Climate and animal activists protest in busy Northampton McDonald's restaurant demanding meat is scrapped off the menu

"We will keep coming back until McDonald’s takes steps towards offering a fully plant-based menu”

Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 12:42 pm

Climate and animal activists protested inside a busy Northampton McDonald's demanding that the fast-food giant scraps meat off the menu and goes plant-based by 2025.

Activists from Animal Rebellion and Extinction Rebellion Northampton held a peaceful sit-in protest from noon on July 31 in the Drapery branch of McDonald’s.

Branded a 'McSit-in', protesters took their own lunches and occupied an area of the restaurant for two hours, with police later arriving at the scene.

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A police community support officer (top left) attended the protest (top right) in McDonald's Drapery (bottom)

The protest follows similar sit-ins held in McDonald’s branches across the country.

Nici Wilcox, a climate activist at Saturday’s sit-in, said: “McDonald’s needs to transition to a fully plant-based menu to address the climate, ecological and animal destruction it causes on a daily basis.

"McDonald’s and the wider intensive animal agriculture industry is responsible for huge levels of deforestation, and is a major driver of climate change. Investigations have shown that McDonald’s livestock feed comes from deforested areas of Brazil and Bolivia.

“A fully plant-based McDonald’s may sound odd, but it is actually a very reasonable demand when we consider the scale of the crisis that we are facing.”

Anthony Loukes from Wellingborough, another activist at Saturday’s sit-in, said consuming meat 'on this scale has to stop'.

He said: “We are in the middle of a climate and ecological emergency and we are still consuming huge quantities of meat on a scale that is just not sustainable for our planet. This has to stop.”

“McDonald’s has a real opportunity to lead on this, but currently other chains such as Burger King and Wagamama are doing far more.”

Anthony added: “People have been holding sit-ins in McDonald’s branches across the country and we will keep coming back until McDonald’s takes steps towards offering a fully plant-based menu”.

In May, around 100 Animal Rebellion activists blockaded all four of McDonald’s UK distribution centres, effectively shutting down the UK supply chain of the biggest fast food company in the world. 1,300 restaurants were affected by the blockades, which lasted between 19 - 30 hours.

Nici added: “We are absolutely not doing this to criticise individual diet choices. We don’t want to spoil anyone’s lunch. A plant-based burger is a win-win-win for people's health, animals and the climate and ecological emergency, plus advances in food technology are so good you can barely taste the difference.

"As the biggest fast food corporation in the world, McDonald’s has a responsibility to lead the way to a more sustainable future”.

Northamptonshire Police said they were aware of the incident but no offences were committed.

McDonald's has been contacted for comment.