Ending factory farming. Ending animal cruelty.
Search icon

Why is McDonald’s lagging behind?

News Icon 5/31/2018

Subway has done it. Burger King has done it. Sonic has done it.

All three of these major companies—plus nearly 90 more—have committed to meaningfully improve the lives of the chickens in their supply chains. That means more room to roam, better living conditions—and most critically, healthier genetics that don’t force birds to grow so big, so fast, they can barely stand under their own massive weight.

Since 2016, we’ve seen a tidal wave of food businesses stepping up to the plate for chickens, acknowledging the concerns of their customers and pledging to do better for the most factory-farmed animal in America. Among these businesses are some of the restaurant industry’s most famous names: Subway, Burger King, Sonic, Jack in the Box, Panera Bread, Qdoba, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Red Robin, Starbucks, and more.

All of these companies are driving real change for chickens. But that’s not the case for what is arguably the most famous name in food.


Last year, McDonald’s had the chance to use the company’s remarkable influence to truly lead the way on chicken welfare, as they did with cage-free eggs.

They didn’t. Instead, they published a thoroughly underwhelming policy that failed to address some of the most pressing welfare issues facing the millions of chickens in their massive supply chain—including giving birds more space and transitioning to breeds with healthier genetics.

That’s why earlier this year, Compassion joined an unprecedented coalition alongside five of the largest animal protection organizations in the country to demand better from McDonald’s. Our coalition published a full-page open letter to the company in the Sunday edition of the New York Times, and we asked all of you to help us spread the word far and wide.

So far, thousands of you have raised your voice—a Change.org petition has reached nearly 200,000 signatures, and many of you have taken the time to call or reach out to McDonald’s via social media.

So far, no word from McDonald’s…but we’re determined to turn the tide. Help us keep the momentum going:

  • Sign and share the petition, if you haven’t already.
  • Tweet at McDonald’s and demand better for chickens.
  • Leave a comment on one of McDonald’s latest Facebook posts.
  • Take a moment to call the McDonald’s customer service line at 1-800-244-6227. You can say something like:
    I'm calling to ask McDonald’s to commit to criteria that will reduce the suffering of chickens. There is a Change.org petition with nearly 200,000 signatures asking McDonald’s to switch to healthier breeds of chicken and give them more room to roam. So far, we haven't heard a response. Please pass on my message to the appropriate decision makers.

Because if Subway and Burger King can do it, why can’t McDonald’s?

You can encourage more companies to commit to giving farmed animals better lives by signing up for our action alerts, to take action when urgently needed:


You are using an outdated browser which we do not support. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience and security.