Vegan activists held a peaceful and quiet sit-in protest at a McDonald’s restaurant demanding that the fast-food chain stop killing animals and destroying the environment, and instead switch to a fully plant-based menu.

‘McSit-ins’ is a type of protest in which activist take their own lunches (so they don’t contribute economically to animal killing) and occupy sitting areas of the fast-food restaurants (which rely on a high turnover to be able to profit from their exploitation of animals) for a long time. This is in itself not illegal and is less disruptive — but not less effective — than other types of protests. In this case, the event happened on Saturday, 28th May 2022, in Exeter, West of England, lasted three hours and was orchestrated by a local group part of the non-violent civil disobedience organisation Animal Rebellion. 

Phil Sleigh, a local climate activist, said to the Express, “The final part of the latest IPCC report told us that we are in a ‘now or never’ situation, and that emissions must stop rising by 2025. That’s 30 months away! The meat and dairy industries are responsible for 80-90% of Amazon deforestation, and at least 18% of global emissions… To save ourselves and the future of our children, we must start transitioning toward a plant-based food system…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.” According to Animal Rebellion, McDonald’s buys most of its chicken from Cargill, an American global food corporation founded in 1865, now one of the largest privately-held corporations in the United States. In the early 2000s, after a long campaign by environmentalists, Cargill agreed not to buy soybeans grown in newly deforested areas of the Amazon. However, according to a Mighty Earth report, in the end, Cargill and McDonald’s found loopholes in the moratorium and began buying from soya plantations in the Bolivian Amazon and the Brazilian Cerrado

“Originally from Catalonia, but resident in the UK for several decades, Jordi is a vegan zoologist and author, who has been involved in different aspects of animal protection for many years. In addition to scientific research, he has worked mostly as an undercover investigator, animal welfare consultant, and animal protection campaigner. He has been an ethical vegan since 2002, and in 2020 he secured the legal protection of all ethical vegans in Great Britain from discrimination in a landmark employment tribunal case that was discussed all over the world. He is also the author of the book, ‘Ethical Vegan: a personal and political journey to change the world’.