Sunday, June 4, 2023

McDonald’s Blockaded

Saturday May 22nd a group calling themselves Animal Rebellion decided it would be a good idea to blockade four distribution depots for McDonald’s UK, potentially affecting around 1300 stores.  The group have used trucks and hand made bamboo structures to block any exit to the depots.  Their demands are pretty simple; for McDonald’s and other fast-food chains to adopt an entirely plant based menu by 2025!

So who are Animal Rebellion?  They describe themselves as “a mass movement that uses nonviolent civil disobedience to bring about a transition to a just and sustainable plant-based food system”.  A spokesman for Animal Rebellion accused the meat and dairy industry of “destroying our planet”. They further accuse large food companies of illegal deforestation in the Amazon and of practices that emit huge quantities of greenhouse gases.

McDonald’s Blockade
Ewan Munro, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

McDonald’s UK said it was “assessing the impact” of the protest on supplies and apologised if there were shortages to any menu items. 

McDonald’s has committed to introducing a range of plant based menu items during 2021.

At this point I must apologise to anyone of a sensitive nature.  What these tree-hugging-freaks are actually trying to do is impose their will and opinion on the greater public.  What gives them the right to disrupt an international business going about its legal day to day trading? The last time I checked, selling meat was perfectly acceptable and the likes of McDonald’s have built their entire business model on this fact.

I am a confirmed carnivore and am extremely unlikely to change from that.  One of life’s great pleasures is a really good, rare ribeye steak – tough if that offends you!  I can also appreciate that alot of people do not agree with me, either on the grounds of animal cruelty, the taste and texture of meat or, indeed, for environmental reasons. 

I am equally happy eating in a vegetarian restaurant as long as the food is well prepared, well cooked and flavoursome.  I do not want imitation meat substitutes because there is so much that can be done with the correct preparation of vegetables.  At the end of the day it is about personal choice and we should respect each other’s decision.

The main thing about diet is that we all eat a balanced diet which includes a mix of proteins, fats and carbohydrates gained from a mix of animal, vegetable and plant. Eating only red meat every day is just about as bad as it can get, but an entirely plant based diet? No thank you!

The other issue claimed by this group of eco terrorists is climate change.  Yes, there is no doubt that we are currently in the midst of an extremely worrying climate crisis.  Just this week one of the largest ever icebergs has calved from the ice shelf in the Antarctic.  Russia has seen record breaking temperatures in May of 30C in the Arctic Circle.  We need to act now and we need to make changes to our personal lives and put pressure on governments to do away with fossil fuels.  It doesn’t help when certain world leaders deny the existence of climate change!

What we don’t need is a group of ecos trying to force us to eat an entirely plant based diet.  Have they considered the space required to grow all these plants, the pesticides needed to prevent damage to crops or the chemicals required in processing all those plants into something that resembles a burger?  We currently have a choice; you want a burger with meat or you want a processed plant that looks and feels like a burger – you got it.  So, Animal Rebellion get off your bamboo sticks and let Ronald on his way.  Just my opinion; it don’t mean nothing!!

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Dave Winteridge
Dave Winteridge
I am a restaurateur in the South of France but originally from Great Britain. I have spent around 30 years in the hospitality industry and over the past 12 years I have opened restaurants in Spain and France. I am a keen skier, living in the Pyrenees, and ideally for the future I would like to spend less time at the stove and more time at the keyboard.


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