Major restaurant chains lag behind on animal protections, new report shows

Related Articles

  • Animal Equality released its Restaurant Report, exposing thirteen restaurant chains for falling behind industry standards for pregnant pigs.
  • One featured restaurant chain–Denny’s–has been embroiled in an animal cruelty scandal, with protests erupting across the nation.
  • Meanwhile, the restaurant industry has been shifting away from cages for pigs due to mounting public concern for animals.

As the restaurant sector increasingly shifts away from caging mother pigs in their supply chains, several well-known chains have now been exposed for lagging behind. 

script type="text/javascript"> atOptions = { 'key' : 'b9117458396fd1972f19bab359dbc64a', 'format' : 'iframe', 'height' : 90, 'width' : 728, 'params' : {} }; document.write('');

Animal Equality’s newly-released Restaurant Report has called out the top thirteen corporations allowing extreme confinement in their supply chains. While some have refused to issue public commitments to phase out cages for pregnant pigs, others have abandoned their commitments altogether. 

Consumers nationwide are expressing their outrage by emailing industry leaders and speaking out on social media. Find out if your favorite restaurant chain is on the list and how you can share your thoughts with corporate executives. 

Gestation crates spark controversy, protests

Gestation crates, widely criticized by the public, scientists, and animal welfare experts, are banned in several countries and eleven U.S. states. These tiny, metal cages prevent animals from turning around or taking more than a step forward for their entire pregnancies. Mother pigs often develop sores as the bars press into their skin.

script type="text/javascript"> atOptions = { 'key' : 'b9117458396fd1972f19bab359dbc64a', 'format' : 'iframe', 'height' : 90, 'width' : 728, 'params' : {} }; document.write('');
Image representative of a farm that uses gestation crates

During its investigations into factory farms, Animal Equality discovered pigs biting or throwing their heads against the metal bars in psychological distress. Some pigs were seen “sham chewing,” or biting at the air.

Since 2008, restaurant giants like Chipotle, Cheesecake Factory, McDonald’s, and Burger King have pledged to phase out or eliminate these cages, signifying a larger shift in the industry. They’ve been joined by key players in the food service and packaged foods industry, including Conagra–supplier of Slim Jim, Reddi Wip, Swiss Miss, Orville Redenbacher’s, and Chef Boyardee.

With the release of its Restaurant Report, Animal Equality is shining a public spotlight on restaurant chains falling behind their competitors. One of them–Denny’s–has been involved in a nationwide animal cruelty scandal, with protests erupting from Los Angeles to New York City. 

script type="text/javascript"> atOptions = { 'key' : 'b9117458396fd1972f19bab359dbc64a', 'format' : 'iframe', 'height' : 90, 'width' : 728, 'params' : {} }; document.write('');
International Franchise Association Convention for Denny’s, Phoenix, AZ

By failing to keep pace with the rest of the industry, these thirteen chains are putting their reputations at risk. As we’ve seen with Denny’s animal cruelty scandal, the public demands better for animals. And, more importantly, we now know that the public is watching.

Devon Dear, Ph.D., Institutional Outreach Manager for Animal Equality

Plant-based foods: a compassionate approach

In addition to raising their voices for pigs, many consumers are choosing plant-based eating as an alternative to animal products. By reducing the demand for meat, eggs, and dairy, plant-based choices can alleviate suffering for farmed animals while providing healthy, sustainable options.

Restaurants are increasingly recognizing this trend and offering more plant-based dishes. Discover compassionate alternatives for your favorite foods, whether you’re heading to a restaurant or crafting dishes in your own kitchen. 

Piglet in a factory farm


Pigs, cows, and other animals feel pain and deserve to be protected from abuse.

You can protect these intelligent animals by simply choosing plant‑based alternatives.

More on this topic



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Popular stories