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Burger King Blazes a Trail

Written by PETA | March 28, 2007

BurgerKing.jpgBurger King has announced a series of animal welfare improvements that put it right at the forefront of the fast-food industry in terms of holding its suppliers accountable for the way they treat their animals. As of today, the company will be requiring 2 percent of its eggs to come from hens who are not confined to battery cages, buying 10 percent of its pork from farms that don’t use gestation crates, and rewarding suppliers that use “controlled atmosphere killing” (by far the most humane method available) instead of killing chickens by slitting their throats and dragging them through scalding tanks. These percentages, which amount to a huge number of animals, could be doubled by the end of the year.

These changes have been a long time coming. You may remember PETA’s “Murder King” Campaign, which we called off in 2001 after the company agreed to make significant improvements in its standards, including conducting periodic animal welfare audits. Since then, PETA has been working behind the scenes with the company to improve conditions for the animals it uses for its restaurants. This new animal welfare plan makes Burger King an industry leader, and it sends a strong message to other fast-food companies (including one company which will remain nameless, but whose initials could stand for Killing Friendly Chickens) that are now going to have to play catch-up in a big way, which means good things for animals across the board.

For anyone whose reaction to this news is all, “WTF? That still means that 98 percent of BK’s eggs come from battery cages and 90 percent of its pork comes from gestation crates,” the short answer is that we’re working on it, and that going vegetarian (and gently encouraging your friends to do the same) really is a fantastic way to opt out of all that unhappiness. But in the meantime, props up to Burger King for getting the ball rolling in a big way. Here are a few resources if you want some more info on this huge victory for animals:

P.S. Burger King also has a veggie burger.

Commenting is closed.
  • Jerrie says:

    My family has recently moved and usually we just stop at a Starbucks and get a coffee or at McDonalds or Buger King and get fries. But right before we moved I read in Vegetarian Times that Burger King had a veggie burger. It was so nice that on the trip we actually had somewhere to stop to have a real meal that didn’t include meat. I think this is a huge step that Burger King put this on there menu and hopefully other resturants will start to follow in their footsteps. Good job Burger King!!!! P.S. I was very dissapointed to learn that McDonalds uses lard to fry their french fries……

  • Brandon says:

    I don’t want to lift even one finger to persuade someone to eat animals industrial raised or small family farm raised. No matter how you do it using animals for food is an abominable practice and has no place in a civilized society. We need to quit setting for meaningless measures and get back to work for abolition!

  • Deborah says:

    I completely agree that factory farms and family farms are significantly different. I would not participate in either one but if I had to family farming would be it! My question is that when it’s time for the family farmed animals to be slaughtered what is their process? Who handles that? PETA taking the steps to have everyone understand and start to see what a cruel process it is for these animals is a fantastic approach! I am proud to see that Peta adjusts their approach depending on the culture of the company or the different personalities of people. I still think showing pictures and videos of investigations are priceless! The video shown on the news a couple of years ago about the Pilgrim Pride farm in Virginia was very effective! I can remember my mother calling me screaming and crying. She will never again eat at KFC again because of that video. When I speak of the seal hunt to anyone right now they are completely shocked and sickened by it. They typically are not aware of it at all prior to our conversation and want to help in some way afterward. The more people that know about the abuses the more they will understand and might just take one step towards saving animals in some way that’s better than none. We certainly can not force people so we need to persuade them. GOOD JOB PETA!

  • Quwen Qyiz says:

    Two things 1. If you ask to look at the ingredient list on the box of the veggie burgers you’ll see that they do contain milk and eggs. Not a problem for vegetarians just a note for vegans. 2. This is really great! No matter how much all of you people preach about how it is still cruelty Burger King isn’t going to suddenly change it’s name to Veggie King and stop serving meat. Be happy for what you got and hit on Wendy’s McDonalds or KFC. especially the last one.

  • KathyF says:

    And a darn good veggie burger it is too.

  • Brandon says:

    This socalled “victory” avoids the fundamental ethical issue animals as property. Animals used for food are not viewed as living and feeling beings but as units of property to be exploited for profit. Animals have a right to exist on their own terms not used and abused as means to human ends. When we subjugate their needs for our wants we deny them all that is natural. No “welfare” reform can make this practice morally right. Justice demands abolition!

  • Michele says:

    Of course this is a victory! Neither PETA nor any other animal rights organization is going to convince everyone all of a sudden to adopt a vegan diet so they have to make changes little by little. And having a huge company like Burger King adopt these new measures is going to have a very significant impact on the factoryfarming industry. All of this means that many thousands of animals who would have been enduring horrendous conditions will now at least have more humane conditions. PETA will have been successful in reducing the suffering of these animals. Burger King’s new approach will help more and more people become informed about factory farming therefore more and more people will realize how detrimental it is to animals the environment and humans. Consequently more and more people will become vegetarian or vegan. Again this is a success for PETA and the animals of course!.

  • Brandon says:

    This is hardly a “victory.” PETA should be working to abolish the exploitation of animals instead of regulating their use. PETA’s motto “Animals are not ours to eat wear experiment on or use for entertainment.” I urge PETA to get out of the welfare business and take a stand for veganism and animal rights. Which side are you on the animals or the industry?

  • Canaduck says:

    It’s wonderful that your farm still operates the way it does Kate but like Jack said you are by far in the minority. Most animals used in agriculture live absolutely awful lives. Please look at .

  • Joseph says:

    Kaitlyn I think the problem is with your farm is that your family still makes money off of the exploitation and death of animals. While you treat them better you still kill them in the end.

  • K says:

    This is wonderful! Although they obviously still serve animals the step BK has made is telling the public the fastfood industry is finally starting to get serious in the way these animals are treated and we have organizations such as PETA and HSUS to thank. PETA has done and is doing so many wonderful things for animals I am so proud to be a supporter! P.S. My my my when is KFC going to wise up? The ball is even further in their court now.

  • kelly says:

    Kate I’m confused. If you REALLY care about humane treatment of farm animals why do you seem completely unaware of the abuses of factory farming the MAJORITY of farming? These abuses are EXTREME. I’m a bit suspicious of your real interests when you call exposing these things extreme. Perhaps the real answer is that you are claiming these things are extreme so that farmers can go on doing whatever they want to animals fore profit without criticism? Also I have seen the most viciously abusive PUPPY MILLERS calling themselves “family farms.” Hence I’m a bit suspicious that the family farm thing isn’t a con and makebelieve.

  • Jack says:

    Hey Kate I’m glad that your family’s farm makes an effort to treat animals humanely but as a family farmer you should know that you’re part of a dwindling minority. More than 90 percent of animals raised for meat in this country spend their lives in industrialized factory farms. That’s billions upon billions of animals. According to the egg industry 98 percent of chickens used for their eggs are confined to battery cages. That’s why people who are concerned about animal welfare express strong opinions on the topic. Because the situation is drastic. The farming practices you describe are the exception not the rule. The vast majority of animals raised for meat are tortured to death and a lot of people are justifiably upset about that state of affairs. For more information you can check out Jack

  • Kaitlyn says:

    I am a little bit confused…I live on my families 4 generation farm. We are a little farm in New York and raise our animals very well. We treat our cows pigs chickens ducks we basically treat all of our animals with sincer kindness and respect. I think that some articles on this site stereotype farms. Not all farms are extermly cruel to thier animals. Our farm is a dairy farm and we have about 40 head of cattle. We raise cows from little calves all the way up intill thier full grown cows. If one of our animals gets sick we’ll go to all lengths to try to make it healthy. We are also a very environmentally consious farm with an on farm compost facility and planning a biodisiel plant. We also use no chemicals so i think it would be great if some one could get back to me with some answers about why these articles are so extreme that would be great… Kate

  • kelly says:

    FINALLY big business is understanding that people care about animals.

  • Hans Steinbacher says:

    In some way this is a story with a happy end because it’s a victory for all animal protectors and great organizations like PETA and the Humane Society. At least the conditions for the poor to be slaughtered animals are better but they are still slaughtered and it’s this point which still sadens me much!