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Mercy for Hens

November 23, 2011

There was once a time–during my youth–when I enjoyed eating an Egg McMuffin from McDonald’s. Oh yes, it’s true; on occasion I would eat one along with an order of hash browns, while washing the meal down with an orange juice. Those days seem long and forgotten as my taste for food has matured and has become more refined–at least in my mind.

I must say that after watching this video, which contains disturbing and graphic footage of treatment towards hens, I’m certainly glad I no longer frequent the golden arches (I have not embedded the video because it requires an account to view due to the sensitive nature of the video).

Mercy for Animals, an animal rights organization, conducted an undercover investigation depicting deplorable, inhumane treatment of hens at a farm that supplies eggs to McDonald’s are eventually used in Egg McMuffins.

Here is what you can expect to view in the video:

* Hens crammed into filthy wire cages with less space for each bird than a standard-sized sheet of paper to live her entire miserable life, unable to fully stretch her wings or engage in most other natural behaviors

* Workers burning off the beaks of young chicks without any painkillers and callously throwing them into cages, some missing the cage doors and hitting the floor

* Rotted hens, decomposed beyond recognition as birds, left in cages with hens still laying eggs for human consumption

* A worker tormenting a bird by swinging her around in the air while her legs were caught in a grabbing device – violence described as “torture” by another worker

* Chicks trapped and mangled in cage wire – others suffering from open wounds and torn beaks

* Live chicks thrown into plastic bags to be suffocated

The most disturbing part about the video is the workers’ general disregard for the hens–but I do need to point out one coworker did speak on camera about how he lambastes his coworkers for their treatment of the animals. The hens and chicks are treated as nothing more than commodities, rather than living, sentient creatures. For me, it was heartbreaking to watch how we human beings, who consider ourselves to be civilized, could treat other living things so cruelly. But then again, throughout history, we have waged wars on each other, experimented on each other, enslaved one another; the whole gamut.

I urge anyone who does make it a habit to eat at McDonald’s to view the video and determine if you want to continue spending your money at a business that purchases supplies from farms that treat animals so terribly. Click here to sign the petition urging McDonald’s to “commit to ending its supplier relationships with battery cage egg operations and to create a clear roadmap for speedily achieving 100% cage-free status in the United States.”

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