Customers at Thane’s McDonald’s outlet were in for a surprise on Monday. They found the outlet promoting vegetarianism and veganism.
The customers were approached by volunteers from PAWS (Plant and Animal Welfare Society) with a request to turn vegan for a day.
“We are urging people to turn vegan, as we have signed up with DIYA (Do It Yourself Activists), a Bangalore-based NGO, for the ‘Great Indian Meat-Out Campaign,’ an internationally renowned campaign strategy to promote vegetarianism and veganism,” explained Nilesh Bhanage, General Secretary, PAWS-Thane.
The idea was to approach an MNC and ask it to promote a particular product that did not have milk or meat, he added.
Amit Jatia, joint venture partner and MD, McDonald’s, Western Region, said, “People from DIYA (Do It Yourself Activists) told us about this campaign. Internationally, McDonald’s has been working with PETA. Therefore, we readily agreed to participate in the campaign.”
The Thane outlet of the restaurant chain, on Monday, promoted its vegan meals — lemon-flavoured ice tea, French fries, burgers without mayonnaise, McVeggie and Mc Aloo Tikki with veg patties.
“We are asking them to have more vegetarian products and vegan meals. Our target are fast food restaurant chains like McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Café Coffee Day, etc,” said Sunish Subramanium, PAWS volunteer. They planned to approach other MCDonald’s outlets in the city as well, he added. “This is an internationally popular concept, which was started 22 years ago and which spread like wild fire in the United States,” said Sujatha Karanth, coordinator, DIYA, who organised a similar campaign in Bangalore on Monday.
The Great Indian Meat-Out 2006 campaign will take place in 14 Indian cities — Bangalore, Madurai, New Delhi, Guntur, Chennai, Tirurunelveli, Ludhiana, Dindigul, Namakkal, Palayankottai, Puddukottai, Salem, Theni and Mumbai.