Bullshit Burgers

I have just read this post – as you do, checking for errors etc – and I am thinking maybe this one needs filing under ‘Grumpy Old Dad’. You decide and let me know…

Vegetarianism/Veganism

OK. “Bullshit” may not be the best word to use here. In fact it is probably the last thing a vegan wants to be associated with. Well, maybe after the bull’s meat I suppose.

But the latest gimmick from Burger King is exactly that. Just a gimmick!.

I use Burger King in this post because they have recently put up loads of posters in Madrid advertising their new Burger Vegetal – basically a veggie burger. Those posters caught my eye whilst taking Dani for his swimming lesson last weekend. It immediately struck me as complete virtue signalling. “Look at us aren’t we great?”

Why? I hear you ask: Or at least you should be asking….

Well; because the latest trendy thinking is that the planet is in complete jeopardy and one of the main reasons is (apparently) that we eat too much meat. Or that we just eat meat! if you listen to the crap that the eco-loons pump out. They actually think we should all stop eating meat and that might just save the planet.

I am sure that all the other big burger chains are doing something equally cringe-worthy. That place with the golden arches and the silly clown for example, has some veggie burger on the menu. They will all be doing similar publicity stunts.

Now for the record Dani loves going to Burger King and would go there every day if I let him. But he has never asked for a veggie burger. Yet!

OK. Here is the scenario…

Now; most vegetarians – especially vegans – will almost certainly not want to eat anything that is prepared in surroundings full of meat products. A big fast-food burger chain would be their worst nightmare. The thought of cross-contamination from meat reaching their veggie meal would make them cry. Literally in some cases I believe.

If my assumptions are correct – and I challenge anyone to say otherwise – then nobody (hardly) will buy these things. Real veggies will not go for it and meat eaters will always go for the Whopper, quarter-pounder, Big Mac or whatever it happens to be. 

On the other hand, if the likes of Burger King are still selling these veggie burgers in (say) six months time then clearly the so called vegetarians out there are not real vegetarians. Right? The chances are that they will have been bought by people just following this latest veggie trend. Or maybe they will just be bought by non-veggies who want to give them a try while still eating meat. That’s logical right?

Either way, there are not, and never can be, enough vegetarians out there to “save the planet”. Whichever way you look at it this vegetarian “burger” thing is total bullshit!

And so…

…back to my initial point: Why are these big burger chains virtue signalling? It seems that every company now has to pretend (at least) to be on this ‘Look at us! We are saving the planet’ bandwagon. It’s not that trying to make a difference is bad (per se). Everyone can do something to make the world a better and cleaner place to live – whether you believe in all of the ‘end of the world’ scare stories or not. But can’t they come up with something better than a f*cking veggie burger?

The Luddite in me – An old dad trait?

This past week one of the headline news stories was that the Mayor of London (one Sadiq Khan) was attempting to stop the Uber taxi company from operating in the capital city. Citing (mainly) the lack of safety as it was revealed that some 14,000 journeys have been made with uninsured and unlicensed drivers.

Gut Feeling

I have mixed feelings about companies like Uber. My gut instinct, as a kind of modern-day Luddite (see below), is that we do not need them. Also, while not inherently bad, they are also not ‘the greatest thing ever’ as some would have you believe. Uber operates on new technology and not all new technology is necessarily a good thing. Despite large parts of the media repeatedly telling us the contrary.  (That is one Luddite view I actually do believe)

Listening to the younger generation you would think that nobody was ever able to get from A to B before Uber. This complete lack of awareness seems commonplace nowadays. In London there have always been alternatives to the famous black cabs. Local private taxi firms have always existed. Then there is public transport (including night buses) plus the old-fashioned forms of transport – cycling and walking.

Above all, I do think there is a real problem with the younger generation not being able to survive without their mobile phones. What the hell do they think we did before mobile phones and the internet? Are they really that stupid?

In my experience…

Personally, I have only ever used Uber once. In Madrid. That was only because the “normal” taxi service was on strike and I needed to get to the airport very early on a Monday morning. I think I wrote about it in a previous post – try this one. My preference in a large city would always be to use the fully licenced local service. Not some global, distant company that has nothing to do with the area in question.

It seems that these companies spring up with no real tangible assets or hardware. They operate via mobile phone “Apps” and the internet and take a small percentage of the booking fee while other people take all the risks (e.g. investing in a vehicle) and do all the work. How is that progress?

And don’t get me started on those fast food delivery services. Who the f*ck thought those were a necessity?

On the other hand…

Now for the other side of the argument. There are always two sides of course.

In big city centres getting a regular taxi can be easy. Outside of the centre this is not the case. This is even more so in rural areas. And this is where Uber has become popular. Also, Uber drivers need to operate to the Uber rules so you can track your taxi’s arrival on the “App”. This means that the whole service will generally be more reliable than the old private hire taxis ever were.

There will clearly be political reasons why London’s mayor is doing this. Just being seen to be doing something is no doubt the main one. I am sure that Uber will come up with some excuses and new means of vetting drivers that will quickly be accepted by the same politician. The whole thing will blow over as these things tend to do.

Speaking of which… What happened in Madrid? What was the result of the licenced taxi drivers’ strike? Anyone know?

A bit of history…

Luddite is defined online (ugh! apologies for that) as “a person opposed to new technology or ways of working” and classed as a derogatory term. Yet the history of the Luddites is far more interesting.

Back in the late 18th century the textiles mills of England were harsh places to work. Despite this the workforce were generally well behaved as they needed the pay. They were also highly skilled. However, when the industry introduced machines which could produce the textiles much faster and more efficiently. They could also now be operated by much lower skilled workers. The old workforce saw that the need for their skills was coming to an end, so they set about secretly sabotaging the new technology by breaking up the machines. Fairly soon the secret movement early activist movement was formed and became known as the Luddites.

The name is said to be derived from a person called Ned Ludd. But it turns out that Ned Ludd was a fictional character. It is more likely that they took their name from a lad named Ed Ludlam – who did exist – and was said to have destroyed two knitting frames in a factory in 1779; in a ‘fit of passion’. By the time the “Luddites” had started their campaign (about 1812), whenever any machinery was broken people would say “Ned Ludd did it”. (For some reason that reminds me of the movie 12 Monkeys – but I digress…)

In this case the established – and fully licenced – taxi service are the Luddites. And I have to say that I am more or less fully on their side in this whole argument.