Most people know how animals are treated in the American meat industry… even if they would prefer to pretend that they don’t. But if you haven’t ever seen an animal abuse video, you’re in for a wake-up call.
Mercy For Animals, a non-profit organization that focuses on the abuse of farm animals and promotes compassionate food choices, has released film of heart-wrenching cruelty at a Tennessee farm that provides chicken for Tyson Foods, Inc., which then supplies the meat to McDonald’s.
The investigation has created a rift in the partnerships of the involved parties. In addition to impacting business, the film has caused a media outcry that further exposes the horrendous living conditions of animals that end up in a box of McNuggets.
Undercover Documentation of Animal Cruelty
Employees from T&S Farm in Dukedom, Tenn., are caught using cruel tactics to manage thousands of chickens living in a dark, dirty and cramped atmosphere. The farm housed chickens that would later be sold as McDonald’s McNuggets.
In the video, a female worker beats, bludgeons and stabs the flapping bodies of frightened chickens with a sharp metal rod. She is shown stomping on a chicken’s head before using the sole of her shoe to hold the its body in place while she breaks its neck.
A particularly sad part of the video illustrates that many chickens remain alive while they are being readied for the consumer’s plate. They appear to be sick, injured and terrified.
“This type of abuse runs rampant in the animal agriculture industry, which seeks to maximize profit and minimize costs at the expense of animals, public health and the environment,” says Matt Rice, Director of Investigations at Mercy For Animals.
The Corporate Reaction To Ditch The Abusive Supplier
McDonald’s and Tyson no longer have a relationship with T&S Farm. The two are working together to investigate the claim in addition to the investigation conducted by the local sheriff’s office at Weakley County.
“Animal well-being is a priority at our company and we will not tolerate the unacceptable animal treatment shown in this video,” Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman said.
McDonald’s supported and elaborated on the statement, saying that the behavior of the farm’s employees was completely unacceptable.
“We’re committed to working with animal welfare and industry experts to inform our policies that promote better management, strong employee education and verification of practices,” McDonald’s said.
The documentation of abuse is particularly relevant after McDonald’s recently announced a new plan to clean up its food sources, avoid certain antibiotics and focus on ensuring better treatment of animals.
It’s important to realize that although McDonald’s made a progressive move by ditching T&S Farm, animal abuse in the meat industry continues.
McDonald’s gets a thumbs up for taking a stance against an abusive supplier. But the fight to end standardized animal cruelty is far from over.
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