They don't make a McVegan burger, do they?
GNS seismologist Matt Gerstenberger was shaken and a little angry to learn a photo of himself mountainbiking was being used without his permission on a large mural at McDonald's Wainuiomata.
What left a particularly sour taste is that he has been a vegan for nearly 20 years.
Fellow GNS worker Jeff Lyall took the photo of Matt on the Wainuiomata trail park in 2010. Matt has on the green and black Organic Athlete "Go Vegan" strip he often wears when riding.
Jeff said he has never given anyone permission to copy the photo from his popular mountainbiking blog.
The image may once have been on his Flickr account but he does not think so.
And anyway, Flickr carries the rider "All rights reserved" and unauthorised commercial use of a photograph is not allowed.
The first that McDonald's Wainuiomata owner Chris Boon knew about the photo mural gaffe was when the Hutt News started making inquiries.
Mr Boon had his staff take it down within the hour.
Outdoor images of Wainuiomata by the restaurant's drive- through came from a sign company paid to create the mural.
Mr Boon intended calling the company for an explanation.
He said he "completely understands" why a vegan would not be happy to be associated with a food outlet that used meat.
Mr Gerstenberger, who was not aware of the photo at the drive-through until a friend saw it, could see the funny side but it irked as well.
"The irony is rich but the joke's on me," he said.
He wanted the sign down straight away and perhaps for McDonald's to make a donation to a local charity.
"It's just not me. It's not something I would allow. I haven't stepped inside a McDonald's for 30 years."
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Silliness to be sure. :)
I see that you're on your way to NZ - awesome! Where all are you thinking to visit? Maybe you can get some of the NZ veg folks active on their group! ;-p
Yes! We get in on April 18th. My main reason for travel anywhere is to find good vegan food (I search far and wide!) and to expose and educate people to healthy eating. I work with a raw food company here in the US as a health consultant and my husband is a Senior Sales Coordinator with Juice Plus so needless to say, we love getting people active and energized about healthy eating! :)
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You likely already know about these, but here are two good resources: http://www.happycow.net/australia/new_zealand/
- this international online community has several active members from New Zealand. :)