As McDonald’s continues to “ghost” their responsibilities to animal welfare, The Humane League is launching a global brand-jacking campaign that brings their commitment-phobia to light.
#McGhoster aims to attract public attention towards McDonald’s failure to commit to meaningful improvements for chickens, creating a pressure group that’s impossible for them to ignore: their own consumers.
McDonald’s is one of the biggest restaurant chains in the world with a net income of $5.877 billion. Yet, as companies like Pret A Manger are making concrete, meaningful changes to chicken welfare, McDonald’s is lagging behind.
To bring this issue to the attention of a global audience, the campaign is being launched with an online film that takes place in the ‘McDonald’s Mansion’ in the aftermath of a raucous party.
As the scene unfolds, we hear angry voicemails from people who feel they’ve been misled and ‘ghosted’ by the host of the party. Overlayed on this grand scene is a stern wake-up call to the corporation: The Party’s Over, McDonald’s.
Pru Elliott, head of campaigns at The Humane League UK, said: “McDonald’s invests so much in portraying itself as the friendly ‘good-guy’ and as industry leaders.
"But while it has taken progressive steps on some animal welfare issues, the truth is that when the suffering of millions upon millions of chickens - the most numerous animals in McDonald’s supply chain - is at stake, McDonald’s fails to live up to the upstanding image it portrays.”
Under McDonald’s new “improved welfare” policy, chickens raised and killed for its menu are still unnaturally bred to grow so large and so fast that they can literally become immobilised under the weight of their own enormous bodies, often unable to stand or walk and left to lie in their own excrement.
The issue is so severe that if we, humans, grew at a rate similar to McDonald’s chickens, we would weigh 300kg at just two months old.
These chickens are also kept in overcrowded conditions that prevent them from behaving naturally. What’s more, eating meat from sick and debilitated chickens, raised within cramped and confined factory farms, can put humans at risk of contracting bacterial infections such as salmonella and campylobacter.
Elliot said: “McDonald’s has failed to take meaningful action against the extreme suffering of chickens in its supply chain. The company has repeatedly offered pseudo-solutions which do not compare with the progressive steps being taken by other companies.
"At best, the steps McDonald’s has taken suggest an acknowledgement that the current situation is unacceptable, and at worst it could be an attempt to mislead customers with a rhetoric that sounds promising but fails to deliver."
Rather than asking people to boycott McDonald’s, The Humane League is simply calling on the fast food chain to improve animal welfare in its supply chain and publicly commit to the ‘Better Chicken Commitment’ and the North American equivalent.
Taylor Ford, Director of Campaigns at The Humane League, said: “What we’re asking for is perfectly reasonable and an essential part of McDonald’s ethical responsibilities. The commitment we are asking McDonald’s to sign simply addresses the very worst suffering endured by chickens.
Ford continued: "The changes we are proposing are supported by scientific evidence, backed by leading animal protection charities and have been adopted by over 130 companies in the US.”
Viewers are then encouraged to sign the petition at McGhoster.com to apply pressure.
The film is being accompanied by a series of out-of-home posters, ad vans and social posts to build momentum and encourage consumers to speak up. You can now even find references to #McGhoster within Wikipedia. Please click here to see stills and images from today’s launch.
This article is based on a press release from The Humane League.