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  • Writer's pictureCaterina Sullivan

A Whopping Good Idea: A Burger to Order When You're Hungry for Peace

Updated: Nov 3, 2018

Image credit: lambda_X

A lot of people don’t believe me when I say this, but it’s 100% totally, unmistakably true.

I have never eaten at McDonald’s.

People’s reactions usually include:


“What is wrong with you?”

“How are you a human being?”

“Have you been sent from Mars to kidnap us?”

Let’s clear some things up.

1. I’m not an alien

2. I am a human being

3. I love food

And McDonald’s has just never really appealed to me!

But THIS was an offer even I couldn’t refuse.

Drumroll, please!




Now, you’re probably thinking “Pics or it didn’t happen,” right?

Well, it hasn’t happened.

The whole idea behind the McWhopper was not only to bring sheer joy to burger-lovers but to make peace.

Peace One Day is a non-profit organisation, founded by Jeremy Gilley, which campaigned for what was finally accepted in 2001 as the United Nation’s first ever unanimously-adopted annual day of global ceasefire and nonviolence, known as Peace Day.

Peace One Day now has the objective of institutionalising Peace Day on September 21.

But what has peace got to do with burgers?

Well, in an act of marketing brilliance, Burger King (also known to my fellow Aussies as our beloved Hungry Jack’s, or HJ’s), wrote a magnificent letter to McDonald’s.

Have a read below!

Image credit: McWhopper

The first place I saw this letter was a full-page ad in the New York Times. I then journeyed to the website and watched this video.

Not only do I love the whole creative idea, but I love the commitment. I am one of those people who gets terribly excited about my own ideas. This usually means going into full-force planning mode after about 20 seconds of brainstorming.

Burger King has done the exact same thing. Uniforms, peace treaties, burger designs. You name it - they’ve thought of it.

Image credit: McWhopper

Then there’s this. To eat the burger, you have to make peace.

Image credit: McWhopper

This would have to be MY FAVOURITE part of the McWhopper by far. There is a whole list of people I would like to make peace with in my life. And this treaty has inspired me to do so - on September 21.

So what’s the deal with the McWhopper? When can I get one?

Well, at this stage, you can’t.

Have you ever written a letter (old-school), or a text or an email to someone you REALLY REALLY like and then gotten this really weird mixed-signal string of words back which has made you think, “Well, now I’m totally confused.”


Well, that’s the kind of letter McDonald’s wrote-- vague and TOTALLY non-committal.

Have a read.

What does this even mean?


Those dot, dot, dots basically convey: I wish you hadn't proposed this.

Come on. I want a real-meaty-burger style commitment that I can sink my teeth into--like the McWhopper.

“We commit to raise awareness worldwide.”


So many unanswered questions, McDonald’s!

Oh, wait; those questions will be answered… Eventually. “We’ll be in touch.” Way to sound totally ominous.

Then, there’s the “P.S. A simple phone call will do next time.” It’s hard to tell if this is a light-hearted comment or a don’t-do-that-again.

The answers to all of those questions lie at the heart of McDonald’s.


Don’t stress, Councilwoman Knope. This is most certainly NOT a nightmare.

While the McWhopper may not be happening (and I may remain one of the only people among my friends to have never tried McDonald’s), a new burger is in town.

The Peace Day Burger.

Yep, Burger King rose above. They invited MORE burger joints to join their peaceful concoction of deliciousness. Denny’s, Wayback Burgers, Krystal, Giraffas, and yes, McDonald’s.

And guess what!? Denny’s has already agreed! Talk about being a team player!

What does this all have to do with the Global Goals though? Well, the Peace Day Burger is addressing two of them. Goal 16 and Goal 17.

Goal 16 talks about peace. While peace through burgers may not be remotely close to equivalent to stopping the Syrian refugee crisis or stopping ISIS destroying heritage cities, it will send a powerful message to people that every gesture of peace counts. As global citizens, we all advocate for these powerful and important goals, and it’s time to practice what we preach!

That’s why I am calling on you to reach out to someone on September 21st and #SettleTheBeef! If we can’t make peace with our friends over a missed phone call or a stolen boyfriend from 10 years ago, how can we expect governments who have been in conflict with each other for hundreds of years to make peace?

Goal 17 talks about partnerships for the Global Goals. This is about companies using their supporter-base, their power and their influence to make positive changes for the world - not just to stand idly by. And that’s what Burger King is doing, at least a little.

In summary, we have a Peace Day Burger which will address two of the Global Goals.

But no McWhopper.

So what would this delicious sandwich of awesomeness have tasted like? Well, if you feel totally let down by the universe, you can always make the McWhopper yourself! Yep, Burger King even made a recipe for it!

Don’t forget - September 21 - World Peace Day - #SettleTheBeef

Peace out!

This article was originally published on the Global Citizen website.



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