2017 is off to a great start when it comes to progress for farmed animals. Today Chipotle, a popular fast-casual restaurant chain with more than 2,000 locations in the United States, announced a commitment to improving chicken welfare standards following discussions with Mercy For Animals. This announcement follows a similar pledge made earlier this week by restaurant chain Le Pain Quotidien.
Chipotle and Le Pain Quotidien have pledged to purchase only from chicken suppliers who meet the welfare standards laid out by Global Animal Partnership (GAP), an international farmed animal welfare certification program. These commitments make Chipotle and Le Pain Quotidien two of the first U.S. restaurant chains to adopt comprehensive welfare policies addressing some of the cruelest practices inflicted on chickens raised for meat.
Chickens raised for meat, also known as “broilers,” are among the most abused animals on the planet.
These birds are bred to grow so large, so fast that their legs often can’t support their own body weight. Many suffer from constant pain so severe the animals cannot stand and spend nearly all their time sitting in their own waste. At slaughter, they are shackled, shocked, cut open, and often scalded alive. MFA is proud to be working with companies like Chipotle and Le Pain Quotidien to implement policies that eliminate these horrific practices.
In December, Pret A Manger, Panera Bread, and Starbucks announced similar higher welfare standards for chickens in their supply chains. These announcements clearly demonstrate the consensus of consumers and the food industry that needless chicken suffering has no place in the operations of respectable restaurants.
Unfortunately, not all companies are showing leadership on this issue. The restaurant chain Wendy's has failed to adopt higher welfare standards for the broiler chickens in its supply chain, despite booming customer calls for the chain to do so. Please urge Wendy's to follow Chipotle’s and LPQ’s lead on this critical issue. Post the following comment or a polite one of your own under the chain’s latest Facebook post:
Wendy's allows its poultry suppliers to raise chickens who have been bred to grow so unnaturally fast their fragile legs can’t support their own bloated bodies. As a result, many birds spend nearly all their time sitting in their own waste. It’s cruel and disgusting. I won’t eat at any of your restaurants until you join Chipotle, Panera, Starbucks, and Pret A Manger in announcing a chicken welfare policy! wendys.chickentorture.comOf course, we can most help chickens and other animals by leaving them off our plates entirely. Try these 10 delicious chicken-free products that boast all of the taste but none of the torture.