#mcdonalds #gmo #environment #health #power
You may think that huge corporations and endlessly wealthy people hold the most power, but you would be wrong. Those corporations and the rich people who run them are like little drooling puppies eager to please their master. The people who give them money are their masters. That is why McDonald’s customers, all 69 million that eat there each day, are the most powerful people on the planet.
This also means that those 69 million people who eat at McDonald’s each day, are responsible for the foreseeable end of the world.
You may think I am being a little harsh, after all, there are quite a few other burger, chicken (yes, even the religious ones) and pizza joint customers who are definitely doing their part to destroy this planet and all things living on it. But I point to McDonald’s because they are the leader in the fast food industry. They are the fast food company that all fast foods strive to be. They have led the way, set the standard, created the business model and all other fast food chains copy it…because McDonald’s is loaded.
The good news is that those 69 million people also have the power to save the world. Don’t believe me? Well consider this: Back in 1990, McDonald’s got a bad name for all the polystyrene waste it produced due to serving its burgers in plastic boxes. To avoid bad publicity, McDonald’s stopped using the plastic boxes and switched to the more environmentally friendly paper. Did they do it because they care about the environment? Hell no, they did it because they feared the loss of profits if they didn’t. But they did it, and that’s a good thing.
Or consider this: Back in 2000 McDonald’s single-handedly put an end to the GE (Genetically modified also known as GMO) potato. How did they do it? They simply told their French fry suppliers that they wouldn’t buy any French fries made from genetically modified potatoes. Why? Because their customers told them they wouldn’t eat GE potatoes.
McDonald’s customers are even more powerful than the government. When the fear of mad cow disease threatened the sales of their hamburgers, McDonald’s stepped in and managed to get their ground beef suppliers to provide safe meat when the FDA and USDA were not able to. Authority doesn’t hold a flame to the mighty dollar. With McDonald’s being the largest purchaser of ground beef and potatoes in the world, when they threaten to stop buying from you, you better listen.
The fact is, McDonald’s customers control the actions of McDonald’s. Don’t kid yourself, McDonald’s doesn’t care about you or your family, whether you get Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease or have a triple bi-pass because you eat their food every day. But they do care about the money you spend on their food every day, and are willing to do whatever you want them to in order to get you to walk through their door.
So what exactly are McDonald’s customers doing to destroy the world? Well, simply, they are demanding that McDonald’s supply them the cheapest, most convenient, tasty, addicting food on the planet. And McDonald’s is listening. Whatever it takes, they will do it. They love their customer’s (money).
If you eat at McDonald’s, you probably haven’t made it this far into the blog post, I’ve probably already lost you because McDonald’s customers are some of the most loyal customers out there. But I hope you are still reading because you are the one that I am really writing this to. You are the one that has the power to change all the things that are wrong with McDonald’s. If I still have you, please, read on.
You may not care about all the things McDonald’s does in order to get you the fast, cheap, convenient, tasty and addicting food you eat. But I’m guessing if you care about anything, than you should care about what McDonald’s is doing to SERVE YOU.
Here are a few things you might care about.
If you care about animals than you should not support an industry that causes clear cutting of rain forests. Because McDonald’s has become a global company which tries to Americanize each new country it invades. It has also brought with it the large consumption of beef which requires vast areas of grazing fields thus requiring the clear cutting of rain forests. Clear cutting of forests displaces wildlife and increases the rate of extinction. It also decreases the amount of precious trees on earth to filter our polluted air.
Not to mention the cattle. After a short time growing up, cattle are moved to feedlots for fattening-up and to wait until the beef market is at its peak so they can be slaughtered. The feedlots are vast enclosures with no grass. The cattle wade though their own excrement to eat vast quantities of grain laced with GMO corn and powdered protein made from dead animals including other cattle. Cattle are not designed to eat corn (or other animals) so are in a constant state of stomach upset not to mention that the environment the corn creates in the gut is ideal for pathogens like e coli to thrive. And by the way, as Americans we eat more than 1 million animals an hour.
If you support farmers you should not support MacDonald’s.
McDonald’s has probably done more to dissolve small farms than any other business in the world. With its high demands for cheap beef and potatoes large agribusinesses have eaten up small farms and monopolized the market pushing prices so low that no small farmer could ever compete. When people are eating McDonald’s, they are not eating locally sourced foods provided by small farmers.
If you care about people, especially immigrants, or on the other hand, American jobs, you should not support McDonald’s.
