Promoting veganism by spending our vegan pesos in McDonalds! The Peta Way!
Some McDonald's offer veggie burgers on their menu. So I asked Ingrid Newkirk for the upcoming interview in GoVeg if she occasionally eats at McDonald's.
Surprisingly she fully supported and advised us, vegans, to eat in McDonald's and even buy a load of veggie burgers for our friends and for all people that you know.
In the process she called vegans who avoid McDonald's “well meaning”, which is a polite substitute for the word “naive”.
Holy shit!!!!! Here is the founder of an animal rights organization who strongly advises us to spend our limited vegan money at McDonald's, munch on a veggie burger and so “promote veganism”.
Wait wait wait!!! Doesn't Peta has a McCruelty campaign advising their followers NOT to eat at the McDonald's? Mixed signals? I am so confused now!
The Wishful Thinking Arguments For Eating At McCruelty.
The arguments for eating at a non veg restaurant that offers a few veg dishes are something like this;
By ordering and eating vegan dishes in a non veg restaurants, that restaurant will have various vegan dishes on it’s menu, and so its ordinary regular non veg customers will be exposed to veganism.
Now, THAT is what I call naive.
People Go To McDonald's Because They Want A Happy Meal, Not A Vegan Dish.
First of all people who go to a McDonald's, don’t go there to eat a pizza, Chinese food, steak, or vegan food, watch a movie, or buy clothes. People go to McDonald's for one thing; when they are in the mood for fast food, they want French Fries, a McBurger, a Happy Meal, a milkshake or a giant coca cola. If they want pizza they go to Pizza Hut or Domino.
BY DEFINITION McDonald's customers are interested in “fast food” like greasy hamburgers and a coke, they are not in the mood for anything else.
The idea that with adding one simply veggie burger, you are “exposing” regular McDonald's customers to veganism is very naive. McDonald's must be laughing madly at us silly vegans promoting their fast food chain!
First of all, WHY are regular restaurants adding veg dishes to their menu? The following I have from an article in a restaurant business magazine, a magazine not for the general public but for professional people in the restaurant business. Articles about the latest trends, customer care, practical advice, etc.
The article advises restaurants (it’s members) to include at least two or three veg dishes on their menu. Why? The article explains that customers with a special diet (like people who don’t eat animal products) are often the deciding person in a group. When there is a group of e.g. 5 regular omnivore persons and one person with a special diet (e.g. a vegan), the group often will decide for a restaurant that can provide a meal for that special need person. E.g. a vegan restaurant.
In other words, a non vegan restaurant does NOT put a vegan dish on its menu for YOUR vegan sake , but because YOU (one individual) is a threat to them that YOU take away their customers to a vegan restaurant.
The restaurant business fully knows the influence ONE person, you the vegan, can have, on MANY MORE regular customers (your family, friends, fellow students, partners at work, etc). That’s why they try to bribe you with one or two vegan dishes. In the case with Peta it seems to work!
If they don’t provide one or two veg dishes, YOUR group (one vegan plus a bunch of non vegan friends) will go eat most probably at a ….. VEGAN restaurant. (That is not my opinion, but that is simply what the restaurant business themselves have experienced, and simply are responding to it by adding a few veg dishes, it are FACTS.)
In that case you successfully have exposed your non vegan friends to vegan food, who also will eat a vegan meal. (there are only vegan dishes in a vegan restaurants, duh!)
By adding one vegan dish like a veggie burger suddenly it has become MORE DIFFICULT to take your non vegan friends to a vegan restaurant. The non vegan restaurant has successfully eliminated the danger that YOU take other non veg people to a vegan restaurant. Now, while you eat on your vegan salad, you can watch your friends eating a meat dish! They are NOT "exposed" to veganism. (most probably when they look at you, the lone vegan, munching a poorly made vegan dish, they praise themselves lucky to be meat eaters!)
A Dollar Spend At McDonald's Is A Dollar NOT Spend At Your Local Vegan Restaurant.
First lets establish some facts. We have LIMITED time and opportunity to go eat somewhere, and LIMITED money to spend.
You only can spend your money at ONE place, ONE time, and be at one point in time only be at ONE place, It ALWAYS is an “OR” “OR” choice, never an “AND” AND”.
When you have the time and money to go and eat somewhere, you have the choice to eat OR at the McDonald's (or any other non veg restaurant for that matter) OR at your local vegan restaurant.
Guess what, the more vegans choose for McDonald's, the more vegan restaurants will go out of business. That is not my opinion, that is pure mathematics, a reality that many small businesses (vegan or not) faces daily. Less customers, less income, end of business.
And guess what, this might come as a surprise to you BUT I PREFER A MCDONALDS CLOSED BECAUSE OF LACK OF CUSTOMERS AND NOT A VEGAN RESTAURANT.
Vegan restaurants are often opened by idealistic vegans who invest their own savings money (or did you think that banks give vegans money to open a restaurant? Or that rich people financially donate to vegan restaurants? Think again.) and want to spread veganism this way. They keep their eye on their ideal, they are builders of the vegan community. They seldom reap great profits, more often they just can get by financially. A FEW CUSTOMERS EXTRA OR A FEW CUSTOMERS LESS can mean all the difference for these vegan small restaurants.
