Ronald McDonald versus chickens in the ultimate cage match

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Why did the chicken cross the road? To get away from McDonald's.

Ronald McDonald apparently wants his laying hens to spend their days inside a cage too small even for a waif supermodel s addicted to binging and purging her morning Egg McMuffin. The Humane Society of the United States has floated a proposal for McDonald's to require at least 5 percent of its eggs to come from cage-free hens. But the company has sunk that proposal to the bottom of the deep fryer.

McD's board claims there's not enough science to support the argument that egg-laying hens should have a pastoral pasture when 72 square inches of concrete comfort can do the deed. That's not even enough room for Ronald's big red shoe. Instead, McDonald's is currently involved in a study to see if the evidence supports an enriched environment, where the hen can actually walk around and spread its wings.

In Europe, meanwhile, McDonald's has a plan in place to have all of its partners there use cage-free, egg-laying hens by the end of this year. Of course, the European Union passed a mandate requiring that. McDonald's Lisa McComb told the New York Times that the reason for this effort is a "high consumer demand for cage-free eggs."

Unlike in America, where people want their chicken byproduct quickly, and for under a buck.


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