Post 5 – Part 2 More about piggies.

I found a blog post by Mark Bittman referencing a New York Times article about McDonald’s announcing that they will no longer purchase pork from supplies that use sow crates. In the sows pigs do not have room to walk, turn over, and often end up getting sick. This move by McDonald’s is, in my opinion, a good one. However, the article does mention some issues with this idea.
The suppliers that McDonald’s uses may not uses sows directly, but they suppliers purchase piglets that were born to pigs in sows. So will McDonald’s accept that? I do not believe that just because the contact with sows is further down the supply chain that it is excusable. I imagine that if McDonald’s says that they will no longer work with any of these supplier if their standards are not met that there will be a change. That would require McDonald’s to have a sincere goal of getting away from sows.
The article mentioned that when the pigs are raised in open groups there is a competition for food. I don’t know much about how they will be raising them, but don’t they give them enough food to go around? I understand that the dominant pigs will take what they want, but just put the food a couple of feet away from the other food so that there is no need to crowd in one spot.
Thankfully McDonald’s is not the only organization attempting to look out for the welfare of their animals. Smithfield, Burger King, and chef Wolfgang Puck also have standards or are developing some for how they will allow animals that they purchase to be raised.
I know that this is a topic that I have talked about before, but I enjoy learning about other companies that are developing regulations for the care of animals.

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