Monday, January 2, 2012

McDonald's Cruelty: The Rotten Truth About Egg McMuffins

McDonald's Cruelty: The Rotten Truth About Egg McMuffins

If you haven't watched this undercover footage, you should. Have you ever eaten breakfast at a McDonald's? If you're an American, then your answer is most likely a resounding yes. This is just one small example of what animals suffer through, in order to end up on our plate. Don't let the huge fast food chain fool you by their "action" to drop this egg supplier. Do you really think McDonald's is concerned about the welfare of animals? They slaughter thousands of cattle per day to give you your Big Macs and your Double Cheeseburgers. McDonald's sole concern was the bad PR they would receive from this investigation. They have switched egg suppliers, but I guarantee their new egg producer is cruel to the animals as well. They have to be, in order to meet the demands of the big food corporations. This is the wonderful gift of industrial food production...factory farms. If you know nothing about them, it's time to start researching. We have a responsibility to the animals of the world to protect them and be their voice when they are defenseless and voiceless.

Life at an egg hatchery in the U.S. begins with the sorting of baby chicks. "Sorting" means the chicks are sorted by sex. Obviously, they keep the females and the males are, well, discarded. You may (or may not, if you enjoy your ignorance) ask how they are discarded. Well, there are different ways to get rid of the male chicks. They are usually gassed, suffocated, crushed or ground alive. The female chicks are then taken to have their beaks seared off. Workers either put the chicks' beaks up to a hot blade or the chicks are held by a machine that sears their beaks off with a laser. Don't kid yourself if you think the chicks can't feel anything. Their beaks are actually very sensitive and this procedure can even cause chronic pain in the birds. This brings me to the question, why are their beaks seared off? They have to, in order to prevent the birds from pecking at each other because they will be in very tight quarters together. Their new home is their battery cage.

A battery cage usually houses between 3 to 10 hens, and a U.S. egg farm usually holds thousands of cages. If you want to picture how much room each hen has in one of these cages, then pull out a piece of 8.5 x 11 copy paper AND fold it in half. They have about 59 square inches of space to "move" around in. I put the word "move" in quotes because they actually don't get to move around. A hen generally needs about 72 square inches just to stand up, let alone turn around, spread their wings, dust bathe, or anything else that is natural for them. Many European countries have banned battery cages because of how cruel they are, but here in the U.S. we're working to increase the space ever so slightly. Many hens in battery cages also suffer from open wounds from rubbing against the cages, getting caught in the cages, foot disorders from standing in the cages, as well as bone weakness and breakage.

When a hen is done laying, "forced molting" begins. This is when they are starved for about 10 to 14 days in order to initiate a second cycle of laying. Many of the birds die during this time, while those who survive just suffer. After the second cycle of laying, the birds are sent to be slaughtered. When they are at the slaughterhouse, they are grabbed and hung upside down (several have their bones broken during this process), they are submerged in a tub of electrified water which is intended to render them unconscious; however, most are still conscious after this, and then their throats are slit by a machine. Not only are most of the birds fully conscious while their throats are slit, but the machine isn't always accurate and can severely injure the birds so they die an even longer, excruciating death.

So, what does that Egg McMuffin really mean to you? Is the inexpensive breakfast sandwich worth it? We have to understand that the price we pay to have a piece of meat is much higher than what it seems. Animals aren't meant to be mass produced. They're living beings who feel pain, as well as joy, fear, jealousy, and even empathy. They are not meant to be a commodity we produce and discard so easily without a second thought. Every time you choose an animal product, you choose to support a system that is immoral, inhumane, and cruel.

1 comment:

  1. It's hard for me to understand that I can be raised in the same society as these people who you see doing these things in the video. I mean, what does it take for someone to be that desensitized to it? It's a lack of education and connection to the lives of animals and what they experience, which is virtually the same as us, in terms of emotion, pain, etc. The only difference is a lack of complex language. It's this idea that humans aren't animals and, therefore, are different and more important that needs to die quickly. Equality of all species, and the respect for habitats and nature, are what needs to be taught.

    I love the educational approach this post takes.