The meat-packing industry was once a great industry to work for, supplying good jobs to skilled laborers. Thanks to McDonald’s, the meat-packing industry has had to speed up the production of beef. Where a typical packing company used to kill 60 head of cattle an hour, now they kill and process over 300 an hour. The skilled laborers have been replaced with cheap, unskilled, often illiterate, sometimes illegal, and usually Hispanic laborers who are unable or unwilling to fight for their rights. One third of all workers are hurt on the job every year with little to no compensation. The jobs are dangerous and the facilities are run without surveillance by a governing body that can effectively change it.
If you don’t like people who hurt children or prey on children you should not support McDonald’s.
From the moment McDonald’s realized the vast amount of money that children could bring into their restaurants it began praying on them like a molester. It has for decades marketed its products to children creating a lifelong loyalty to the food. While most babies and toddlers will refuse McDonald’s food unless bribed with a cheap toy in a Happy Meal they soon develop a taste for it that lasts a lifetime. Those kids customers grow up to be adult customers. Kid customers of course beg their parents to go to McDonald’s after seeing all the commercials and toys being offered, and those parents eat even more than the kids.
What’s wrong with that you might ask? Well, that brings me to the next category.
The food at McDonald’s has created a health crisis in America. Not only is it high in fat and sugar, laced with toxins and GMO’s but it is highly processed and void of any natural or unnatural nutrients. Obesity has been on the rise since the conception of McDonald’s and has two-thirds of our population overweight. Over one in three adults are either pre-diabetic or diabetic. Our children, 90% of whom eat at McDonald’s every month, many on a daily basis, are fatter and more unhealthy than ever before. Type 2 diabetes is up 21% since 2001 in children. One in every 3 three children born in 2000 will develop type two diabetes. This generation will be the first to live shorter lives than their parents. For the first time in history we are seeing hardening of the arteries in children.
The obvious environmental impact that McDonald’s has on the environment is the vast amount of trash it produces on a daily basis, much of which ends up on the sides of roads by its most lovely customers. And now, thanks to the ‘healthy’ salad offering much of that trash isn’t biodegradable and is produced with petroleum.
McDonalds is the largest purchaser of beef in the world. As a result there are many unseen effects on the environment starting with the forests, many of which are rainforests, that are clear-cut for the grazing of cattle to the fact that it takes 4 to16 pounds (depending on who you ask) of grain to produce 1 pound of beef.
You see, cattle are the most expensive source of calories produced. They require more land than any other animal or crop and more water than pork, chicken or vegetable crops. Since cattle require so much grain (1.4 billion bushels of corn) to fatten them up we need to grow more corn which means more pesticide. Oh, and by the way, that corn is all genetically modified, which in itself had a profound irreversible effect on the environment. In case you missed it, check out my last post on GMO’s.
Where am I going with all this? Well, I want to offer hope. I know that our government will never come to our rescue, not when money is involved. It all comes down to money. And lucky for us, we are the ones who have the money. We hold the power. As consumers we have ability to save the world. Our actions directly influence the actions of biggest planet destroying companies. If you don’t like what they do, then for frick sake…quit supporting them.
Because the fate of the world…is in your hands.
Being the ‘back roads traveler’ that I am, I have made it clear that I delight in the beauty of my surroundings, especially the #wildlife. There is however, another side to these roads…a darker side…the wild death.
I often ponder the image of a Far Side #Comic, not one that has ever existed but rather one of my own creation. In the cartoon there is a convertible speeding down a road. The driver of the car is a deer in sun glasses, riding shot-gun is a raccoon flicking a cigarette out, in the back there is a squirrel and a possum with big grins and hair wild with wind. On the sides of the road are dead humans of all ages in different stages of decomposition, flattened, with tire tracks through them.
Being on foot or #bike on these back country roads one stumbles (quite literally unfortunately) upon all forms of dead little creatures. They range from the extremely sick and twisted headless dear to the average everyday leather pouch looking leftovers of last month’s possum. And of course, everything in between.
Last October found me and my family visiting a #Revolutionary #War reenactment at Fort Boonsboro. The family and I stood fascinated as an actor showed us how to skin and tan our very own deer hide. So as a #homeschool mom I was not at all surprised to hear my daughter say, ‘mom, if you find a dead dear on your run today will you bring it home so we can skin it?’
