Longtime vegetarian Sir Paul McCartney is urging a boycott of the behemoth fast food chain McDonalds after a branch in Liverpool, England displayed a photo of him with his former Beatle bandmates. The Beatles hail from Liverpool, where all the original bandmates first met in the late 1950s. Instead of being flattered that he was being honored, or quietly asking the chain to remove the photo, McCartney’s rep has called for fans to boycott McDonald’s.
The singer, who has been a vocal advocate of vegetarianism for 30 years was said to be furious after discovering pictures of the Beatles had been placed prominently in a restaurant in his home town.
His image appeared alongside former band mates John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison.
Geoff Baker, a spokesman for Sir Paul said: “What sort of morons do McDonald’s think Beatles’ fans are.
“It’s ridiculous and insulting to use images to peddle hamburgers. Fans should boycott Mcdonald’s, and not just in Liverpool.”
Sir Paul is a staunch supporter of animal rights, president of the Vegetarian Society of Great Britain and an ambassador for People for the Ethical treatment of Animals (PETA). His late wife Linda had her own range of vegetarian foods.
A PETA spokeswoman said: “He became a vegetarian after watching lambs play in a field outside his home and surely would not want anyone to use his likeness to help promote meat.
“We hope anyone who sees his picture on the wall will be reminded that he’s a vegetarian and skip the Big Mac for a veggie burger.”
A McDonald’s spokeswoman said the pictures were to “acknowledge the outstanding contribution the Beatles made to both local and global culture.”
I get the McDonald’s hatred – they get a lot of well deserved flack for many reasons. (I was kind of floored by Fast Food Nation, and here are reminders of the legitimate concerns people have about McDonalds. I still eat there occasionally though.) There are surely plenty of Beatles photos hanging in other restaurants that serve meat, though, particularly those brick a brack-decorated establishments like TGI Fridays and Applebees. Why focus on just McDonalds? It’s also kind of strange that he would be so offended by a McDonalds in his hometown displaying his image in homage to the birthplace of the Beatles. It wasn’t meant as an endorsement or anything, just an acknowledgment of the town’s place in music history.
Paul McCartney is shown at Paris Fashion Week on 10/2/08. Credit: WENN