Some vegans in Southern California are giving plant-based diets a bad name—by vandalizing a historic mural depicting classic McDonald’s characters. Hmm, last I checked painting VEGAN on a wall doesn’t seem likely to convert more people to veganism.
The mural, located near the Huntington Beach pier, was on the side of a liquor store that faced a McDonald’s. The mural, a landmark to people in the area, was painted by the late Saeed Danosian, an Iranian artist who took a job as a McDonald’s manager. The owner of the McDonald’s, John Patterson, says the vegan vandalism to the mural was discovered during the restaurant’s renovation in October:
We were heartbroken when we came in the next morning and saw this. In 20 years, we had never had any graffiti vandals touch the mural.
Now, I’m no fan of McDonald’s but it seems a bit silly to graffiti a mural with the word “vegan” in gigantic black block letters. What message is that really sending? People in Huntington Beach are appalled at upset that the work of Saeed Danosian has been ruined, they’re not throwing their Big Macs in the trash and buying seitan.
In a local Reddit forum, vegans and vegetarians tried to defend people who eat plant-based diets. ComradeArmona said, “While I too think this is an absolute shame (I remember it fondly from my childhood as well) its worth noting that this isn’t necessarily done by vegans and maybe just someone trying to make a controversial ‘statement.’ ”
Whether the word “vegan” was painted by vegans or merely people trying to drum up controversy, it sure isn’t going to help the vegan movement. Veganism is growing in popularity, but I’m sure it’s not due to the actions of idiots like the ones who painted on the McDonald’s mural.
Listen up, graffiti-minded vegans, you’d better let documentaries like Forks Over Knives and Food Matters do the work of converting people to your way of eating. It doesn’t look like vandalizing a fast-food mural is serving your cause. In fact, this negative attention is probably hurting it.
Photo courtesy HB Independent and John Patterson