McDonalds: We Won't Be Using Factory Farms
Fast food chain swears off mass-production pork suppliers.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: June 17th, 2012
cDonald's announced that it will no longer be buying pork from factory farmers. Shocking, right? But wait, let's hear the rest before we give them too much credit.
The fast food chain said that by 2022 (a full ten years off, whoaaaa), it will only buy pork products from farmers and other sources that do not use gestation stalls for housing the pregnant pigs. Until then, however, it says it will be tracking where its pork comes from and working with producers and suppliers to insure they aren't buying from farms that use such structures.
Being that pork isn't McDonald's' big-selling meat, it seems a little gimmicky for them to make this move.
While this seems like a big step in the right direction for the chain, it only applies to the company's U.S. business, and being that pork isn't exactly their biggest seller, it seems like a gimmicky move to get back in people's good graces.
The increased tension between farmers who use such implements and animal rights organizations is one of the reasons for the move, though.
Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection for the Humane Society, said, "We wish the company planned to get rid of these crates tomorrow, but we understand the logistical challenges involved in making such significant improvements."
The gestation crates are usually seven-foot by two-foot metal enclosures in which a breeding sow spends her entire adult life. When sows are together, they can become aggressive, so some farmers chose to make the switch to crates to avoid injuries among the animals.
As for why McDonald's can't make the switch sooner, vice president of sustainability Bob Langert said, "There are not enough sows housed in non-gestation crates right now. It's between 6 and 10 percent. It can't supply our needs."
While it's obviously a preferable choice and better than nothing, McDonald's has a long way to go if it wants to be thought of in any way as sympathetic to animals.