McDonalds 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.
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 meat products, encouraging people
to eat meat more often, which wastes more and more food resources. 145 million
tons of grain fed to livestock produces only 21 million tons of meat and
by-products. On a vegetarian diet Britain could easily be self-sufficient
The world's most beautiflil forests are being destroyed at an appalling
rate by multinational companies. McDonald's have at last been forced to
adrnit to using beef reared on ex-raiforest land, preventing the regeneration
of forests. Also, the use of farmland by multinationals and their suppliers
forces local people to move on to other areas and cut down further trees.
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 tons of unnecessary packaging,
much of which ends up littering our streets or polluting the land buried
in landfill sites.
Destroying The Earth
McDonald's promote their food as "healthy", but the reality is
that it is high in fat, sugar and salt, and lowin fibre and vitamins. A
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.
Ruining Your Health
The menus of the burger chains are based on the torture and murder of millions
of animals. Most are intensively farmed, with no access to fresh air and
sunshine, and no freedom of movement. Their deaths 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
Workers in the burger chains are paid low wages. McDonald's do not pay overtime
rates even when employees work very long hours. Pressure to keep profits
high and wage costs low results in understaffmg, so staff have to work harder
and faster and as a consequence accidents, particularly burns, are common.
The majority of employees are people who have few job options and so are
forced to accept this exploitation. 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.
Exploiting Their Staff
Criticism of McDonald's has come from a huge number of people and organisations
over a wide number of issues. In the mid-eighties London Greenpeace drew
together many of those strands of criticisrn and called for an annual World
Day of Action against McDonald's. This still takes place every year on Octoher
16th, with pickets and demonstrations all over the world.
Censorship And McLibel
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
are defending themselves in a major High Court libel trial.
No legal aid is available so the unwaged environmentalists are representing
themselves. McDonald's have engaged in a huge cover up, refusing to disclose
masses of relevant documents. Also, the defendants 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 against them, Helen and Dave are determined
to expose the truth. Protests against the $24 billion a year fast food giant
continue. It's vital to stand up to intimidation and to defend free speech.
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, neighbours and workrnates
about these issues. Please copy and circulate this leaflet as widely as
you can. Please Send me more information.
I enclose $ __________ donation to the campaign
Name _________________ Address_____________________ _____________________
McLibel Support Campaign,
PO Box 14-156,