What does the McRib taste like? Gym mats? Or PIG TEARS? Meat farming is kind of the worst, but it seems the pigs who end up in McRib sandwiches are especially in need of a clever spider to rescue them. The McRib pork (who knew it had actual pork in it?!) is sourced from Smithfield Farms, which bills itself as a sort of piggy country club with incidental slaughtering — but a 2010 undercover investigation turned up hellish conditions.
Female pigs were crammed into gestation crates, preventing movement for most of their lives; many crates were coated in blood from the mouths of pigs chewing the metal bars of their crates; a sick pig was shot in the head with a captive bolt gun and thrown into a dumpster while still alive; prematurely born piglets routinely fell through the gate's slats into a manure pit; castration and tail docking took place without anesthesia; and employees tossed baby pigs into carts as if they were stuffed animals. The investigator saw many lame pigs but never a vet.
Smithfield employs noted animal expert Dr. Temple Grandin as an advisor, and apparently she's told them to get rid of the gestation crates and they said they would … by 2017. Meanwhile, Smithfield continues to promote itself as "committed to animal care," and the Humane Society continues to legal-complaint the pants off them for misrepresenting themselves.
McFib? The Conditions at McDonald's McRib Pork Supplier, The Atlantic.
Get Grist in your inbox