A McLibel Attack

This is a London Greenpeace (I think) leaflet that attacked McDonalds in Britain. McDonalds is in the process of suing for libel. While the leafleteers make some points, they also hit a few nerves, so I've attached my spurious thoughts. Oh, well, at least typing this consumed my lunch time, so that I wasn't forced at methane gunpoint to eat a McWormPartsBurger...
|What's Wrong with McDonald's?
|McDonald's spend a fortune on advertisements, trying to cultivate an
|image of being a "caring" and "green" company that is also a fun place
|to eat. Children are lured in (dragging their parents behind them) with
|the promise of "free" toys and other gimmicks. But behind the smiling
|face of Ronald McDonald lies the reality - McDonald's only interest is
|money, making profits from whoever and whatever they can.
Well, there's a shock. I thought everyone was just like us - doing it for the sheer love of what we/they do. Here, just as in the Glorious Workers' Paradise of England, most of us need never worry about money, of course.
|Starving The Poor
|While millions of people are starving, vast areas of land in poor
|countries are used for cattle ranching or to grow grain to feed
|animals to be eaten in the West. McDonald's continually promote
Hmmm. Sounds like some of these countries have a problem. Maybe they should quit handing over all their land to McDonalds, and start keeping some for their vegetable-growing, vegetable-consuming, own selves. ("But he looked like such a honest clown!")
|meat products, encouraging people to eat meat more often, which
And therefore, of course, we must.
|wastes more and more food resources. 145 million tons of grain
|fed to livestock produces only 21 million tons of meat and
So raise spinach and eat it.
|by-products. On a vegetarian diet Britain could easily be
|self-sufficient in food.
But she jolly well DOESN'T, DOES she? Britain, that HOTBED of beef raisers & eaters, is nearly overrun with beef even as we type, right? [Note - most Brits wouldn't know a cow if it walked up and bit them]. Now, I must admit that McDonalds does a better job of preparing beef than most places in Britain, but that says far more about the Brits than about McDonalds, eh what?

Also, last I heard, Britain was being run by parliament, with occasional help from The Queen. When did the McDonalds Revolution occur?

|Destroying The Earth 
|The world's most beautiful forests are being destroyed at an
|appalling rate by multinational companies. McDonald's have at
|last been forced to admit to using beef reared on ex-rainforest
|land, preventing the regeneration of forests. Also, the use of
While this may not be so good, perhaps they should worry a bit more about whoever cut the forests DOWN to begin with.
|farmland by multinationals and their suppliers forces local
|people to move on to other areas and cut down further trees.
Again - sounds like some of the countries have problems they need to deal with that go way beyond McDonalds.
|McDonald's is the world's largest user of beef.  Methane emitted
|by cattle reared for the beef industry is a major cause of the
|"global warming" crisis. Every year McDonald's use thousands of
I thought this was caused by fluorocarbons. Perhaps the cows are using too much hair spray? These guys need to make up their minds. Are cows a major danger to the earth, or wonderful, sweet animals to cuddle? Kids, if you see an evil assault methane emitter, do NOT touch it. Get an adult at once.
|tons of unnecessary packaging, much of which ends up littering
|our streets or polluting the land buried in landfill sites.
What unnecessary packaging? Perhaps we should just hold out our hands, and they can drop the food directly in them.
|Ruining Your Health
|McDonald's promote their food as "healthy", but the reality is that
|it is high in fat, sugar and salt, and low in fibre and vitamins. A
Compared to much of the fast food I observed in London, this is healthy. But most of us can read, and realize that McThingies are not the most balanced diet around.
|diet of this type is linked with a greater risk of heart disease,
|cancer, diabetes and other diseases. Their food also contains many
|chemical additives, some of which may cause ill health, and
|hyperactivity in children.  Don't forget too that meat is the cause
|of the majority of food poisoning incidents. In 1991 McDonald's were
|responsible for an outbreak of food poisoning in the UK, in which
|people suffered serious kidney failure.
I really have to wonder about McDonalds contribution to mass meat food poisoning in a country where sandwiches prepared early in the morning are left all day exposed to flies, room air, etc.
|Murdering Animals
|The menus of the burger chains are based on the torture and murder
"You gonna tell us where the calf is, or is Vinnie here gonna have ta rearrange yer udders?" Animal murder. Another great concept. And clearly first degree.
|of millions of animals. Most are intensively farmed, with no access
|to fresh air and sunshine, and no freedom of movement. Their deaths
Wait a minute. They're ranging around on billions of acres, hectares, and furlongs of defoliated rain forest. If they're that cooped up, someone is obviously shipping trillions of tons of beef to another planet. Why is this being hidden from the public?
|are barbaric - "humane slaughter" is a myth. We have the choice to
|eat meat or not, but the 750 million animals massacred for food
|in Britain each year have no choice at all.
That's true. The 750 million animals (of which a small percentage are cows) massacred, I say again, massacred (perhaps the BATF has been giving McDonalds lessons?) for food in Britain have no choice.

