McDonald’s has been losing profits and even closed hundreds of stores in recent years—which makes sense considering more people than ever are learning that the chain exploits millions of animals each year.

And on top of that, when folks buy animal-derived foods, they’re paying the price in the form of medical bills and damage to the environment (we have only one planet, y’all), because eating meat is unhealthy and unsustainable af.

peta2 McCruelty Protest

McDonald’s is pretty effing gross—here’s why you should avoid eating at the Golden Arches.

Nearly 300 Million Chickens Are Slaughtered for the Chain Each Year

To keep up with the demand for chicken nuggets, chickens raised for food are typically crammed into filthy sheds where they can barely move and are often driven insane from confinement. They’re bred and drugged to grow so large so quickly that their legs and organs can’t keep up, making heart attacks, other organ failure, and crippling leg deformities common.

At the slaughterhouse, these terrified birds are often shackled and hung upside down, their throats are cut while they’re still conscious, and many of them are scalded to death in the tanks of water used for feather removal.

The chickens are then de-boned and cut apart. Their breasts are dumped into a giant bin and sent to the “blending room,” where a grinder mashes up all the meat that’s tossed into it—so one chicken nugget can contain the flesh of many different birds. The ground meat is then poured into a blender before being formed into nuggets.

Eating Eggs Hurts Chickens, Too

Considering having McDonald’s for breakfast? Think again. Not only does one large egg contain more than 200 milligrams of cholesterol (almost the recommended daily intake), hens used for eggs are stuck inside filthy, cramped cages and can’t stretch even a single wing.

Baby chicks on factory farms will never be allowed to have contact with their parents, let alone to be raised by them. Since males are considered useless to the egg industry, workers typically grind them up alive shortly after they’re born. 🙁

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Pigs Are Often Tormented and Abused in the Pork Industry

McRib sandwiches, bacon, and sausage equal pure hell for pigs and their babies. Mother pigs spend most of their lives in tiny gestation crates, which are so small that the animals are unable to turn around or even lie down comfortably.

© Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals 

They’re repeatedly impregnated until they’re slaughtered. Piglets, who are taken away from their distraught mothers after just a few weeks, endure having their tails chopped off and their teeth clipped off with pliers, and the males are castrated—all without painkillers.

One Big Mac Might Be Made From Hundreds of Cows

Eating the flesh of one cow is bad enough, but eating a burger made out of the ground body parts of multiple cows is super-creepy and only increases your risk of contracting diseases like E. coli. Imagine if someone mushed up 100 cats or dogs and called it a burger.

cattle feedlot

When still very young, many cows are branded (burned with hot irons), dehorned (their horns are gouged out or cut or burned off), and castrated (male cattle’s testicles are ripped out of their scrotums)—all without painkillers.

Even McDonald’s French Fries Contain Beef Fat … WTF?!

Most fast-food restaurants’ fries are vegan—but in some rare cases (when chains have to be EXTRA SUCKY and add beef flavoring), they aren’t. SMH, McDonald’s.

Eating Animal-Derived Foods Can Lead to Heart Disease
mcdonalds chicken nuggets

High-calorie, high-fat diets packed with cholesterol and animal fat like that found in greasy McDonald’s burgers and nuggets are linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other health problems. The “value” menu isn’t such a great deal when people have to pay for medical bills because they’ve eaten too many Big Macs and Egg McMuffins.

Everyone can choose to avoid supporting cruelty by simply eating vegan.

You don’t have to sacrifice taste to eat healthy, humane foods. Simply replace McCruelty by switching to vegan sausage-and-egg breakfast sandwiches and veggie burgers. And when you stop for fast food, choose one of the many restaurants that offer vegan options. Never eat at McDonald’s.

Try it for yourself. Order peta2’s free guide to going vegan!*

The photos used above show typical conditions on factory farms and weren’t taken at McDonald’s suppliers.