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06/07/01 . By UNKNOWN . Associated Press . USA
Hare Krishnas Fight McDonald's Plan
DALLAS (AP) - Members of a Hare Krishna temple are fighting a proposed McDonald's restaurant nearby, saying it would foul the air with the smell of meat.
"We just really feel offended that McDonald's is planning to come here. A big part of our religion is vegetarianism; it's one of our main beliefs," temple-member Mike Meyer told The Dallas Morning News. "It's like an in-your-face type of thing."
Temple members also said the restaurant would bring noise, trash and traffic to their quiet neighborhood.
The owner of the franchise, Karen Skinner, said the restaurant would beneficial to the east Dallas neighborhood.
"We're going to create jobs and beautify the area," she said.
Regional senior marketing manager, Zenola Worrill Campbell, said McDonald's "is committed to be a good neighbor."
The city's Plan Commission is scheduled to vote Thursday on whether to approve the restaurant. The City Council must make the final decision.
Hare Krishnas have met with elected officials and McDonald's representatives, but they don't see how to make the plans more acceptable, Meyer said.
"Philosophically, it flies in our face," said Nityananda Dasa, president of the temple, called Kalachandji's Palace. "This is a spiritual oasis. Anything that disturbs our spiritual development obviously bothers us."
More than 1,000 people attend services at the ornate sanctuary inside the temple, the newspaper said. Many more eat at the temple's vegetarian restaurant, Kalachandji's.
The religion, based on 5,000-year-old Hindu holy literature, teaches compassion and simplicity and uses chanting to connect with God.