“Forced” to break her fast: Woman sues McDonald’s for tempting cheeseburger advertisements
A woman from Russia has filed a lawsuit against the fast food chain McDonald’s. The reason: A cheeseburger advertisement tempted her to break her religious fast.
A woman from Siberia, Russia, has sued US fast food chain McDonald’s over a cheeseburger commercial. The ad “offended her religious feelings” and forced her to rush to the nearest branch. “I fasted for a month, but after seeing the advertisements I couldn’t help myself. I went to a McDonald’s and bought a cheeseburger,” the woman wrote in her complaint, according to The Times.
Fasted successfully for 16 years
According to the Times, the woman belongs to the religious community of the Russian Orthodox Church, whose followers, as in the Roman Catholic Church, fast for a total of 40 days. At the end of Lent there is Easter. The woman said in the indictment that she had always succeeded in completing the 40 days of reflection in Lent for the past 16 years – but McDonald’s had thwarted her plans.
“A violation of consumer protection”
The woman goes on to say that the fast food chain’s advertising is a violation of consumer protection. “I ask the court to investigate and, if there is a violation, to demand that McDonald’s compensate me for my moral offense,” the complaint said. McDonald’s could atone if the company pays 1,000 rubles in compensation, which is the equivalent of 11.50 euros.
The woman invokes a law that criminalizes acts that “offend the religious feelings of believers”. It was signed by President Vladimir Putin in 2013 after members of dissident punk band Pussy Riot broke into Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Savior in 2012 and performed a song with offensive lyrics. In it they called on the Virgin Mary to free Russia from its authoritarian president.
Politicians use the case
Russian politicians used the case to campaign for a long-requested ban on fast food advertising. Vitali Milonov, a Conservative MP in the Russian House of Commons, told the Moskva News Agency that “fast food is no less harmful than cigarettes in terms of the harm mankind does to itself”.
McDonald’s itself has not yet commented on the case. However, a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church advised the woman “to go to confession, not to court”.
Source: “The Times”
This article originally appeared on stern.de.