Seventh-Day Adventists battle to keep McDonald’s out of town

By Muriel Kane
Sunday, January 15, 2012 20:14 EDT
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The residents of Loma Linda, California are overwhelmingly Seventh-Day Adventists, which means they are also healthy eaters with a strong learning towards vegetarianism. But the city council approved an application to set up a McDonald’s franchise last month, and now many residents are up in arms.

According to ABC News, “The 23,000 people who live in Loma Linda enjoy one of the longest life spans in the world — on average, residents live well into their 80s. Its people are borderline obsessed with fitness and clean living, and they have a healthy population of centenarians to prove it.”

Dr. Wayne Dysinger, a leader of the anti-McDonald’s coalition, explains, “Loma Linda is sort of a symbolic city for healthiness, and McDonald’s is sort of a symbolism of unhealthiness. That’s a significant issue. My kids know about McDonald’s. McDonald’s is the one that sells the toys.”

However, the mayor of Loma Linda, himself a Seventh-Day Adventist, doesn’t believe that “it’s the government’s responsibility, personally, to legislate vegetarianism.” He told ABC, “I think if everyone became a vegetarian they would probably have a healthier life, but it has to be their choice,”

McDonald’s, for its part, insists that it has recently broadened its menu to include meat-free salads, as well as “other offerings including Apple Slices, Oatmeal and Fruit and Yogurt Parfaits.”

Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane
Muriel Kane is an associate editor at Raw Story. She joined Raw Story as a researcher in 2005, with a particular focus on the Jack Abramoff affair and other Bush administration scandals. She worked extensively with former investigative news managing editor Larisa Alexandrovna, with whom she has co-written numerous articles in addition to her own work. Prior to her association with Raw Story, she spent many years as an independent researcher and writer with a particular focus on history, literature, and contemporary social and political attitudes. Follow her on Twitter at @Muriel_Kane
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