New Year, Same Cruelty: Times Square Ad Illuminates McDonald’s Abuse of Birds

by Stuart McDonald

As thousands descended upon Times Square to ring in the New Year, the crowd was exposed to an eye-opening billboard from a coalition of animal protection organizations including Compassion Over Killing, Animal Equality, The Humane League, World Animal Protection, and Mercy For Animals.

This powerful ad exposes fast-food giant McDonald’s and the unconscionable treatment of birds in its supply chain.

Ramping up efforts to urge McDonald’s to adopt meaningful welfare standards for chickens, this billboard builds on a previous 10-second advertisement in the same spot that was debuted in July of 2018.

The message: “new year, same cruelty.”

Chickens farmed for food are crowded into filthy, dark sheds with little space to move for the duration of their short lives. But even with the space to move, many birds cannot — painfully trapped inside their own genetically manipulated bodies. Because of genetic manipulation for cruel rapid growth, young birds are often unable to carry their own weight and their legs and organs fail to support their bodies. Many will suffer painful medical conditions or die even before they are taken to slaughter at only about six weeks old.

However, because of your support, McDonald’s may be hearing us. In December, McDonald’s debuted a vegan burger option in its Chicago headquarters–where COK drew attention in 2018 by sending a singing chicken to tell McDonald’s that cruelty won’t fly.

McDonald’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Strategy Lucy Brady recently said “plant-based protein is something we’re keeping our eye on,” citing the popularity of plant-powered patties like the Impossible Burger.

Still, the heartbreaking cruelty towards birds in McDonald’s supply chain continues–so it’s up to us to share the truth with the world and urge the company to offer vegan options to all its consumers and adopt meaningful welfare standards for birds.

Help us keep grilling McDonald’s for a nationwide vegan option! Submit a quick comment on our easy form today.

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