As the parent of a vegan toddler, I don't really see McDonald's as being a place we will eat at in the near future. Fast food restaurants, in general, do not offer many selections for vegan children. That being said, I am quite annoyed at the 'controversy' that is surrounding the beloved Ronald McDonald. At some point in recent history, some elitist decided that he/she was an expert on nutrition and deemed the McDonald's chain as being unfit for consumption. After changes to the menu and the foods, McD's still is under attack from those that wish to exert control over the diets and feeding habits of our nation's children. Isn't that really what this is all about? Control? Either McD's: 1) changes their menu to make it 'healthy' (which is a slippery slope that changes with each new diet fad - and who is to decide just what exactly constitutes the term 'healthy'?) or 2) gets rid of the McDonald character that the chain is known for. Fun is not allowed at the dinner table.
My advice? If you don't like Ronald McDonald, then maybe you should not go to eat at HIS restaurant. Might I suggest Chuck E. Cheese's? No, wait... That food is not particularly healthy for children either, yet we're not hearing the calls of outrage from special interest groups or "concerned" folks just yet. Let's face it: refined white flour covered in canned tomato sauce and smothered in cow's milk is not any healthier than the choices that McDonald's offers in Happy Meals. It's simply one group trying to exert control over the industry and FORCE change where realistically, none is needed.
Kids don't buy Happy Meals - Parents do. The decision is ultimately up to the parent. Some parents do not have the time to prepare a meal from scratch or do not have the funds necessary to provide organic, free range, non-GMO, unprocessed, unrefined homecooked meals every day. McDonald's and other fast food chains are not the bad guys that we make them out to be.
Although I will not be eating at McDonald's with my family, I do not wish to shut down the chain or to take away the fun that children and families have by dining at McD's. What are your thoughts? Should Ronald McDonald have to go, or should parents retain the ultimate authority in dining decisions?