Your much-hyped McRib sandwich may have a dark past. The Humane Society has filed a complaint with the feds that McDonald’s pork supplier, Smithfield Foods, has misled consumers regarding how it treats its animals. Smithfield, which has won a “supplier sustainability” award from the restaurant chain, calls its pigs’ living conditions “ideal” and says it is “100 percent committed” to their care. But an undercover investigation by the Humane Society last year concluded just the opposite, writes James McWilliams at the Atlantic.
Among the details: Female pigs couldn’t move in their gestation crates; some crates were covered in blood from pigs chewing the bars; pigs were castrated without anesthesia; and no veterinarians were in evidence. “It doesn’t take a veterinarian to know that locking a 500-pound animal in a cage so cramped she can’t even turn around for months on end isn’t exactly ‘ideal,’” says a Humane Society rep. The restaurant “should heed the advice of its own animal welfare advisors and dump gestation crates from its supply chain.”