McDonald's: Stop Using Pork from Abused Pigs
  • Petitioned Jim Skinner

This petition was delivered to:

CEO, McDonald's
Jim Skinner
Senior Director, McDonald's Global External Communications - Media Relations
Heidi Barker
Senior Manager, McDonald's Global External Communications - Media Relations
Lisa McComb
Director, U.S. Communications, McDonald's U.S. Media Relations
Danya Proud
Manager, U.S. Communications, McDonald's U.S. Media Relations
Ashlee Yingling
Manager, McDonald's Global External Communications - Media Relations
Becca Hary
Senior Director, McDonald's Global External Communications
Lisa Howard

McDonald's: Stop Using Pork from Abused Pigs

    1. Meredith Slater
    2. Petition by

      Meredith Slater

      Denver, CO

An undercover investigator for the Humane Society of the United States recently documented the suffering endured by female breeding pigs held in gestation crates on a factory farm operated by a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, the largest pork company in the world. Many of these pigs develop pressure sores and infections from crate-related injuries and from simply lying in the same position without any room to move. Out of sheer boredom, they engage in repetitive behaviors like bar biting and head swaying — sometimes injuring themselves in the process.

Gestation crates are exceptionally cruel and unsanitary and have been banned by the European Union, New Zealand, and eight U.S. states. In 2007, Smithfield committed to phase out the use of gestation crates by 2017; but in 2009, it said it could no longer meet its self-imposed and very lenient deadline because of economic conditions.  Over the past few months Smithfield boasted record profits. While Smithfield said it would phase out 30 percent of its gestation crates by the end of 2011, it still hasn't re-comitted to its original promise. Now is the time for Smithfield to re-commit to its initial goal to phase out gestation crates completely by 2017.

McDonald's top two competitors, Burger King and Wendy’s, have publicly condemned gestation crates and, importantly, have also begun using gestation crate-free pork. There is still work to do, but these companies are on the right track. McDonald’s itself has condemned gestation crates...but it hasn't taken enough action to remedy the situation.

McDonald’s is Smithfield's largest customer. As one of the world’s most visible and recognizable brands, McDonald's has an enormous amount of influence on the pork industry.

A decade ago, McDonald’s claimed that phasing out gestation crates was “at the top of its agenda.” But after Smithfield halted its progress, McDonald's failed to move on the issue. Now is the time for McDonald's to tell Smithfield that it needs to honor its prior commit and completely phase out gestation crates. If Smithfield's largest customer requests gestation crate-free pork, the producer is likely to follow through on its promise.

Photo Credit: loop_oh

Recent signatures


    1. Progress! McDonald's Takes Big Step Toward Improving Pig Welfare

      Meredith Slater
      Petition Organizer

      McDonald's announced that it wants its pork suppliers in the U.S. to phase out the use of sow gestation crates. They've asked all of the suppliers to outline plans for the switch by May.

    2. Reached 100,000 signatures
    3. Shifting the Fast Food Industry Towards Humanely Raised Pork

      Sarah Parsons
      Petition Organizer

      Gestation crates are some of the cruelest and most unsanitary devices found on factory farms. These enclosures — largely used by major pork producers like Smithfield Foods — keep breeding sows locked in cages so small they can't even turn around....

    4. Reached 30,000 signatures
    5. McDonald's Is Smithfield's Largest Customer

      Sarah Parsons
      Petition Organizer

      McDonald's is Smithfield's largest customer, buying up massive quantities of pork each year. Let's pressure McDonald's to push for gestation crate-free pork!

    6. What Do Pigs Get from Gestation Crates?

      Sarah Parsons
      Petition Organizer

      Sows kept in gestation crates don't even have enough space to turn around. They can get pressure sores and infections from laying in the same position for too long, and the boredom drives them insane.

    7. Reached 3,000 signatures
    8. Smithfield Boasted Record Profits This Year

      Sarah Parsons
      Petition Organizer

      Smithfield reneged on its gestation crate promise in 2009 due to "economic conditions." This year, Smithfield saw record profits. There's no reason the company can't re-commit to go gestation crate-free.

    9. Reached 2,000 signatures
    10. Sows Suffer in Gestation Crates

      Sarah Parsons
      Petition Organizer

      It's hard to imagine the inhumane and unsanitary conditions that pigs in gestation crates face. The Humane Society of the United States documented this cruel practice. Check out the video here:

    11. Reached 750 signatures
    12. McDonald's Serves Up Abused Pigs in its Egg McMuffins

      Sarah Parsons
      Petition Organizer

      McDonald’s is the largest customer of the largest pork company in the world, Smithfield Foods. And lately, Smithfield has been proving itself to be one of the food industry's biggest lying liars.
      Back in 2007, Smithfield said it would phase out...

    13. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • judy coulter LAUTOKA, FIJI, FIJI
      • over 2 years ago

      not only is meat eating unhealthy, the cruelty to food animals is disgusting!

    • Rosemary Logan JARRETTSVILLE, MD
      • over 2 years ago

      The way we treat animals says a great deal about our humanity. We can do better and must!!

    • Lisa Riggiola POMPTON LAKES, NJ
      • over 2 years ago

      In the 21st century no animal should be treated this way! McDonald's take a stance and tell Smithfield no more and stop doing business with them! Also, please I ask that you consider signing my very critical petition that affects thousands of residents in Pompton Lakes, NJ. Please also share with all you know and thanks for caring - Stop DuPont Chemical from Poisoning New Jersey Families -

    • Reidun Carstens HOLTER, NORWAY
      • over 2 years ago

      The Human Animals has become the most hideous being in this world.

      Don't buy their products. It seems to be the only way at present time. And please tell everyone about this animal cruelty.

    • Nick Hattwich KILSYTH VIC, AUSTRALIA
      • over 2 years ago

      I don't like animals to suffer


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