McDonald’s annual shareholders meeting Thursday was accompanied by two separate protests at the company’s new headquarters in the West Loop.
The meeting was held at the fast food giant’s Oak Brook campus, but there were no protests there, according to a spokesman for the Oak Brook police.
Instead, protesters gathered outside the company’s new headquarters, erected on the former site of Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Studios on West Randolph.
About 10 people with the Illinois Public Interest Research Group Education Fund called on the company to phase out the use of antibiotics in the raising of cows and pigs the restaurant uses.
The restaurant chain has said it seeks to limit the use of antibiotics, but Illinois PIRG Director Abe Scarr wants to see the company commit to a timeline to accomplish the goal.
“Antibiotics are precious medicines and when we use them or misuse them they become less effective,” he said.
Also on Thursday, members of the Chicago Humane League called on McDonald’s to create policies to better the living conditions of chickens that end up on their menu.
The group erected a golden arches made of yellow balloons that was covered in fake blood on the sidewalk on Randolph.
“We are urging them to produce a meaningful welfare policy for the chickens in their supply chain,” said Clarke Snell, a leader of the group.
In response, a McDonald’s spokesperson wrote that the company is “committed to sourcing our food and packaging sustainably, including the welfare of the animals,” and that their approach is “the most comprehensive way … to measurably improve chicken welfare.”
McDonald’s now has a “Global Chicken Sustainability Advisory Council” whose members include academics and animal health and welfare experts.