by Allyson Koerner
Categories: Animals, Causes, Eats, Lifestyle
Tags: , , .
Photo: Flickr/Ruocaled

There’s been a lot of hoopla over the return of McDonald’s ‘McRib’, but for some, it isn’t all grease and BBQ-sauce heaven.

The pork and BBQ sandwich was put back on the menu a couple of weeks ago, with people expressing so much excitement, it made the sandwich a trending topic on Twitter.

Even Diane Sawyer couldn’t resist the messy temptation. “I’ve only had one McRib in my life and I fondly remember it. And will proudly succumb to another. But why? Why? WHY? so good,” the journalist tweeted.

Recently, The Humane Society of the U.S. claimed that in order to create the sandwich, animals are being abused. The HSUS revealed that the fast food chain rears pigs in unethical conditions and filed a legal complaint this week against Smithfield Foods, McDonald’s main pork supplier, for making “unlawfully false or misleading representations about animal welfare and environmental practices.”

Smithfield Foods begs to differ with the legal claim and recently created a new series of videos claiming that pigs are in “ideal living conditions” and their “every need is met.”

“Primarily Smithfield Foods is abusing animals and lying to their shareholders and the public about the abuse,” Paul Shapiro, HSUS’ senior director of farm animal protection, told MailOnline.

Reportedly, Smithfield keeps 500-pound pigs in “gestation crates” small enough that the animals can’t even turn around, which eventually leads to muscle atrophy. This is all part of the breeding program and just one of many claims made about the “hellish conditions.”

According to Shapiro, eight states in the U.S. have passed laws requiring gestation crates to be phased out from within two to six years.

Smithfield continues to deny claims against HSUS saying “We are proud of our unparalleled track record as a sustainable food producer and stand confidently behind our company’s public statements concerning animal care and environmental stewardship.”

McDonalds has also released a statement to MailOnline stating, “McDonald’s has been a long-time supporter of alternatives to gestation stalls, and we will continue to support the efforts of Smithfield Foods and all of our suppliers to phase them out.”

PETA has also gotten involved and is asking Smithfield to commit to an eight-point care plan for protection for whistle-blowers and the phasing out of gestation cages.

Even celebrities are expressing their disgust. For example, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ star Paul Wesley tweeted the following, “Hate to preach but just read an article on McDonald’s “Mcrib” and their cruel treatment of pigs. Shocked at the moral ignorance.”

The good news, for those who are against the sandwich, it will only be carried through Nov. 14. Will you boycott the McRib or get one while they last?

About Allyson Koerner

Allyson Koerner first found her love of writing while attending Westminster College in Pennsylvania, and that passion evolved while she was earning her Master's in Print & Multimedia Journalism at Boston's Emerson College. She's an experienced writer dabbling in all things vegan, green, entertainment and TV-related. Feel free to keep tabs on her over at Twitter: @AllysonKoerner.

View all posts by Allyson Koerner →
  • common man

    HSUS is the big problem. They lie to get people to donate money, misleading people to think that they are the same as your local Humane Society. They are NOT! They are in the business of collecting donations to promote their vegan agenda. Any animal producer wants their animals to be healthy and productive. Gestation crates prevent the mother from laying on her babies and killing them, suprise the mothers will also eat these young pigs. gestation crates have been the standard for raising safe healthy pigs for decades. HSUS has promoted outlawing the crates in the states that have laws phasing them out. No ag group or producers believe that the crates are inhumane. No science just hopped up emotions that is how the HSUS works. Check out to learn more about this special intrest group and the way the use the money that they collect. If you think that big salaries and money spent on lobbying for vegan adgenda in good then support these liars and crooks. Learn the truth and ask you congressmen to investigate these crooks. Oh yea the IRS is investigating them for fraud and not being non profit.

    • don_miguelo

      Stop McRibbing us already, you’re killing me over here! Rather than go to your partisan, lobbyist-funded congressman, check the tax form HSUS openly submits to the IRS here:

      And that article goes on to outline:
      “The HSUS meets all 20 of the comprehensive and demanding Charity Accountability standards of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance (BBBWGA), and enjoys a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator. In 2010, Worth magazine named The HSUS one of the 10 most fiscally responsible charities in America.”

      I’m not certain how much more ringing an endorsement we can get, honestly.

      Here’s the latest link to Charity Navigator, in case you can’t bring yourself trust the other link:

      NO to the McRib just because, c’mon.

    • M. Hill

      As one corn-fed Kansas ranch raised Dr Doolittle, ‘blinders on so I can sleep’ @common man, you are sooooo wrong.. I had my own hogs I raised throughout my childhood.. Not one time did any sow eat her piglets.

      Keep on rationalizing this bullshit.. but honestly.. it is utter bullshit.

  • herwin

    @ common man. why do you think the mother pig would eat her piglets ? because living in an animal factory is hell for her and she goes crazy. Very very sad. You should use your brain, if she was happy and healthy, she wouldnt do that. Spending 24 hours a day 7 days a week in a small confined space is not inhumane ?? Think again. Open your eyes, stop fooling yourself and GROW UP !!!

    • common man

      They will eat their young as many animals do. Pigs eat meat and about anything that they can. Use your brain and learn about ag practises and animal behavior. 52 years of animal handling, behavior study, and animal raising experience for me. How about you?

      • don_miguelo

        Wow how did pigs survive in the wild before gestation crates?! If the mom ate them and/or rolls on the young it’s natural and no surprise to us. What you are really saying is that natural process cuts into your profit margin. You need all those pigs to produce or be slaughtered as adults, not die as piglets. You keep them in crates to benefit YOU, not their own welfare, just for the sake of living.

        And just another point: you don’t think “animal producers” aren’t a “special interest group” of “liars and crooks” that have “big salaries and money spent on lobbying” for their agenda?!! Please, don’t pull that much faux-wool over your own eyes. Use your 52 years of experience by all means, but don’t cheapen it by trying to tear down things you heard about only secondhand.

        For example, check your own sources before advising others: WHY does “humanewatch” appear as an confirmed industry-funded front group on this website? Well, because it is.

  • herwin

    @ Coomon Man. (nice nickname). 52 years of raising pigs, eh, and of shoving the poor animals on a truck (or as you call it “animal handling”).
    My guess is that you are a decent guy with a family to feed and honestly believe that you are taking good care of your pigs.
    Still, NO, animals dont eat their young unless they are under a lot of stress or in an unnatural situations.
    Sorry to say, i dont have any experience with hog farms. You got me there , buddy.
    But i do have experience of growing up with animals not for raising profits, but just seeing animals as fellow living beings, everywhere, in my home, in the park, in the wild, and i learned to apreciate and respect them, and try to understand them, not in a mushy mshy emational way but just that all living beings want to be happy and live their life. It boils down to this : animals and we are all the same, we all have or life and feelings, and we all want to live our life, and we all try to be happy.
    As i said , you probably are a decent guy,in my opinion, but you are also a deeply deranged person for letting other living beings suffer so much, from birth to death and without giving them any space for hapiness, just for making a profit.

    • Alex

      Well said @herwin!

      • Kaylie Nightingale

        nice thoughts, my friend. You truly respect our fellow creatures. You notice I don’t refer to them as animals, because we are all animals anyway.

  • Kaylie Nightingale

    I neve go anywhere near any Macdonalds outlet. The last time that I did so, in 2005, I was violently sick, after consuming one of their cheeseburgers. I have never visited an outlet since then. I am not surprised that Ronald Macdonald doesn’t care about pigs. I never liked the look of him on the tv adverts.