- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 24, 2000

Poultry farming in the United States has been likened to the Nazi Holocaust by animal rights activists who suffer a tad from lack of perspective. But these animal rights folks ought to be pleased by the recent announcement by McDonald's Corp. that it will insist upon more humane treatment of chickens destined for the deep fryer or the McNugget bin.

The company sent out letters to the farmers who supply the restaurant chain with eggs and poultry notifying them that it would henceforth expect more decent living conditions and treatment for the feathered inmates of America's concentration camps. The birds will get 50 percent more space in their cages, a reprieve from the practices of "debeaking" (to prevent the birds from pecking each other to death) and "forced molting" withholding food and water from the creatures so as to prompt more rapid egg laying. No word yet as to whether the Geneva Convention will be posted inside each barracks/cage.

McDonald's new attitude towards its fine feathered friends is the most significant change in policy of its kind pursued by a major U.S. food supplier. McDonald's is acting both to placate environmental/animal fringe groups and ostensibly to deal with concerns that current animal raising techniques may lead to diseases, such as salmonella, that can be transmitted to humans. But the strongest push comes not from science or concern for human well-being but from political agitation by groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), various members of which have made the Nazi/ Holocaust comparison over the years. "We are very appreciative of what the company has done, and think they are doing the right thing," clucked PETA spokesman Steven Gross to The Washington Post. "Other companies in this field have been dragging their feet and, frankly, we think this decision will have the salutary effect of waking them up."

Of course, PETA has its aims set higher than merely seeing to it that chickens are not treated with undue brutality by their "guards" at poultry plants. Just as gun control groups use incrementalism to achieve their eventual goal of a complete ban on the private ownership of firearms, PETA and other fringe animal rights/environmental groups will not be satisfied, probably, until a fowl may not be eaten under any circumstances, and the birds given their full and complete "rights." Next up: a requirement to read chickens their Miranda rights "Anything you squawk can be used against you" before arresting them for dinner.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide