“Wendy’s has plans to bolster its animal welfare standards following intense pressure from an animal rights group. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) today will announce the end of its 2-month-old campaign against Wendy’s. The move comes one day after the fast-food chain told PETA it would strengthen oversight of its suppliers and improve treatment of animals before and during slaughter.”
—USA Today, Sept. 2001
On September 6, 2001, PETA called off its Wicked Wendy’s campaign when the fast-food giant confirmed that it would meet the animal welfare standards that PETA negotiated with Burger King.
PETA’s campaign involved provocative ads, including one depicting Dave Thomas with his head up his bottom and a billboard featuring “Wicked Wendy” as a bloody butcher. The campaign had the support of Babe star James Cromwell, who led the campaign kick-off demonstration in Vienna, Virginia. The campaign also featured dozens of protests at Wendy’s restaurants nationwide.
PETA called off its Wicked Wendy’s campaign when Wendy’s agreed to do the following things:
- Conduct unannounced inspections of its slaughterhouses and take action against facilities that fail the inspections
- Implement humane catching guidelines that will drastically reduce the number of chickens’ broken bones as a result of rough handling
- Require suppliers to give “laying” hens a minimum of 72 square inches of cage space
- Stop purchasing from suppliers who “force-molt” chickens (i.e., starve them in order to force them to lay more eggs)
- Immediately require suppliers to adopt air-quality guidelines for chickens
- Work to develop alternative housing systems for pigs
- Immediately apply the above standards to the company’s Canadian operations
Update: Wendy’s Makes Additional Improvements Following Discussions With PETA
In July 2007, following years of discussions with PETA, Wendy’s announced plans to phase in the use of crate-free pig meat and give consideration to suppliers that use “controlled-atmosphere killing,” the most advanced and humane method of slaughter available. PETA continues to push Wendy’s to improve conditions for egg-laying hens.