Stop Imprisoning Pregnant Pigs in Tiny Metal Cages

Target: Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s U.S. President

Goal: Ban the use of gestation crates for pregnant pigs on McDonald’s supply farms.

Pigs are among the world’s most intelligent mammals. They are highly social, form close bonds with people and other animals, and possess strong maternal instincts. Still, pigs are subjected to gross mistreatment on factory farms each and every day. Female pigs, or sows, are viewed by the industry as “breeding machines” and are expected to produce upwards of 20-40 piglets a year, with little to no recovery time in between litters. To make matters worse, pregnant pigs are often confined to what is known as a gestation crate– a restrictive metal enclosure not large enough for pigs to even turn around in. These crates prohibit pigs from engaging in natural social behaviors and, in turn, cause severe physical and emotional duress. The stress combined with an overall lack of movement results in a series of health problems, such as tooth damage from excessive chewing and weakened joints. These problems typically go undiagnosed and pigs rarely receive proper treatment.

Though banned in several states and countries like the UK and Sweden, gestation crates are still entirely legal throughout much of the U.S. and are used by some of the nation’s largest and most powerful food corporations. Carl Icahn, a shareholder of the McDonald’s franchise, just recently lost his fight to improve the welfare standards of pigs on McDonald’s supply farms. Icahn claims that, although McDonald’s had previously committed to the banning the use of gestation crates for pregnant pigs by 2022, no such actions have been taken.

Sign this petition to urge the President of McDonald’s to follow through with their promised ban of gestation crates on McDonald’s supply farms.


Dear President Kempczinski,

Pigs on factory farms everywhere suffer from many sources of neglect, all in the name of human consumption. Female pigs, in particular, are heavily exploited by current industrial farming practices. Female pigs on factory farms are repeatedly artificially impregnated and are forced to reside in small metal chambers– known as gestation crates– throughout the duration of their pregnancies. These pigs, which bear the next generation of meat for yours’ and other companies, are unable to even turn around or walk much more than a few steps in these crates. They live atop their own filth and disease runs rampant among them due to their close confines. Oftentimes, these pigs will develop health problems, such as arthritis, as a result of their inability to move or use their joints. The lack of stimulation and socialization for these intelligent animals causes severe emotional stress, which typically also has physical ramifications– neither of which receive treatment.

We must do better to protect the mothers of our Earth. If big corporations, such as McDonald’s, make changes in gestation crate policies, perhaps others will follow in your footsteps. Several other countries and multiple states have already banned this cruel practice in an attempt to improve animal welfare standards on their own farms. So we are asking you, Mr. Kempczinski, to please follow through with your company’s promise to ban the use of gestation crates on McDonald’s supply farms once and for all. The pigs deserve better.


[Your Name here]

Photo Credit: Humane Society



  2. It’s time to stop the crimes against all mammals that enable sheer greed. Confining sows to tiny gestation crates for months is unnecessarily cruel.

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