Who would have thought I would ever praise McDonalds? While I understand the convenience factor of fast food, eating greasy, overly processed food has never turned me on. Especially when I think about the quality of the food they serve. Ever heard of pink slime?Or seen Jamie Oliver’s Chicken Nugget recipe? As off-putting as these foods are, this post is actually in praise of McDonalds.
Well, not really praise, but thanks. The McDonald’s Corporation said on Monday that it would begin working with its pork suppliers to phase out the use of sow crates, the tiny stalls in which sows are housed while pregnant. Of all the inhumane things done to animals used for food, this is one of the worst. I am always saddened when I hear about how pigs are mistreated. The crates are 2 feet by 7 feet, too small for a pregnant pig to turn around. Being confined in this position for the four months of an average pregnancy leads to a variety of health problems, including urinary tract infections, weakened bone structures, overgrown hooves and mental stress. I can’t imagine not being able to turn around!
Like Walmart for the grocery industry, McDonald’s holds a lot of power in the food industry. When McDonald’s makes changes, companies usually follow suit. A decade ago, the company required its egg suppliers to increase the amount of cage space devoted to their hens and other fast-food chains followed suit. So, thank you McDonald’s for realizing that this is not a sustainable way to raise animals and for leading the way for change. The National Pork Association recently said it supported McDonald’s efforts as consumers have wanted to see better practices. I do believe that this decision will have a large impact on how companies choose which suppliers to purchase pork from. Hopefully, with enough consumer backing, companies will realize that most people want their food to be raised in a more humane fashion.
What do you think? Is this issue important to you?