Less than a month after McDonald’s dropped one of its largest egg suppliers over concerns about conditions at the facility, a group of celebrities — ranging from bona fide stars to “oh yeah… them” on the fame scale — has penned a letter to Jim Skinner, CEO of the fast food giant, about what they view as inhumane treatment of chickens at egg farms used by the Golden Arches.
Here is the text of the letter signed by super-hunk Ryan Gosling, Emily “the other” Deschanel, Alicia Silverstone, True Blood’s Kristin Bauer, go-to Canadian Bryan Adams,
Zooey “the other’s sister” Deschanel, Don’t Shoot Me star Wendie Malick, TV host person Maria Menounos, the incomparable Steve-O and Ed Begley, Jr.
Dear Mr. Skinner:
After visiting McDonaldsCruelty.com and learning from my friends at Mercy For Animals that McDonald’s egg suppliers routinely torture egg-laying hens and their baby chicks, I have to tell you: “I’m Hatin’ It.”
On behalf of compassionate people everywhere, I implore you to help end the needless suffering of these animals by adopting strict and meaningful animal welfare policies worldwide, including the commitment to prohibit the purchase of eggs produced by hens who spend their miserable lives crammed into tiny wire cages.
While McDonald’s has already established a 100% cage-free purchasing policy in Europe, your U.S. restaurants continue to support egg factory farms that confine hens for most of their lives in cages so small they can’t even spread their wings.nearly anything that comes naturally to them. Common sense tells us that animals with legs and wings should be given the basic freedom to move.
Sadly, there is not a single federal law to protect hens from cruelty from the time they hatch to the time they are killed. While McDonald’s brags about the “billions and billions served,” millions of hens exploited for your restaurants are being grossly underserved. In fact, these animals are being abused in ways that would land your egg suppliers in jail, if dogs or cats were the victims.
In MFA’s investigative video, McDonald’s egg suppliers are shown burning off the beaks of baby birds without painkillers, chicks are shown trapped and mangled in cage wire suffering from untreated wounds, live chicks are slowly suffocated in trash bags, and dead and rotting corpses are left in cages with hens still laying eggs for McDonald’s Egg McMuffins.
While all of these abuses are unconscionable, perhaps the worst form of torture forced on these innocent animals is the use of battery cages. As you should know, battery cages are considered so cruel that leading animal welfare experts condemn them, and the entire European Union, as well as California and Michigan, have banned their use. A growing number of your competitors have already committed to only buying eggs from cage-free suppliers. It’s time for McDonald’s to stop clowning around and help put an end to some of the most abusive factory farming practices.
It’s a good time for some great changes at McDonald’s. As the largest egg buyer in the entire country, McDonald’s has the power – and the moral responsibility – to ensure that the eggs in its Egg McMuffins don’t come from rotten egg suppliers.
As a civilized society, it’s our moral obligation to prevent cruelty to animals – including those used in food production. Thank you for your consideration of this important issue.
Ed Begley, Jr.
Celebrities take McDonald’s to task over U.S. egg practices [Chicago Tribune]