McDonald’s Says No to Gestation Crates: I’m Lovin It.

Mark Bittman recently explained the significance of McDonald’s decision to phase out gestation crates for sows. When a leader, or large market player decides to make a move, others must follow.

First, what is the issue? Sows, or pregnant pigs, are often put into crates until they give birth. These metal stalls are so small, the sows cannot turn over. Take a look at the article for pictures and further explanation of this practice. Other companies have recently made pledges to move to group sow housing to provide a better environment.

Back to the boldness of this Bacon Big Mac move… as evidenced by history:

The effect on the industry will be huge, because in the world of big-time meat supply, there are two kinds of producers: those who sell to McDonald’s and those wish they could.

When, in 1999, McDonald’s requested that its suppliers give caged hens 72 square inches of space instead of 48 (72 is still smaller than a piece of 8×10 paper), not a single factory-farmed hen in the country was being raised with 72 inches of space. Yet the entire supply chain was converted in just 18 months, and 72 square inches is now effectively the industry standard.

This is the kind of movement we like to see, one that can be a game changer!


~ by Kate on February 14, 2012.

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