- McSpotlight -

this one isn't quite as illiterate as most...

Posted by: Gideon Hallett ( n/a, UK ) on August 26, 1997 at 12:27:42:

In Reply to: Sproutmurderers posted by holier than thou on August 25, 1997 at 19:15:38:

Well, at least this one isn't quite as illiterate as most...

: Let's form a group to help protect people from these sprouts.
: We'll need to write a pamphlet called "What's wrong with bean sprouts" or "The Truth About Bean Sprouts". Then we'll picket all the health food stores that sell these. And to get worldwide attention we'll even picket major supermarkets. We'll hang banners that say "sprout murderers" and block the express lines . Then we'll trump up our complaints with all sorts of evil accusations about sprout growers.

One. These complaints aren't "trumped up". Virtually all of them can be cited to "official" sources like the World Health Organization or McD's themselves. You can find a referenced version of the factsheet at:


Two. To describe an action as "evil" is a subjective statement. Unless you can provide some objective qualifier for that, you're utterly wrong in making such a statement.

(before you think it, my pointing that out _isn't_ just as bad, since I'm merely pointing out an obvious inconsistency.)

Three. The McLibel Support Campaign is far from alone in their condemnation of McDonald's. Individuals and groups have been threatened with libel writs by McD's for many years now (as an alternative to accountability and honesty, which might unearth a few unpleasant truths). The McLibel Two were the only people who had the backbone to stand up against the corporate.

: We'll say they lie when they tell the public that sprouts are good for you. And anything that these growers or supermarkets or food -coops do that could be charitable--well we'll just say that was to make them look better in the public's eye. Then when we get our asses sued and lose, we'll cry foul and say there should have been a jury. But then to make ourselves feel better we'll act like we won anyway. We'll seize upon certain statements the judge made and promote them on our website. And we'll vow never to stop fighting until sprouts are wiped from the face of the earth.

You somehow fail to notice that it's not the McLibel Support Campaign that is spending billions on advertising per year. Nor that the processes of hamburger production are kept away from the public eye - to the point that Ronald McDonald is told to tell children that hamburgers come from a patch (like a vegetable) and to evade any questions about what really goes on in the making of meat. That's dishonesty.

Not to mention that 70% of all food poisoning incidents are directly attributable to meat.

As to the trial, the circumstances were absurdly one-sided, with McD's fielding the best libel lawyer in the country, who then managed to persuade the judge that the issues were too complex for the general public. Yet two members of the general public managed to hold off the lawyers, win the moral victory and dent McDonald's image. Go and look up the term "Pyrrhic victory".

McDonald's were looking for 3 things: a vindication, damages and an injunction. They got a vindication so faint as to be damning, damages they could not collect and no injunction. Some victory.

Three years down the line, they've spent millions of dollars and still had their corporate image damaged.

: And then we'll blame everything on the USA, and nobody will catch the irony that anyone in England would be complaining about American imperialism (England has never imposed her rule on anyone else has she , but just don't ask anyone from South Afica or India or especially the descendants of Irish immigrants to the US whose ancestors would or did die from starvation due to British policy.) But if one did point out this irony they would bring up Native Americans and slavery, forgetting that Great Britian had a big old nasty hand in these affairs to. They would neglect to mention that many people fled to America to find some freedom from that loony royal family, who taught these desperate immigrants just how to act when someone stands in your way.

Someone brought this up in this room in May '96.

Do you have to bring this in every time you don't feel you have a point strong enough to stand on its own? Your behaviour is that of a child who won't play unless they make the rules. History is history: something to be learnt, not repeated.

I'm not saying that the UK is blameless. I think the Royal Family are a thieving bunch of inbred parasites who achieved their primacy through oppression. However, endless tit-for-tat is pointless.

And at the risk of sounding flippant, at least the British Empire had the honesty to oppress people by force, rather than pretending that imperialism was what the world really wanted all along, and that the domination was the mother country's God-given right.

(That's not entirely serious, by the way. It's satirical. Just in case)

: But most important we'll know in our hearts that we are morally superior to sprout-eaters, and that it's our solemn duty to defend people in third world countries because we believe they aren't capable of taking care of themselves(although we would never admit this to anyone). And we would live with our hearts full of heaviness knowing that it's our burden to tell the rest of the world how to live.

I've certainly never pretended any moral superiority. I am human, finite and fallible. I am, since I became vegetarian, less likely to suffer from obesity, heart disease, food poisoning and any one of a number of parasites and bugs. I'm not saying that's "better". It's more fun, though.

As to the Third World, they might be able to feed themselves a little better if they weren't in perpetual slavery to the World Bank: their national debts are so large that they export the grain they would normally feed their people with. Said grain usually gets fed to Western livestock, funnily enough. No prizes for guessing the nations that first recommended that the Third World be given such huge loans.

I certainly wouldn't tell the world how to live; as an anarchist and a believer in freedom it would be grand hypocrisy. We can recommend, we can point out that the current system is unfair and wasteful. We can suggest alternatives. But we must _not_ bend the truth and we must _not_ force people, or where are we different from our opponents?

: Come to think of it , wasn't apple juice recalled not to long ago too.

In any situation where food hygiene and healthiness are subordinate to profit and scale of production, this is going to happen, no matter what the food. Again, big business needs to clean up its act, not cover up the truth.


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