Much to my delight, a large snake met is fate near the end of one of my #runs and I cheerfully brought it to my children for approval. They were let down; this wasn’t the buck they had imagined. But after some convincing, I managed to get an audience. I carefully skinned the #snake with my husband’s fillet knife which was last year’s Christmas gift from my sister. Finally we found a use for it! The kids were sporting exited expressions as I pointed out the little guys stomach and ribs. The expressions faded to horror as the days went on and scent of rotting flesh hung in the air on my porch. The nice actor never warned me about that. Ultimately the snake skin was moved farther and farther from the porch as the decaying process resolved itself…so far that we never saw it again.
During deer #hunting season it seemed every dog I saw was guarding his own piece of the kill. Most of the dogs just warned me with their eyes as I passed and they gnawed on their bone. One particularly playful dog however simply could not let me pass without joining me for a romp. So he snatched up his deer leg and brought it along. As we ran down the road side by side I was being kicked in the butt by a deer leg. It was rather strange.
Recently on an out-and-back run down my favorite road I spotted a perfect deer skull in the ditch. The recent rains had evidently washed it down the embankment for me to discover. A few yards farther down the road I noticed a really nice deer leg. I made it to my turnaround and ran back with extra spring in my step. As I approached the leg I barely stopped, just reached down and scooped it up mid stride. The skull took a little longer. With a leg in one hand and the skull in the other I loped the last mile and a half home with a strange imbalance. As cars passed I smiled as if to say, ‘I know! Aren’t they AWESOME!’
When I arrived home I gently placed the deer leg and #skull next to the cat skull, bird skull and cow skull on my porch. I pushed my door open and found my kids eating breakfast with my husband at the table. As usual they asked how my run was. I gave them a big grin and said, ‘hurry up and eat kids, it’s time for science class!’
Wild Death (published in the Georgetown News Graphic Column, 2011)
(In the following story, picture the guy above, but in the road with a bloody eyeball hanging from his head.)
Mary and I go biking on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. We usually meet around seven and ride the narrow back roads of Scott and Harrison Counties until nine. Mary and I have gotten to know each other pretty well since we started biking together a year ago.
We chit-chat as we bike. While she rambles on about something, I listen patiently, giddy with anticipation of my turn to ramble. This is our time. We get to vent and decompress and after two hours of bike therapy, we are new women and ready to take on the day.
It took a few rides before she realized I was a little animal crazy.
On a ride last August, Mary and I were surprised to find a possum sitting in the middle of the road. With its teeth sneering at us, we didn’t dare get near. As we passed, I could see it had been hit by a car and suffered head trauma. It had been circling in the middle of the road, with a little blood trail behind it. The animal rescuer in me panicked, Mary kept rambling as if there were no suffering possum in the center of the road.
I tried to make eye contact as we passed. I was hoping to see sweet lovie eyes, the kind of dark glossy innocent eyes a puppy has. But this guy only had angry eyes for me. He had a frothy grimace on his face that dared me to rescue him. Mary warned me to leave it alone. And we rode off.
On our way home, the thing was still there, alive, but now laying in the middle of the road. My heart ached. I simply could not leave the thing there, only to be hit again by another passing car. I had decided in my mind to come back with my car later, scoop it up and get it the care it needed (whether he liked it or not). I would never admit this to Mary, she is a good friend but she may draw the line at rescuing a half dead possum.
I had to get the thing to the side of the road however, if I wanted to have a live possum to come back to. I told Mary to stop and let me move the thing. She panicked at the risk. I maneuvered my bike so as to use my wheel as a shovel. I pushed it across the road, as it snarled and bit at my tire. Once safely on the side, I telepathically told him I would be back and not to worry.
After returning home, I loaded up my kids into the station wagon and set out to rescue the brain injured possum. I explained to my kids the situation, they knew the drill, they were not strangers to their mommy’s animal antics. We arrived at the curve and rolled down our windows in search of the poor angry possum. Crunching along, tires turning slowly so as not to miss the thing, I spotted the telltale white hair…and then the entrails. The intestines and liver….yep …that’s him. “Looks like the turkey vultures got to him first kids”. Oh, well, can’t save ‘em all.
I never told Mary about returning to the angry possum. Had we known each other better then, I would have considered it. Had I returned to a live possum that was ultimately saved by my heroic efforts, I may have told her. But it was a half-baked effort to save a mostly baked possum and it was by far more embarrassing then brag worthy.