Two weeks ago, we joined more than 80 activists in standing shoulder-to-shoulder outside McDonald’s in Times Square protesting the fast-food giant’s continued resistance to do better for chickens.
The demonstration was the latest action in the effort to demand that the most famous name in food commit to meaningful changes for chickens -- changes that some of their largest competitors, like Subway and Burger King, have already made.
On the ground with activists was award-winning actress Edie Falco and her son, Anderson, showing their support for the cause. When asked why this work was important, Falco said:
“Well, I think that a lot of the horrible animal abuse that goes on, to a large degree, is because people don’t know, ya know? They’re in denial about where there food comes from. And I think events like this, which make it clear what it actually looks like, what you’re eating, what you’re actually participating in, on some level making okay, is this horrible thing. You need to know about it… [Chicken] doesn’t just appear like that on your plate.”
Falco, joined by dozens of other concerned consumers, commanded a sizeable audience from the passing pedestrians and McDonald’s patrons, many of whom stopped to learn about the suffering in McDonald’s supply chain. What did they think? Like thousands of others across the country, they acknowledged just how reasonable the proposed commitment is. One breakdancing citizen was so inspired, they ended up putting on an activist’s chicken costume and contorting for the camera.
Currently, more than 90% of all factory farmed animals in the United States are chickens raised for meat -- that’s more than 9 billion animals a year! Millions of those animals are raised for McDonald’s menu items. Crammed inside of barren, dirty, dimly-lit sheds, the modern chicken is born and raised to suffer. Growing at such an unhealthy rate means that their legs are often physically unable to support their own weight, causing chronic pain and injury. All of this suffering, just to produce meat that’s less nutritious than consumers think it is.
A few weeks back, we walked straight up to McDonald’s doorstep in Chicago to deliver more than 200k signatures on a Change.org petition urging McDonald’s to adopt common-sense animal welfare improvements. While company representatives guaranteed the signatures got to the appropriate decision-makers, they’ve yet to make any public statements so far.
Along with other animal protection organizations, we continue to encourage customers to ask McDonald's to do better for chickens. Check out this giant ad in Times Square!