For a company that specializes in food, folks, and fun, it’s pretty amazing how shady McDonald’s actually is. You might think it’s no big deal to walk in, order a burger, get it in two minutes, and then leave. But apparently such a thing can only be accomplished by bending (or outright breaking) every rule in the book. Some genuine sociopathy from the people in charge helps too, as you’re about to find out.
They once got (and still might get) their nuggets from lethally abused chickens
Obviously, to enjoy meat of any kind, some animal had to sacrifice its life. But it’s always refreshing to know the animal lived peacefully and died in its slumber. But, according to summer 2015 footage released by activist group Mercy For Animals, McDonald’s cares not one iota for that, working with farms that openly, brazenly, and possibly gleefully abuse their chickens before murdering them into almost-food. The farm that Mercy For Animals targeted, T&S Farm, was recorded beating chickens to death with spiked clubs, with the occasional curb-stomping for variety’s sake. The workers knew full well what they were doing, with one outright asking the cameraman, “you don’t work for PETA, do you?” like a kid caught with his hand in an extremely bloody cookie jar.
Since the video, McDonald’s has disavowed the chicken-killing farm, giving the usual PR responses to assuage as many disgusted customers as humanly possible. But not even the slickest press release can answer three burning questions: how long has this happened, why did it take this video for a major company to realize bludgeoning food to death for fun is evil, and since it’s been a year already, are they secretly working with that farm again?
They won’t pay workers overtime for working major holidays
For a long time, McDonald’s understood what Thanksgiving and Christmas meant, and so they allowed their workers to enjoy both the holiday and all the turkey they can stomach. But money cares not for our arcane traditions and emotions, and so in 2012 McDonald’s started opening on the holidays. This was always a thing company-owned stores did, but now they were “urging” (or, really, forcing) franchisees to do the same. Apparently, doing so rakes in thousands per restaurant, which is all that matters anymore. And yes, if you’ve hit McDonald’s either of these days, you’re officially part of the problem. Commence feeling bad…now.
That’s pretty sucky of them, but at least franchise owners can pay holiday overtime. Workers at the company-owned stores, unfortunately, are fresh out of luck—McD’s flat-out refuses to pay them extra for working on a day that, as far as many are concerned, should only be worked by those who deal in emergencies. (No, Big Mac withdrawal doesn’t count.) They hide under the excuse that, because workers volunteer to work those days, they’re not entitled to overtime pay. Because when you’re dirt-broke, struggling to raise a family, and living from minimum-wage paycheck to minimum-wage paycheck, you definitely have the option of not volunteering to get paid for something.
They’re tax cheats
Like so many other thieving rich folk, McDonald’s has apparently devolved into filthy, leeching tax cheats. According to the wonderfully titled Golden Dodges: How McDonald’s Avoids Paying its Fair Share of Tax, between 2009 and 2013, McDonald’s avoided paying over $1.8 billion in taxes. The company used a series of barely legal (and something not even that) loopholes and cleverly shifting profits from whatever country they earned them in, to low-tax havens in countries they didn’t. This seems to especially be true overseas, where McDonald’s is looking at charges that they stole a billion euros ($1.1 billion American) from the European Union by sending their profits through Luxembourg, a country barely big enough to physically store all that money. Australia claims McDonald’s did the same thing there, sending their profits through Singapore and magically pocketing about a half billion in would-be taxes. Even Brazil has a McBone to pick with the company, claiming they regularly bribe tax officials for minor favors like, oh, changing the laws so suddenly the company legally pays fewer taxes. But hey, they might have to charge ten extra cents per box of nuggets if they can’t deprive the world’s schools and hospitals of much-needed funding, and we can’t have that.
Its salads and oatmeal are unhealthier than their burgers
For some reason, enough people hit McDonald’s with their health in mind for the company to make mad bank selling food meant to trim your waistline on the cheap. That sounds great, except that it’s wrong in every conceivable way. The chicken kale Caesar salad, for example, clocks in at a cool 730 calories, 53 grams of fat, and 1,400 milligrams of sodium—numbers that absolutely should not be attached to a bunch of leaves. For comparison’s sake, a Double Big Mac has 680 calories and 1,340 mgs of sodium, meaning they’re touting a healthy salad that’s unhealthier than their unhealthiest hunk of cow. But don’t worry, you can skip the dressing, eat a plain dry salad, and save 200 calories, so now it’s only unhealthier than a single Big Mac. Small victories are still victories.
For the breakfast crowd, McDonald’s oatmeal has got you covered, and hornswoggled. Thanks to “fun” additives like cream, “natural flavor,” and sugar, the McOatmeal clocks in at 290 calories, with 32 sugar grams. You would literally do better with candy for breakfast—a regular-size Snickers bar, for example, only has 280 calories and 30 grams of sugar. Plus, Snickers doesn’t pretend to be anything it’s not. You can trust a Snickers bar, unlike anything Ronald McDonald touts as good for your abs.
They’ll sue anyone with the gall to run a business with ‘Mc’ or ‘Mac’ in its name
Once you get greedy enough, any threat to even a dime of your profit must be fought tooth-and-nail, even if it means losing more money to lawyers than you ever would’ve to the “competition.” It’s the principle that counts. In this case, we have McDonald’s going after literally any small business that uses “Mc” or “Mac,” because that’s their thing, and they don’t customers getting confused by seeing it anywhere else. The customer is apparently both always right, and the dumbest people on the planet.
Sometimes, they sue fast food joints, like McJoy in the Philippines or Mac Dooglas in Colombia (which was destroying McDonald’s bottom line with three whole restaurants in a tiny village no one outside the tiny village had even heard of.) But other times they just get petty, like when they sued a coffee shop called McCoffee—which had that name for 17 years—until they finally agreed to change their name and stop leeching tens of dollars from poor little McDonald’s. Though probably the stupidest case was when they went after a hot dog stand called McAllan. Like, a single hot dog stand, which is a product McDonald’s doesn’t even serve. That’s like Budweiser suing some kid’s lemonade stand. They lost that case, after the judge returned with a verdict of “really?” But usually, McDonald’s wins hands-down, valiantly beating back the evil little guy with the almighty power of Unlimited Wealth.
Author: Tom Green
If we’re not supposed to have midnight snacks, then why is there a light in the fridge?