God (or nature, if you prefer) did not choose to give the cows, sheep, rabbits, and so forth the teeth or digestive systems to eat meat. Perhaps they should file a class action lawsuit. [Note also the guilt feelings being distributed around a bit here, so that people will desire an external focus for them, in the form of McDonalds.]

|Exploiting Their Staff
|Workers in the burger chains are paid low wages. McDonald's do not
Duh. Why not raise the wages, price the food too high to keep people coming in volume, and then have to lay off the workers? Or with any luck, kick off an inflationary spiral so that EVERYONE can have higher wages - albeit worthless wages?
|pay overtime rates even when employees work very long hours. Pressure
So don't work there! I worked my share of fast food as a teenager and in college. Beat starving. Long hours, hard work. Lots of incentive to actually go learn something that paid better, but in the meantime, I didn't make as much as my friends doing REALLY capitalist exploitive things like construction work, but my work and health weren't dependent on the vagaries of the weather. (I did work for a pipeline contractor one summer in high school - that was enough of that!)
|to keep profits high and wage costs low results in understaffing, so
Whereas if they kept them the other way round, they would go out of business, and then you'd have to go find another Evil Empire, no?
|staff have to work harder and faster and as a consequence accidents,
As opposed to the rest of us, who work easier and slower. Except for our marvelously efficient civil servants, of course.
|particularly burns, are common. The majority of employees are people
I wouldn't say common. They happen, sure. Work around hot stuff, you get burned. Especially when you're hiring the sorts of people who apply at fast food restaurants.
|who have few job options and so are forced to accept this exploitation.
Why? In the Glorious Workers Paradise, aren't they taken care of?
|Not surprisingly staff turnover at McDonald's is high, making it
|virtually impossible to unionise and fight for a better deal, which
|suits McDonald's who have always been opposed to Unions.
Only because it would put them out of business.
|Censorship and McLibel
|Criticism of McDonald's has come from a huge number of people and
|organisations over a wide number of issues. In the mid-eighties
The same could be said of Greenpeace, our employer, and most of us. So what?
|London Greenpeace drew together many of those strands of criticism
|and called for an annual World Day of Action against McDonald's.
|This still takes place every year on 16th October, with pickets
|and demonstrations all over the world. McDonald's, who spend over
|one billion dollars every year on advertising and promotions, are
|trying to silence the world-wide campaign by threatening legal
|action against those who speak out. Many have been forced to back
|down because they lacked the money to fight a case. But this year,
|Helen Steel and Dave Morris, two supporters of London Greenpeace
|will defend themselves in a major High Court libel trial. No legal
|aid is available so the unwaged environmentalists are representing
Unwaged? Employability challenged? Selfless warriors for the cause? Maybe they were fired by McDonalds when they mugged Ronald at a store opening.
|themselves. McDonald's have engaged in a huge cover up, refusing
|to disclose masses of relevant documents. Also, the defendants
That's what judicial systems are for.
|have been denied their right to a jury after McDonald's argued
|that the issues in the case would be "too complex" for members of
|the public to understand. Despite all the cards being stacked
Since the public seems to be too naive to understand that McDonalds is about to destroy all life as we know it on this planet, that's probably a reasonable assessment.
|against them, Helen and Dave are determined to expose the truth.
Indecent exposure - not as big a crime there as in the US.
|Protests against the $24 billion a year fast food giant continue.
|It's vital to stand up to intimidation and to defend free speech.
Especially against $24 billion a year fast food giants.
|What You Can Do
|Together we can fight back against the institutions and the people
|in power who dominate our lives and our planet, and we can create
|a better society without exploitation. Talk to friends and family,
OK. How about these guys take on the makers of Soap Operas, the idiots who plan both commercial and public TV and radio, the federal bureaucracies in most "civilized" countries, and the thousands, if not millions, of farmers, who realized they would starve if they kept growing tofu, so they switched to ranching, thus dooming us all to die of injuries sustained by impacts from exploding cow parts?
|neighbours and workmates about these issues.  Please copy and
|circulate this leaflet as widely as you can.
Yes. Please copy and circulate a leaflet as widely as you can.
|Return to the environment or my home page.
There's an idea. Maybe these guys can all return to the environment. Now.
|Chris Harrison (harrison@cs.ucl.ac.uk)
Miles O'Neal
meo@pencom.com [ net ]
Rte 1, Box 558 / Leander, TX / 78641-9413 [ usps ]
http://www.rru.com/~meo/ [ meo ]
http://www.rru.com/ [ RRU ]

For the hungry lawyers and other socially challenged, I should point out that any opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of anyone, including, but not limited to, God, the web provider, McDonalds, London Greenpeace, the "real" Greenpeace, myself, or anyone else, whether living, dead, or fictional, including cows, sheep, rabbits, weasels, tofu, spinach, leeks, and anyone or anything actually, potentially, possibly or impossibly affiliated with this rant. Furthermore, I (the author) have not verified any of the quoted material, and make no claims regarding the factuality of anything else regarding McDonalds, London Greenpeace, et al.
I must point out that Greenpeace has done a lot of good, and I support some of what they do, such as protecting dolphins. I have been informed by a number of people that London Greenpeace is not the same as Greenpeace.

I have no great love for McDonalds, but that's just because I don't care for their foods, training approach, etc. You cannot truly loathe a fast food chain until you have worked there.

Of course, if you think nature just happened, or is an entity in control, you'd be wrong, but that's your right. (sic)

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