On Saturday, May 22, at 4:30 am, animal rights protestors set up blockades at four McDonald’s distribution centres across Britain. The group is targeting the company ‘for its role in the climate change emergency’. This blockading will impact roughly 1300 UK branches and 3.5 million customers of the fast-food company chain, according to the activist group.
Animal Rebellion is stopping workers from accessing sites in Hemel Hempstead, Basingstoke, Coventry and Heywood, Greater Manchester. Activists plan to stay at the sites for at least 24 hours, which would cause ‘significant disruption.’ They want McDonald’s to move towards a more plant-based Menu. The activists reported they are using trucks and bamboo structures to facilitate the blockade.
Climate Change Emergency
James Ozden, Animal Rebellion spokesperson, accused the meat and dairy industry of ‘destroying our planet.’ According to him, these industries are 'causing huge amounts of rainforest deforestation' and 'emitting vast quantities of greenhouse gases and killing billions of animals each year.’ Thus, Animal Rebellion wants McDonald’s to commit to becoming fully plant-based by 2025.
Mr Ozden said:
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.
A protestor in Coventry further supported the claim in a video on Twitter and said that the demonstration ‘feels like the absolute right thing to do.’ She also added how we are in the middle of a climate and ecological emergency and continue to consume huge quantities of meat on a scale that is ‘just not sustainable for our planet.’
The activist group believes that the world needs to have more of a plant-based diet that is not based on industrial agriculture and is independent of animal suffering as well. In another video posted on Twitter by Animal Rebellion, they stated that McDonald’s stands as the ‘symbol’ for the meat industry,animal agriculture and what we are doing to our planet.
Animal Justice and Worker Rights
Animal rebellion tweeted about the reasons for the blockade when it started the entire operation, making it clear that climate change emergency is not the only thing that they are fighting for. The tweet said:
Locked on for workers rights, animal justice & to end the climate emergency. We take action to let global corporations know they have to change.
Animal rebellion claims the McDonalds’ have terrible working conditions and pay people low wages. Moreover, they are killing millions of animals worldwide and are a symbol of how we treat the planet and other beings. According to the activist group, ‘Animals are suffering just so people can eat a burger.’ They further tweeted to engage the burger chain personally and said:
We’re waiting for them to come talk to us, or we’ll stop their distribution to all 1,300 restaurants ALL DAY.