The Common Good
January-February 2001

Save the Chickens

by Rose Marie Berger, Susannah Hunter | January-February 2001

Chickens have evidently found a soft place in the hearts of McDonald's management...

Chickens have evidently found a soft place in the hearts of McDonald's management, who recently announced they will stop buying "debeaked" chickens for use in their McNuggets and other McDelicacies. ("Debeaked" is the technical term for…well, you know.) The fast-food behemoth also insisted on fair coop standards that will give hens at least 72 square inches of space each. They also demanded an end to the practice of withholding food and water to increase egg production. Apparently, the eggs no longer justify the means.

"Big companies are increasingly being held responsible for the practices of their subcontractors—like Nike and other sneaker makers with plants they don't even run in Third World countries," says financial analyst Bruce Raabe. "This should be seen as a company trying to get out ahead of a potential problem and turning it into a potential asset."

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