START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
746,700 people care about Real Food

Meatless McDonalds In India Is Still McDonalds

Meatless McDonalds In India Is Still McDonalds
  • 1 of 2

McDonalds announced on Tuesday that it will be opening two vegetarian restaurants next year in India, the world’s most populous nation. Currently, no beef is served at any of the 270 McDonalds in India; the country’s Muslims also refrain from pork.

As a vegetarian for the past thirty years, I am curious at McDonald’s plans. It’s been about 35 years since I bit into a cheeseburger (the thought is enough to send my husband into serious chortles, especially after years of saying yet again to my late mother-in-law, “no Mom, Kristina doesn’t eat burgers”). What if there was a McAloo Tikki burger (with a mashed-potato patty) or Pizza McPuff (a vegetable and cheese pastry) on the menu?

McDonalds in a Country Where Cows Are Sacred

Considering that 20 to 42 percent of India’s population does not eat meat, and that 80 percent are Hindu (a religion that holds the cow as sacred), McDonalds (which accounts for 3 percent of all beef consumption in the US — 800 million pounds) may not be able to expand its market share in India terribly much. McDonalds, of course, thinks otherwise; indeed some in the Indian media responded with enthusiasm to its announcement.

The reality is that McDonalds has been trying to establish itself in India for two decades. In July, the fastfood giant’s reported profits in India fell. As (who says he has never eaten at McDonalds) writes in the Guardian, “surprise, surprise, here comes a headline-grabbing idea for boosting sales.”

The two new vegetarian restaurants will be near two Hindu holy sites, the Vaishno Devi cave shrine in Kashmir, one of its Hinduism’s four holiest sites, and the Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest shrine of Sikhs in the Punjab. Sikhs are not banned from eating meat but their temples only serve meatless food to pilgrims (for free).

McDonalds is presumably planning to latch onto the tourist trade by opening outlets at these holy sites. As Vikram Bakshi, who manages McDonalds restaurants in east and north India, says in the  Economic Times, “We see a huge potential [for vegetarian outlets] as, by nature, Indians are religious.”

But isn’t it a bit culturally insensitive for a company that relies on slaughtered cows for much of its profit to open restaurants near such sacred sites? Controversy over religious objections to McDonalds food has been widespread: As the New York Times notes, it was just over a decade ago that reports about French fries cooked in beef fat nearly saw McDonalds having to end operations in India entirely.

Hindu activists have protested McDonalds outlets, sometimes vandalizing them.

  • 1 of 2

Read more: , , , , ,

Photo: Shira Golding/flickr

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it


+ add your own
4:07PM PST on Nov 25, 2012

Sooo, a curryburger?

4:30AM PST on Nov 25, 2012

You should refuse to have anything to do with anything like McDonald's because they are evil. They also force people to buy their food by hijacking children and programming them to demand by tantrum that their parents take them to McDonald's. With all their peers getting away with it and children using their allowance to go to McDonald's because they are not old enough to consent to choose it, parental authority is overwhelmed and freedom of choice is destroyed by such psychological force. We must never compromise with these corporations. Get them out of the public schools and ban their advertizements from where children are congregated the way we ban other forms of pornography from children.

6:06AM PDT on Sep 20, 2012

Even if they do go meatless they are still a shady corporation

3:03AM PDT on Sep 13, 2012

I dont especially like Mac Donald but NO ONE IS FORCING ANY ONE TO EAT THERE!!!

5:57PM PDT on Sep 12, 2012

I would love to see vegetarian options at the McDonalds in the U.S.

11:28PM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

This is how they make money from vegetarians and invest it in more cruel business elsewhere. we have seen the cruel treatment they give to animals they rise for food and the mechanized torture and the painful ways they use to slaughter animals. This may be a good initiative by McCruelty in a still non-vegeterian world, i still don't spare a penny for them unless they go cruelty-free.

8:33PM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

Sickening stupid cooperate America stay out of countries that still respect nature.

7:40AM PDT on Sep 10, 2012

I would love a meatless McDonald's locally.

6:02PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

Nothing can stop them from making money. I am so much not liking McDonalds!!!

4:58PM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

As long as fast food greed outlets like McDonald's sell any factory cruelty meat anywhere in the world, they won't see a penny from me.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free

Recent Comments from Causes

CAN we???? A better question is: WILL we??

Coal belongs in the ground .......not in the air! It's good to see that someone is taking the lead…

Wow David F. has said it well! Yes please to euthanasia! While I don't hold much hope for heaven....there…

meet our writers

Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
ads keep care2 free

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.

site feedback


Problem on this page? Briefly let us know what isn't working for you and we'll try to make it right!