Monday, December 9, 2013

Pig Slop

They dish up unhealthy pig slop and call it food. They grossly underpay their workforce. By any standard they are a poor member of the international community.

All that is a given.

But McDonald's crossed a line last year. Probably not the slobs at corporate HQ, but some hired-gun, Don Draper type.

World hunger is an incredibly serious issue. It doesn't have to be the way it is. The question is political, and beyond the scope of the maximum 500 words I want to use here.

That said, McDonald's went too far in the above ad campaign, with its flippant use of the idea of hunger. The Snickers candy bar (or Mars, or whoever sits atop the corporate pyramid) did something similar about ten years ago, in ads raising the specter of a between-meal crisis called "the hungries." This was a serious malady resolved only by gulping down that particular confection. Try the "fun size"!

Am I over-reacting? I don't think so.

Like many profit-motivated organizations, McDonald's (and Mars Candies) will not allow any standard of decency to get in the way of making money. Hence those unspeakable ads. It's futile to rail against them too much, unless you want to develop ulcers.

Instead, follow this link and click on the icons you find there. It's something really easy to do, and I do it every day. It does not pass for activism, but it appears to be constructive, and you can do it in your pajamas.

In early 2013 what used to be simply The Hunger Site morphed into something called The Greater Good. Greater Good seems to be a rotating thing: one day hunger, the next hurricane victims, then breast cancer. The Hunger Site is still there though, with other various causes, like literacy. For tree huggers like me, there's also the Rainforest Site.

Ending hunger isn't just a seasonal thing to me. It isn't like the phony platitudes that come along during the holiday season. I've felt that way ever since I heard about the burning of "surplus" food commodities, like wheat. Keep prices up on the world market, as Allen Ginsberg noted.

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