Cafe Society

Ronald McDonald versus chickens in the ultimate cage match

Why did the chicken cross the road? To get away from McDonald's.

Ronald McDonald apparently wants his laying hens to spend their days inside a cage too small even for a waif supermodel s addicted to binging and purging her morning Egg McMuffin. The Humane Society of the United States has floated a proposal for McDonald's to require at least 5 percent of its eggs to come from cage-free hens. But the company has sunk that proposal to the bottom of the deep fryer.

McD's board claims there's not enough science to support the argument that egg-laying hens should have a pastoral pasture when 72 square inches of concrete comfort can do the deed. That's not even enough room for Ronald's big red shoe. Instead, McDonald's is currently involved in a study to see if the evidence supports an enriched environment, where the hen can actually walk around and spread its wings.

In Europe, meanwhile, McDonald's has a plan in place to have all of its partners there use cage-free, egg-laying hens by the end of this year. Of course, the European Union passed a mandate requiring that. McDonald's Lisa McComb told the New York Times that the reason for this effort is a "high consumer demand for cage-free eggs."

Unlike in America, where people want their chicken byproduct quickly, and for under a buck.

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