Cruel Ronald: Activists ask McDonald’s to be kinder to animals in Indonesia
The famous fast-food chain has pledged to stop sourcing eggs from caged hens in Europe, North and South America, but not in Indonesia.
Disguised as "Cruel Ronald" and holding signs, animal protection activists held a peaceful demonstration in front of a McDonald's restaurant in Kemang, Jakarta, on Monday (3). The action was coordinated by Act for Farmed Animals, a joint effort by organizations Sinergia Animals and Animal Friends Jogya, that asked the company to stop cruelty in egg production.
The action invited McDonald's to commit to sourcing only cage-free eggs in Indonesia. The international company has already banned eggs from hens that are confined in tiny cages for their entire lives in North America, South America and Europe – but not Asia.
"We are simply asking McDonald's to hold the same standards to all its consumers. Why should standards be lower in Indonesia? Battery cages are not only cruel to animals, subjecting millions of hens in our country to a lifetime of suffering; they are also linked to a higher risk of salmonella contamination, posing a threat to human health, too," explains Among Prakosa, from Animal Friends Jogja.
The largest study about salmonella contamination in different egg production systems was conducted in Europe. The European Food Safety Authority found a greater probability of contamination on factory farms that confine hens in cages when compared to cage-free production.
With bloody clothes and a horror mask, an activist disguised as "Cruel Ronald" also drew attention to the cruelty in factory farms by using a stick to repeatedly "beat" another activist dressed as hens. The performance in front of the Kemang McDonald's restaurant caught the eye of numerous people, who kept stopping by to talk with the group of activists and read flyers about the campaign.
"Imagine spending your whole life in a cage so overcrowded where you could not walk or stretch your arms freely. This is how the majority of 200 million hens in Indonesia live. Scientific studies confirm that these cruel conditions cause bone deformations, osteoporosis, injuries, intense distress, and loss of feathers, among many other physical and psychological issues," says Among.
An increasing number of companies are moving away from controversial battery cage systems and have made global commitments to only use eggs that come from cage-free suppliers. Some examples include Hilton Hotels, Nestlé, Kraft Heinz, Mondelez International, and Unilever.
An online petition created by Act for Farmed Animals currently has over 15,800 people asking the company to go cage-free in Thailand and Indonesia. "Consumers are on our side. They don't want lower food safety and animal welfare standards in Asia. McDonald's has the potential to create a very meaningful change for millions of animals in Indonesia. We hope they will make the right decision soon." concludes Among.
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATIONS
Sinergia Animal is an international organization that works in the countries of the Global South to help animals in the food industry and promote more compassionate diets. The NGO is recognized as one of the most effective in the world by the renowned Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE).
Animal Friends Jogja (AFJ) is a non-profit animal protection organization based in Yogyakarta. Founded in 2010, AFJ has grown from just educating people, to an organization that does TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) for stray cats, regular subsidized neutering programs, and campaigns to fight for animal welfare in Indonesia. AFJ is a member of OIPA / Organizzazione Internazionale per la Protezione degli Animali (An International Organization for Animal Protection Associated with the United Nations Department of Public Information), and a member of the Dog Meat Free Indonesia (DMFI) coalition and Open Wing Alliance (OWA).
IMAGES AND PRESS INQUIRIES High-resolution photos can be found here. For further inquiries and interview requests, please contact Act For Farmed Animals at firstname.lastname@example.org or +62 811 2636 258