McDonald’s to Phase Out Gestation Crates

This is one of the biggest animal protection news stories of the year. As is often the case when McDonald’s takes a major initiative, Burger King and Wendy’s are going to be forced to follow suit—the longer they wait to jump in, the worse they’ll look.

With today’s announcement, McDonald’s is asking all its pork suppliers to share their plans for getting rid of gestation crates. Although McDonald’s isn’t saying so in so many words, it’s clearly planning to cut off any supplier who, by May, isn’t moving ahead with sufficient zeal.

Although, apart from its occasional McRib offering, McDonald’s scarcely uses any pork in its lunch and dinner menus, the company bases much of its breakfast menu on bacon, ham, and sausage.

Today’s move by McDonald’s is substantially more important than any previous pork-related ballot measure or industry announcement. Paul Shapiro, the Humane Society’s Senior Director of Farm Animal Protection, told me, “I am quite confident that this will be an earthquake in the pork industry.”

McDonald’s decision should give every animal advocate hope that gestation crates and battery cages are moving in lockstep towards oblivion. Link.