McDonald's and animals|
Animals are an integral part of our lives, with pets and local wildlife sharing our homes, parks and countryside. Every reasonable person is expected to abhor cruelty and to intervene if they witness it. But animals raised and slaughtered for the food industry are usually kept out of sight and out of the public mind. They suffer continuous, systematic and extreme cruelty through confinement and artificial conditions, the denial of their natural instincts, the contraction of production diseases (including BSE), and finally a premature and frightening death. Hundreds of millions of animals in every 'developed' country have to endure this nightmare.
Many cultures throughout history have refused to kill animals for food: although meat-eating has a long history, it is only in recent decades that factory farming and intensive methods have been applied on a vast scale. This mass production process has been due primarily to the food companies' drives for ever greater profits, backed by their promotional campaigns. The emergence of BSE surely proves that these systems can never be sustained.
Cattle, chickens and pigs destined for use in McDonald's products suffer the well-documented conditions typical of the whole industry. The corporation is the world's largest promoter of meat-based products, the largest user of beef and the second largest user of chicken.
Opposition to the oppression of animals is growing world-wide, through protests and educational campaigns, and through the rise of vegetarianism and veganism. Recently companies and corporations like McDonald's have been forced onto the defensive, attempting to justify the barbaric conditions whilst claiming 'concern' for animal welfare. As the public debate rages, anyone concerned about animal suffering and knowing the reality will surely ask: 'can such conditions ever be justified?'