Pressure is increasing on the global restaurant chain McDonald’s in the United Kingdom to turn to plant-based foods in its menu with activists from campaign group Animal Rebellion blockaded distribution centres of the company in the country.
The group said that lorries of the company were prevented from leaving McDonald’s four distribution centres in the United Kingdom by about 50 protesters using trucks and bamboo structures.
A spokeswoman for McDonald’s UK apologised to its customers for any disruption. “We are assessing the impact on deliveries to our restaurants and to menu items,” she said.
Protestors remained at the site for 24 hours and continued to disrupt the supply chain of the company, the group said.
A replica model of McDonald’s golden M-shaped arches logo that was splattered with blood like red paint was suspended by the protestors in the bamboo structures at the gates of a distribution centre of the company, showed images released by Animal Rebellion.
“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,” said James Ozden, a spokesperson for Animal Rebellion.
“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.”
However during the weekend, local police arrested 14 of the animal rights activists and protestors who had participated at the disturbances created at McDonald’s depots in Hemel Hempstead, Basingstoke, Coventry and Heywood in Greater Manchester on Saturday.
The demands of the animal rights group is to that McDonald’s should pledge to become completely plant-based by 2025.
The police in Hampshire charged eight people of aggravated trespass in relation to the protest and they included seven women and one man aged between 18 and 51 years.
“Everyone has the right to free speech and protest, however, officers will take necessary action against the few who deliberately choose to act outside the law,” Chief inspector Matt Reeves said.
The protests at Coventry and Heywood ended voluntarily at 10am and 4am on Sunday, respectively, said animal Rebellion spokesman James Ozden. However the police cleared the protests at Hemel Hempstead and Baskingstoke.
An estimated 1,900 lories of McDonald’s had been prevented from exiting the facilities by around 100 protestors who took part in the protests, Ozden said.
“We’ve also got a report from someone in Manchester that they experienced limited McDonald’s breakfast items due to the protest,” Ozden said.
“Our distribution centres have reopened and are now back to delivering to our restaurants,” a McDonald’s UK spokesperson later said after the protests were over.
The wider aim of the protests was to criticise the animal agriculture industry for the role played by it in the global climate crisis, Ozden said.
“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. The only sustainable and realistic way to feed 10 billion people is with a plant-based food system,” he said.
(Adapted from NDTV.com & Standard.co.uk)