Fast food restaurants are jumping on the vegan bandwagon, and that includes Burger King, but it’s not just a marketing ploy. They are partnering up with some big name vegan brands to bring us what appears to be quality stuff.
Enter: the Impossible Whopper, which has seen so much success in the short time that it’s been out, that it’s already expanding to wider circulation.
IMPOSSIBLE WHOPPER = 💯% VEGAN (sans mayo)! NEVER thought I would walk in BK again but had to try it. What a treat! So incredibly delicious! Veg food has just hit a whole new level! WOW #burgerking #vegan #vegans #vegetarian #impossibleburger #whopper #veggieburger #treatyoself pic.twitter.com/H06egdWLB7
— Lisa Books-Williams (@Chef_Lisa_Veg) June 12, 2019
From my experience, one of the hardest crowds to please are the vegans who swear off fast food.
I recall when McDonald’s first announced that it was testing a vegan burger (the awkwardly named McVegan) in Finland, and I saw more vegans bashing it than omnis.
In true stereotypical fashion, many of the purist vegans attacked the idea, saying that the fast food industry, with its record of exploitation and unhealthy food options, should not be trying to capitalize off of the vegan movement.
There is very little logic or legitimacy to this argument.
The entire point of raising awareness of vegan issues is to pressure companies into providing vegan options and then use our buying power to support their choices, thus using “supply and demand” as a weapon against animal cruelty and exploitation.
It doesn’t matter if these same businesses still sell meat. It doesn’t even matter if their vegan options aren’t the healthiest in the world.
Right now it’s a brave act to offer a vegan burger, especially at places that are typically very “pro meat.” The fast food industry has traditionally thrived off of marketing that basically consists of nothing but animal products splashed across your screen.
For them to try out vegan options means they see value in catering to vegans. Having vegans boycott their decision is effectively saying, “thanks but no thanks” to companies sliding toward veganism.
That being said, it looks like the initial backlash McDonald’s got didn’t deter the industry. In fact, the last few months has seen an outright explosion in fast food vegan options, with Burger King’s Impossible Whopper perhaps being the best received.
Burger King’s Earnings Skyrocket Nearly 30% Since Vegan Whopper Launch https://t.co/oDGIvkmGWx
— Joanne Benson (@Jobenson954) June 12, 2019
Quality Vegan Burgers Sell
The conclusion we can draw from this is that there are two forces at work here.
-Vegans love themselves a good vegan burger (and the Impossible line delivers).
-People don’t care if something is vegan or not as long as it tastes good.
There’s really not much to it than that. It’s clear that the Impossible Whopper is being enjoyed by more than just vegans, and the willingness of a business that literally has “burger” in its name to try out a product that doesn’t even have meat in it is a clear sign that the tides are shifting.
Vegan activism and awareness is growing. More and more people are waking up to the fact that the animal agriculture industry needs to change, and that vegan food is both delicious and necessary.
Even if you personally have no intention on becoming a vegan at the moment, understand that it is in everyone’s best interest to eat less meat. That’s just the truth of the matter, given how unstable the environment is right now.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of climate change, as far as the research is showing.
So even if you can’t part with bacon and cheese, it’s so important to accept the reality of our current situation and try more vegan options once in a while. Not only are vegan dishes delicious, they are often far more healthier than their meat and dairy counterparts, and directly help in mitigating animal suffering and environmental degradation.
** ** UPDATE 8/9/2019 ** **
It looks like as of yesterday, the Impossible Whopper has already gone nationwide!
With 7,000 locations planned, it looks like a full release, which shows the massive demand and popularity of the new vegan Whopper, and vegan options in general.
Starting off as a limited time item (like most entries at fast food restaurants like Burger King), this vegan burger has a real chance at becoming permanent if the demand is there. Their CEO recently stated that they want to include more plant-based burger options down the road, so it looks like a solid bet that Burger King sees the writing on the wall and understands that the future is plant-based.
— 👑Queen Sheryl👑 (@LunaSheryl_) August 8, 2019
— Jennifer Ⓥ (@beautifullyvgn) August 7, 2019
— Big Jim OBrien (@wcsxjim) August 5, 2019