2021-05-27 jiangye111 11656
UK animal rights group blockades four McDonald’s depots
-Activists plan 24-hour protest in attempt to get company to turn fully plant-based by 2025


(Animal rights activists blockade McDonald's distribution centres across UK)


Animal rights protesters have set up blockades at four McDonald’s distribution centres across Britain, which they say will affect about 1,300 restaurants.


Activists from Animal Rebellion used trucks and bamboo structures to blockade distribution sites at Hemel Hempstead, Basingstoke, Coventry and Heywood in Greater Manchester from about 4.30am on Saturday, the group said.

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The group wants McDonald’s to commit to becoming fully plant-based by 2025. Animal Rebellion said it would remain at the sites for at least 24 hours, causing “significant disruption” to the company’s supply chain.


Kerri Waters, who has been a member of Animal Rebellion since its inception two and half years ago, spoke to the Guardian from Heywood where she and about 20 other activists have been since 4am on Saturday.


“Spirits are high, especially since it has warmed up a little, and we have had people come down to show their support,” she said. “The police presence was very light at the beginning and in fact at one point they just left us. But now there are multiple police officers.”


She said she hoped the action would make people stop and think. “As an ordinary, working-class woman, what I would like to say to others like me is that this isn’t about taking anything away from you but if we continue to consume the way we do, this will seriously impact future generations. Today we have the ability to be able to create meats and dairy products in a plant-based version or a cultured version.”


She added that campaigners accepted they could be arrested. “We understand the urgency of the situation. We’re getting down to the line now: we have to make a massive change otherwise there’s no future left.”


In a video on Twitter, a protester in Coventry said the demonstration “feels like the absolutely right thing to do”.


She added: “We are in the middle of a climate and ecological emergency and we are still consuming huge quantities of meat on a scale that is just not sustainable for our planet.”

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An Animal Rebellion spokesperson, James Ozden, said the action was aimed at calling out the animal agriculture industry for its part in the global climate crisis.


“The meat and dairy industry is destroying our planet: causing huge amounts of rainforest deforestation, emitting immense quantities of greenhouse gases and killing billions of animals each year,” he said.


“The only sustainable and realistic way to feed 10 billion people is with a plant-based food system. Organic, free-range and ‘sustainable’ animal-based options simply aren’t good enough.”


The campaign group tweeted that it planned to cause “significant disruption” to McDonald’s by staying at the sites for at least 24 hours, which would affect restaurants restocking over the weekend.


A further tweet called on the burger chain to engage personally with the activists. It read: “We’re waiting for them to come talk to us, or we’ll stop their distribution to all 1,300 restaurants ALL DAY.”


A McDonald’s spokesperson said: “Our distribution centres are currently facing disruption. We are assessing the impact on deliveries to our restaurants and to menu items. We apologise to our customers for any disappointment caused.”


4 well 3 and a bit years to go 100% plant based is a little excessive. Especially when the best meat substitute burger is those beyond burgers which are nice but not close to meat flavour wise and they are expensive as fuck.
That said more vegie options at fast food places wouldn't be a bad thing.


Surely it would be a good thing though? What does excessive mean in this context?
Macdonalds switching to 100% plant based would be an incredible achievement for humanity. Showing that we can make the right decisions as a species when faced with a crisis. Why not push for that? I don't get why, even as a meat eater you'd push back against that on the internet when you have no stake in it.
They're basing the demand on what the science says the planet needs, not on what will have require zero changes by any corporations.


It would definitely be a good thing for the planet. Business wise it would be excessive. There just aren't enough vegans to justify it. They would lose money hand over fist to every other fast food joint. Forcing veganism on people would be economical suicide for a buisness.
They can push for what ever they want. Dosent mean it's sensible, realistic or going to happen.


McDonald's is low quality meat that tastes absolutely nothing like steak. Having tried vegan burger king I really don't think there's any difference in taste, they're crappy burgers that fill a fast food shaped hole.
I honestly think if Macdonalds went 100% vegan tomorrow the vast majority of people would keep going to it. People trust Macdonalds way more than they trust vegans. If you watch TV you see Macdonalds adverts every day made by the very best in the advertising business. People would be convinced by a beautiful happy Macdonalds advert showing a bunch of happy people and a sunrise that says "the planet needs saving, so we've gone 100% plant based." I think the vast majority of people would be pleased that they're now a "goodie" and they don't even have to stop eating Macdonalds. People want to be on the right side of history. People identify with Macdonalds.
And ultimately, a regular customer at Macdonalds is doing it because they're lazy and they crave the food. That's not gonna change even if they know their shitty burger is now ethical.


Interestingly Mcdonald's is signed up to the RSPCA assured "scheme".
It's basically a way of saying they source animal products that have been farmed in a sustainable and as humane a way as possible.
RSPCA assured rules are significantly more stringent than the normal rules for ethical practise in the UK.
Mcdonald's RSPCA assured
Maybe they should have gone after another establishment that doesn't do this.


If you're a cow, being slaughtered in an RSPCA Assured way must bring great comfort.
I'm pretty sure animal rights activists see the RSPCA assurance scheme as the joke that it is, and are going after the largest fast food chain in the world for other reasons.


Pretty clear you didn't click the lix and do some reading.


The assurance doesn't even apply to cows, so macdonalds are explicitly not even signed up to try and reach the RSPCA's very low bar of animal treatment when it comes to cows.
The horrors of what they do to those animals aside, the protest is about the climate crisis. If doesn't matter how well you treat them, when 60% of all mammals are livestock humans have made, the impact on the environment is one of abject destruction. From cutting down forests to feed them, to the greenhouse gases they emit every day from their stomachs.


