McDonald's Wants To Phase Out Use of Sow Crates

The story line of Chipotle's first national commercial is about a farmer who embraces the factory system and then finds the errors of his way. It's an effective fable.

But after a recent announcement that McDonald's would start working with its pork suppliers to end the use of "gestational crates" (where pregnant sows are packed into cells so that they're not allowed to move) and the news that the company will also stop the use of "pink slime" called ammonium hydroxide in its beef, the commercial could almost be about the Golden Arches itself.

The company was quoted in the New York Times as saying "McDonald's believes gestation stalls are not a sustainable production system for the future. There are alternatives we think are better for the welfare of sows."

Is McDonald's following the example of Chipotle, a company in which it once held a majority stake? Or did its executives get charmed by that commercial as millions of YouTube viewers did?

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