Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thank You McDonald's!

While I am a big believer in positive change coming in all sizes, I can't help but get super-excited when big moves are made in the right direction. In reading Mark Bittman's Opinionator column from yesterday's New York Times I was overcome with glee over the great news about McDonald's change in policy.

McDonald's is going to join Whole Food and Chipotle in banning the use of gestation crates for the pregnant pigs (sows) from their pork suppliers. The crates represent some of the saddest animal situations I have seen - the sows are packed individually into the crates and cannot even turn around. 
You may wonder why they've been around, or why it has taken McDonald's so long to say they are not in support of them. Well, as with almost all cruelties imposed upon this planet, it has to do with convenience and economics.However, McDonald's executives are showing evidence that there might be more to business than those two classically capitalist ideals.
“McDonald’s believes gestation stalls are not a sustainable production system for the future. There are alternatives that we think are better for the welfare of sows,” said Dan Gorsky, senior vice president of McDonald’s North America Supply Chain Management. “McDonald’s wants to see the end of sow confinement in gestation stalls in our supply chain. We are beginning an assessment with our U.S. suppliers to determine how to build on the work already underway to reach that goal. In May, after receiving our suppliers’ plans, we’ll share results from the assessment and our next steps.”
 Here's hoping that those next steps take them back to the start, just like this wonderful video from Chipotle, because, as the fourth largest employer and the number one fast food chain in the world McDonald's is one company that has far-reaching influence!

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