Now McDonald's. They don’t care about “veganism”, they don’t invest in “veganism”, they don’t take risks with spreading “veganism”, their own customers also are BY DEFINITION not interested in veganism, they even don’t serve vegan food, except a lousy veggie burger, so WHY SHOULD I SPEND MY VEGAN MONEY THERE ???
The Logic Of Ingrid.
The logic is something like this, if we oppose something, we shouldn't boycott it but join it and through our influence change it for the better. How deliciously naive! Watch out, pink unicorns coming through!
The same logic applied would result in the following advice:
1. Go eat with your vegan buddies at a restaurant that serves fois grass and order a vegan dish. Now you are exposing their regular customers to vegan food and surely will be influenced to eat a vegan dish next time!
2. If you are a liberal, next time vote for the republicans! For sure your liberal presence and vote will change them and they will become liberal!
3. Go buy your clothes at the local fur shop. Buy many non fur items (socks, t shirts) so the fur owner sees there is BIG MONEY to be made from non fur items, and eventually the regular customers of that fur shop will be exposed to non fur items!
SUPPORT VEGANISM SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL VEGAN RESTAURANT.
Vegan restaurants not only attract vegan customers. Also many regular non vegan people visit and eat at a vegan restaurant. I had a vegan restaurants for 4 years and have visited hundreds of veg restaurants, i know for a fact how many non veg ordinary people actually visit veg restaurants, very much people that is. Ingrid really underestimates the influence of vegan restaurants on ordinary people.
A vegan restaurant IS THE BEST PLACE for ordinary people to be introduced to vegan food. MCDONALDS is NOT the right place to “promote” veganism.
A vegan restaurant in your neighborhood will expose and invite regular people to vegan food, just by it's mere presence. A McDonald's with a veggie burger will NOT expose their customers with vegan food.
A vegan restaurant is a small business and like many small businesses every extra customer can make the difference. Instead of being naive and spend your pesos in a non veg restaurant, spend your green ones in a real vegan restaurant.
It are the vegan restaurants that are promoting vegan foods to ordinary non vegan people. If regular people get interested in vegan food THEY GO LOOK FOR A NEARBY VEGAN RESTAURANT. Let us, vegans, support our vegan restaurants so that there will be as much vegan restaurants as possible at many places AND SO MAKE VEGAN FOOD accessible for many non vegan people.
Spend your money wisely, promote veganism and the vegans who are brave enough to invest their money in a vegan restaurant, by visiting your local vegan restaurant, and bringing all your friends and family there on special occasions. YOUR money will keep the vegan restaurant open! Is that so hard to understand?
The last argument For Eating In A Vegan Restaurant and CERTAINLY Not In The McDonald's.
In the city I live, I go eat in a vegan restaurant two or three times a week, with my 4 year old son. Also my wife goes two or three times a week, during her lunch break, to the nearby vegan restaurant.
If we would stop eating there, it would be noticed financially. It is our money (and from other regular customers) that keeps these restaurants in business.
Just recently a few months ago, one other vegan restaurant in our city had a decline in customers and it eventually had to close. Remember that, it is your, the customer, who decides if a vegan restaurant stays open or not.
But apart from the money….
My few weekly visits to the vegan restaurant, with the vegan food and the vegan owners and the vegan atmosphere and the vegan vibes, are super important and special to me. These idealistic authentic vegan restaurants are havens (or “heavens”?) in an ugly society that is filled with small minded mindless consumers and extreme massive animal cruelty everywhere.
At least in this hole in the ground society filled with too much people who only dream of getting filthy rich, there are thank god a few places with ethical owners that share my ethical vegan values, and the ONLY public place where i actually can eat without possibly being surrounded by other people munching on dead animals.
I, we all, should be taking extremely good care of OUR vegan restaurants with their UNIQUE vegan atmosphere. It is a small place on this planet that is from US and not from THEM.
Thanks for the advice Ingrid, but I pass and will continue visiting and supporting AND ENJOYING my local vegan restaurant. I hope one day you will join us and start PROMOTING VEGAN RESTAURANTS and not the McDonalds.
From the upcoming interview:
"A while ago, thanks to Peta pressure some McDonald's “restaurants” added a veggie burger to their menu.
Q9. Are you now occasionally eating a veggie burger in McDonald's?
If it’s vegan, I’ll eat it! Some well-meaning vegans have chosen to ignore the fast-food and chain restaurant market because of its emphasis on animal flesh, but to me the bottom line is this: In order to convince meat-eaters to stop eating animals, vegetarian options must be convenient and available in the places where meat-eaters munch. There will never be vegan or vegetarian options at restaurant chains unless vegetarians and vegans support them. And to show big corporations that there’s money to be made by selling vegan or vegetarian food, we must increase that market. I say buy them for all your friends and people you know in business or at school."
Ingrid clearly advises us vegans and animal rights activist to spend our vegan dollars at non vegan restaurants and businesses. Not a word about supporting vegan restaurants and spending your money there.
Remember, the more money we spend in vegan restaurants, the more vegan restaurants will be out there in the open, in the public street, for anyone to see and offering easy access to vegan food ,with staff that can answer any non vegan person’s vegan questions professionally, a place where often vegan leaflets are available, a place where many non vegans go and try vegan food for the first time.