shocking,” Oliver said. “Basically we’re taking a product that would be sold in the cheapest form for dogs and making it ‘fit’ for humans.”
In recent TV ads, McDonald’s exploits the popularity of the “local food movement — a collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant food economies” — by associating McDonald’s food with small local farmers.
In one ad you meet Frank Martinez, potato farmer, who sits in front of a mountainous pile of potatoes; he reaches for a single potato, cuts it open and tastes it. “They’re good now, just wait till they’re McDonald’s fries.”
Frank Martinez can praise his potatoes till the cows come home, but his praise will never change the fact that McDonald’s potatoes are FRIED.
McDonald’s has also signed a deal with Weight Watchers in an Orwellian attempt to rebrand some of its FRIED meals as “healthy options”. Three McDonald’s meals including Chicken McNuggets, the Fillet-O-Fish sandwich, and their Sweet Chilli Seared Chicken Wrap, have been approved by Weight Watchers.
“It implies this food is healthy,” adviser Jane Martin said, “when often it is high in fat and salt. Chicken McNuggets are Chicken McNuggets whether its got Weight Watchers on it or not.”