For Immediate Release, May 29, 2014

Contact: Stephanie Feldstein, (734) 395-0770

30,000 Consumers Call on McDonald's to Fight Climate Change With Meatless Meals

OAK BROOK, Ill.— More than 30,000 people have already joined a consumer campaign started by the Center for Biological Diversity earlier this month that urges McDonald’s to reduce the carbon footprint of its menu by adding meat-free alternatives. This campaign comes in the wake of McDonald’s recent announcement that it plans to start buying “sustainable beef” for its hamburgers.

“McDonald’s sells 6 million hamburgers every day, which is inherently unsustainable and makes them a major contributor to climate change with an environmentally devastating product,” said Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director at the Center. “Meat production threatens our climate, wildlife and the planet. We’re asking McDonald’s to show that it takes sustainability seriously by offering meat-free alternatives.”

According to McDonald’s sustainability report, beef production accounts for 29 percent of its company-wide carbon footprint — as much as the operation of all 35,000 of its locations — and 41 percent of the carbon footprint of its supply chain. Meat production also threatens water resources, wildlife habitat and endangered species.

At the annual shareholder meeting last week, CEO Don Thompson reportedly acknowledged “we know we need to add more” vegetarian options. In the meantime, McDonald’s representatives responded to the Center’s campaign by saying customers can order salads and sandwiches from the menu without meat.

“A Big Mac minus the hamburgers does nothing to show McDonald’s commitment to a more sustainable menu or the thousands of customers who want better options,” said Feldstein. “It’s time for McDonald’s to walk the talk on sustainability, healthier choices and customer demand.”

The Center’s petition can be found at

The online petition is part of the Center’s “take extinction off your plate” campaign, urging Americans to eat less meat as one of the best ways to reduce their environmental footprint. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, meat production is responsible for 14.5 percent of greenhouse gas emissions — more than all forms of transportation combined.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 775,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

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