I fully agree the climate crisis is the real problem. But they are being defined as animals rights activists. So I'm giving relevant info on the improved welfare of animals.
I expect (granted, just guessing) part of the reason they have only signed up to the RSPCA assured for their pork is due to supply. I.e. they can be sure to get enough pork that fulfils the requirement. But it's a start isn't it?! Instead of people complaining and whining about these schemes, encourage them! Mcdonald's might then work harder to ensure their suppliers for beef are held to a higher standard.
One thing to add is that that there is a "vicious circle" of cost of meat and eating it in every meal. If the cost of meat were greater then people would HAVE to look to alternative foodstuff (vegetarian etc) to survive. One way to make meat cost more is to farm it more responsibly and ethically. If more meat is farmed this way and levels of standard heightened then the cost goes up and people have to eat more ethically.


The problem is that these schemes are essentially the same as the greenwashing in the fossil fuels industry. They give an appearance of change, a tiny shift in practices to suggest that things are getting better and to placate the majority of people, when in reality they have no intention of ever fundamentally changing their practices at all and have already calculated that these tiny changes won't hurt their profits at all.
Also, do you not think that those small concessions are the result of activism and of people caring more about how their meat is made? Do you not think that noisey vegans are the reason people are even thinking about this stuff? Them having made their tiny concessions is an argument in favour of more progress and more noise, because clearly the corporations know now they have to at least pretend to be green.
Maybe if moderates like you spent their time saying "this is great, lets push for better animal rights and lower emissions, I'm not eating at MacDonalds until they do" we'd already be in a much better position than we are now. Rather than commenting something which amounts to "we should stop bothering MacDonalds, they're doing everything they can"


The group demanded that McDonald’s commit to becoming fully plant-based by 2025.
Imagine telling the world's largest Burger restaurant they have to become meat free in four years. Idiots.


I kinda see where they’re coming from, though.
The amount of animals who are slaughtered each year is staggering.
In the U.K. alone we slaughter almost a billion birds for human consumption in a year. A billion.
Being part of a machine that has industrialized the slaughter of animals... tastes quite bad.
I’m not trying to guilt anyone into making changes to their lives, I’m under no illusion - I have no right to do so. I do believe we should probably reduce our animal product consumption, but there’s no way to force it on people (or businesses).
Flip side of that is, if you take McDonald’s out of the market... that gap will be filled. People are gonna keep eating cheap meat. Asking McDonald’s to stop serving it won’t solve the problem, even if it was realistic.


Extra bacon for me this morning in solidarity.


Yeah those annoying vegans, show them this next time


Meat free by 2025 is probably too much of a stretch, but I think we could get there in the west by 2035. At least to the point where all/most meat consumed is lab grown.
The levels of meat consumption we have right now are really high compared to most of history and I feel our health and our environment would be better if we returned to the levels of meat consumption enjoyed by our ancestors.


It’s never going to happen I say this as a vegetarian you’re kidding yourself if you think otherwise. People just don’t care about animals.


I strongly disagree that people don't care about animals.
Most meat eaters when confronted with how animals are farmed agree it's wrong.
It's why so many people swap to the organic and/or "happy" farmed meats.
There certainly is a cognitive dissonance with some people that don't like to think they are eating animals which is infuriating.

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Absolute morons. I, as a meat eater, do not want McDonald's to go fully plant based. I'm all for more vegan options and giving people choice but fuck me vegans make it hard to empathise with them sometimes.
I had a one of those beyond meat burgers breakfast sandwiches at star bucks the other day as I, like most people are open to trying stuff, but honestly it tasted horrible, yet they want crap like that the only option within 4 years? Delusional!


A burger at Starbucks?! As a veggie, I wouldn't describe any of the alt-burgers I've had recently as "disgusting", but most are very unlike meat, I'll grant you. I had a B12 burger recently and it had a strong beetroot flavour. Nice for me, but I'm sure most meat eaters would hate it. The best I ever had was the Impossible Burger at Creamline in New York. Not sure if it's available anywhere here but, honestly, as far as my ravaged taste buds could remember, it was amazingly close to meat.


Industrial scale beef production requires huge scale environmental destruction and systemic slaughter, no feel good "assurance" can change that. If you don't get why animal activists would target McDonald's it's you who is missing the point.

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By far the best food production method is mixed rice/aquaculture, where you raise fish in paddy fields. Doesn't need any extra land or water compared to just raising rice and adds barely any carbon while producing a huge amount more of protein.


Correct me if I am wrong here, but don't McDonalds make a point of using British Beef?
I am sorry but Beef Production in Britain is in not way "huge scale environmental destruction".
I agree, if they were using Brazillian grown beef, fed on Brazilian grown soy. But that is simply not how British cattle are raised.


I know it’s not possible to change all consumer’s minds overnight, and that is not my aim. I know that baby steps to change are necessary, one mind at a time, and that’s what I’m talking about.
I understand your original question of “Why McDonald’s?”, but I’m sure that many activists are saying “Why not McDonald’s?” because of its high visibility and large market share. The goal is to get as much attention as possible to get the highest ROI of your activism event, and I think it’s smart to choose McDonald’s for these reasons. Many might read the news and say “Burger King, big deal, they’re not the big dog.” I’m interested - what are the vegan McDonald’s options in UK? In the US it’s only french fries. Burger King has the Impossible Burger, which I order with no cheese and no mayo.
I don’t feel bad for McDonald’s. So long as they sit with large market share and high visibility on the backs of animal exploitation (even under the guise of “highest standard of ethical harvesting”) they will be attacked. How can they stop being attacked? Only by combined corporate and consumer behavior changes, through decreasing animal products and increasing plant based ones, and consumers increasingly buying them. Everyone’s in it together. Baby steps.