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McD’s and Pig Crates: Greenwashing?

Would you trust this man?


McDonald’s considers phasing out suppliers
using pig gestation crates

The New York Times and other outlets wide and far reported in February, 2012, that McDonald’s was making a move towards ending gestation crate use in its supply chain for pork.  These 24″ wide steel contraptions (also known as gestation stalls or sow stalls) are where pregnant pig mommas are kept during their repeated cycles of 4 months of pregnancy.  The physical and mental effects of such confinement are well-documented (see our Factory Farmed Animals->Pigs page for more information). Gestation crates are one of three most evil forms of confinement widely used in factory farms, the other two being chicken battery cages and veal crates.

A careful reading of McDonald’s promises shows they are “beginning an assessment with our U.S. suppliers to determine how to build on the work already underway to reach that goal [of ending sow confinement].” What they do with this assessment and how quickly they act remains to be seen.  However, we recognize that this issue is now on their radar and as such a large conglomerate they have tremendous influence in the world of factory farms, and perhaps there will be some incremental change that makes the miserable lives of these highly intelligent beings a little less onerous. 

Here at WFAS we always believe that you as a consumer have the power not to participate in the cruelty, three square meals a day, by making the healthy, sustainable and ethical choice to not eat animal products at all.

Photo credit: Farm Sanctuary