McDonalds is now telling its pork providers that they need to use better pig pens. Recently, we had written about the animal cruelty with regards to McDonalds chickens. Now McDonalds is telling its pork providers that gestational stalls are too small.
These pens are usually only two feet wide. This is hardly enough room to allow the pigs to move around. There seems to be a trend in the fast food industry to (at least make the appearance) that they are treating animals humanly.
During the Grammy awards, the fast food chain Chipotle (who was formally partially owned by McDonalds) ran an ad campaign which criticized those companies that allow their pigs to be kept in very small cages. We are somewhat skeptical that conditions for these animals will improve all that much. After all, the term "free range" as it applies to chickens does not really afford the chickens all that much room to roam.
Here's the two minute video from Chiptole which tries to show a back to former practices approach to farming. Again, we are skeptical that these types of changes are taking place. After all, demand for these types of products continues to grow.
There are thousands of sows whose "job" it is just to give birth. These two foot cages do not even allow the pigs to turn around. Since the public is upset, the retailers are trying to show them that they are sensitive to their concerns.
Better pig pens is a step in the right direction, but it's not surprising that the retailers are trying to have the government keep its distance.