Abby the abused chicken is seven feet tall, complete with gory details that paint a larger-than-life picture about animal abuse.
Mercy for Animals, a national animal advocacy organization, staged a lunchtime protest for an hour. Solemn volunteers stood on the corner, brandishing graphic signs with pictures of abused chickens.
In August, McDonald’s and its supplier Tyson Foods cut ties with a chicken farmer in Tennessee after Mercy for Animals released a video taken with a hidden camera that the group said showed abusive practices at the farm. In September, McDonald’s announced that it would fully transition to cage-free eggs for its restaurants over the next 10 years. The advocacy group continues to press for changes in animal welfare policies in food supply chains.
In sunny Miami, the volunteer in the feathered costume wore an ice vest and ice collar to combat the heat in the 80s. Other volunteers from the Chicago-based group stuck a hand-held fan into a space near the broken wing to keep their costumed friend cool.
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Customers at the McDonald’s, at 299 SW Eighth St. in Little Havana, were bemused and dismissive of the animal-rights group protest, but pedestrians and drivers honked and shouted support.
“Yes! Hell yes!” one woman yelled. “Keep it up.”
Another man, dressed in all black, simply offered a thumbs-up.
“Everybody has a right to do what they want, as long as it’s legal,” said Ben Cooper.
Cooper, a 32-year-old rapper, was grabbing lunch to go from the McDonald’s. He said his dad is a vegan, and he tries to choose salads over chicken and burgers when he can. He bought a chicken sandwich on Wednesday.
“I actually think it’s cool,” Cooper said of the protest. “It’s important how animals are treated.”
Next stop this week: Tampa.