WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
February 16th, 2012 By Hannah McCartney | News | Posted In: Environment, Ethics, News

McDonald's Does Something Kind of Good?

schweine-lsz61A German gestation crate like the ones used by McDonald's pork suppliers
Fast food conglomerate McDonald's isn't exactly known for its do-goodery for asses or animals. Despite the chain's greatest efforts, they just can't seem to catch a stroke of good PR. Just look at what happened when they launched their Twitter campaign, #McDstories, which ended up backfiring so severely that it's become the laughing stock of the professional PR world.

It's hard to feel too bad about their misfortune; they've done a pretty good job of creating controversy for themselves without any help, including their kind of hilarious, brazen ad released in France featuring a gay teenager (video below), the leak to the public that their "vegetarian" fries were actually fried in beef fat and, perhaps most notably, their bad rap for using suppliers with disregard for animal welfare. The list goes on. Remember the McRib story released last November? News broke that McDonald's pork supplier, Smithfield Foods, was subjecting pigs to excruciating pain and mistreatment. The news didn't exactly come as a surprise, but consumers took it seriously when the Humane Society filed a lawsuit against Smithfield.

Regardless, it seems McDonald's realizes its bad press is its greatest weakness, and they've made some solid efforts to  improve. Most recently, the chain announced it would be requiring pork suppliers such as Smithfield to phase out gestation stalls — pig-sized cages where pigs are confined, unable to move around or sometimes stand up. Their plan has some strong supporters, including the Humane Society. However, the plan hasn't set a deadline requirement; that means it could several years of red tape and stalling before any real progress is made.

Interestingly, frequent McRib eaters probably aren't generally the type to be concerned about whether or not the pig they're eating got to stand up during its last days. Perhaps McDonald's is interested in expanding its already massive consumer pool to include more meat-eaters concerned about the sources of their food. Or perhaps they've realized that it's feasible to treat animals even a little more humanely and still make a stupendous profits. Is it possible?

 
 
02.16.2012 at 11:34 Reply

If you want to see something "good" that Ronald McDonald does, just make a visit to the Ronald McDonald House.  Then, make a gift to this wonderful place.

 

 

02.16.2012 at 11:39 Reply

You're right, the Ronald McDonald House Charities serve a great cause. McDonald's definitely has made some important contributions through community outreach (they're Ronald McDonald's largest corporate donor), but not nearly as many concerning the ways their food is produced. If only they cared about the pigs like they do communities!

 

 
 
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