- McJobs and Workers -

...and we're supposed to be shocked?

Posted by: Gideon Hallett ( n/a, UK ) on July 23, 1998 at 10:20:15:

In Reply to: Guess what Chris! I had a Double Quarter Pounder today! posted by Mike Bacon on July 23, 1998 at 09:36:23:

: Yada, yada, yada!!! Chris, it's a free country dammit! McDonald's sells a PEFECTLY LEGAL product!!! I went to the Grapevine, Texas McDonald's on my way home from work today, and had a very good Double Quarter and Supersize fries. Am I morally bankrupt? Am I an idiot? I think not! There are MUCH WORSE organizations and places than the Arches! Your hero Bill Clinton is a Big Mac fan, in case you forgot!

It's a pseudo-free country, granted. However, people can't make "correct" or "accurate" judgement without a full view of all the issues. How many "legal" activities are ethically questionable?

You state that it is a free country. Partially true, yet how many of the goods you consume are manufactured in places that aren't? You may have the freedom, the money and the goods, where the other nation has a massive national debt, starvation and a repressive regime - in buying the product manufactured by that country you are sponsoring that government.

Of course, it's not as simple as that - merely withdrawing support from a repressive nation would result in the "little" people suffering - but that does not mean you should absolve yourself of all moral responsibility to your fellow human beings, stick your head in the sand and say "it's not my problem".

There may well be worse organisations and places than McD's. Take, for example, Sun Valley Foods (McD's UK supplier of chicken meat) - a place that has been found guilty of animal abuse and negligence on a repeated basis. Or the Brazilian government, which allows the destruction of large amounts of rainforest for the growing of soya beans - soya beans which are fed to the cattle that make McD's burgers. It's a simple case of "six degrees of seperation" - McD's aren't great in themselves (I'm being polite here), but they deal with people more exploitative and repressive than they are - like sweatshops in Vietnam (q.v. the Disney/McD's Happy Meal toy story).

How much of your "freedom" is built on other people's slavery?

Are you just going to deny all involvement?

Of course, it's part of the whole sordid system of global capitalism, and most of the products you can buy in the shops are tainted by this to a greater or lesser extent.

For example, The Body Shop declares itself to be "against animal testing", yet it funds research done by a company (Quintiles) which tests cosmetics on animals - they don't fund animal experiments directly, but they fund a company that does such experiments.

That's not a reason for inaction, though. It's a reason to change things.

Of course, if you do refuse to admit your partial contribution to this, however small, I think the charge of moral bankruptcy is to some extent justified.

After all, you're consuming an unnecessary luxury product whose production damages the environment, fosters a culture of unhealthy eating and exploits people worldwide. No fence-sitting here - either you're for it, or you're against it. Pleading ignorance is no excuse, especially as you have Web access.

Ignorance is bad, but excusable. Wilful ignorance is, I'm afraid, a neglecting of your duty as a human being and citizen of the world.


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