A new film from animal rights group The Humane League (THL) and Don't Panic singles out McDonald's over its treatment of chickens.
THL argues that unlike other fast food joints like Burger King and Subway, McDonald's hasn't produced policies that take meaningful and measurable steps to address animal suffering.
McDonalds claims it has improved its welfare policy – but THL claims that, to meet the needs of supply that keeps its network of restaurants stocked with McChicken burgers and chicken nuggets, the fast food chain still overfeeds its unlucky livestock, so that they grow large, fast.
Such practices means some chickens become immobilised by the weight of their bodies, leaving them unable to walk properly and forcing them to sit in their own excrement. THL says the problem is so bad, if humans grew at a similar rate, we would weigh 300kg at two months old (47st 2lb).
It’s not just bad news for chickens. THL argues that eating meat from sick and debilitated chickens raised within cramped factory farms can put humans at risk of contracting bacterial infections such as salmonella and campylobacter.
To make its case against McDonald's, THL got Don’t Panic to create a film.
Debuting under the title 'McGhoster,' defined by THL as "a person, group or company who avoids commitment" it says that McGhoster's are so cruel, they act all wholesome but refuse to commit to improving chicken welfare.
The film opens through the gates of a dazzling mansion, where a party has come to an end – quite literally.
Among the rubble of a destructed and gluttonous get-together, lie the bodies of the partygoers, apparently dead.
While the camera peers around the house, which is packed with McDonald's and chicken references, answering machine messages play over the top.
The messages show disdain at McDonald's for its welfare policy - without referencing it explicitly.
"Did you really think we wouldn't find out?" one person asks. "How can you sleep at night?" asks another. "I'm not loving it!" shouts a caller – a nod to McDonald's famous ad tagline.
The film ends with the onscreen text 'The party's over McDonald's' while an ominous cockerel crows.
It then reads 'McDonald's has been profiting from extreme chicken suffering. Make them change their ways. Sign the petition at McGhoster.com #McGhoster' leading viewers to a website where they can share their support.
So far, 17,279 people have signed the petition, which aims to get 70,000 signatures.
The film will be supported by a series of brand-jacking posters, ad vans and social posts to build momentum and encourage consumers to speak up.
You can now even find definitions for #McGhoster on Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary.