Kathy Freston, bestselling author and health and wellness activist has launched a petition with the goal of bringing positive change to America by encouraging McDonald’s to include a healthy, meatless option in their menu.

Okay, Green Monsters, you’re probably wondering why you should sign a petition that has anything to do with McDonalds, right?

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Hear us out.

We’re in the midst of a health crisis in America right now, which is in large part a crisis of the American diet. While eating more whole plant-foods and cooking at home are probably two of the simplest steps everyone can take to improve their health, the unfortunate truth is most Americans still consume a lot of processed food and meat, and at least one quarter of Americans eat fast food every day. You’re reading this on One Green Planet, which probably means that you’re not part of this statistic, but this is beyond just you and me.

If we are truly serious about solving the health crisis any time soon, we cannot ignore the above facts. Instead, we should work together to make healthier options available for all, at all levels of the food system. If you agree with this, you should sign the petition!

As Kathy Freston points out, “Healthy living should be about progress, not perfection,” and what could be a bigger sign of progress than getting McDonald’s, a billion-dollar fast food chain, that has become synonymous with unhealthy food to change?

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In September, 2013 McDonald’s partnered with President Bill Clinton (who improved his own health by eating plant-based foods) and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to make some youth marketing improvements, but still made no menu changes catered to people of all ages looking to lower cholesterol, reduce saturated fat intake, and cut calories. A hearty plant-based protein-centric sandwich would not only be a healthier option on McDonald’s menu, but would also be very popular.

While this may not be the radical diet shift the country needs, it could be that crucial start towards a new way of eating for many. If you agree with this, you should sign the petition!

Lastly, the times they are a-changin’, and it’s time for McDonald’s to catch up and meet the rising demand for more healthy, plant-based options in America. Sales of meat alternatives bring in over $553 million a year in America, and that number is growing fast. This may explain why several of McDonald’s competitors, like Chipotle, BurgerKing and even KFC have added meat alternatives to their menus in the recent past. Moreover, McDonald’s does offer veggie options in other parts of the world, so why not here?

The bottom line is, if we want to change the way America eats, we have to tackle the problem at multiple levels. While we all have the power to control our own choices and spread awareness about healthy eating at the grassroots level, let’s not underestimate our power to change industry giants.

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Rooting for McDonald’s to be wiped out of the face of the planet is easy (although, not practical), but rooting for them to change is where hope lies.

Visit the Change.org page here to learn more about the petition, and sign it!

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