One inquisitive omnivore’s journey towards healthier and more compassionate eating…

(Click here for why I started)

In my quest to eat healthier and more compassionately I did something that might surprise you. I went to Burger King.

The fast-food chain Burger King now offers veggie burgers for a meatless alternative to their usual fare./Photo credit: Lisa Singer
Burger King now offers veggie burgers for a meatless alternative to their usual fast-food fare. Photo credit: Lisa Singer

I know many of the fast-food chains are now trying to appeal to vegetarians and vegans by offering meat-free options on their menus, but I never actually thought I’d take them up on it.

Burger King drive-thru window is now a convenient way for vegetarians to dine. Photo credit: Lisa Singer
Burger King drive-thru window is now a convenient way for vegetarians to dine. Photo credit: Lisa Singer

Let’s face it, when we go to these places it’s the junk-food craving we’re looking to sate. Yes, it’s also for the convenience, but mostly it’s because sometimes it’s just very good to be bad.

This time, however, it was for the convenience. I was starving and didn’t have a lot of time, so Burger King’s drive-thru was too tempting to pass up.

To be honest, I wasn’t even sure they had vegetarian items, so seeing the BK Veggie Burger on the menu was definitely a nice discovery.

“One Veggie Burger meal please.” (It would be wrong not to get the fries, too.)

I waited until I got home before taking my first bite and…“Oh…my…God!”

It was delicious! I mean really, really delicious! I actually said “OMG” out loud.

Burger King's Veggie-Burger is made with Morning Star Farm's Garden Veggie Patties and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, ketchup, pickles, mayo and served on a toasted sesame seed bun./Photo credit: Lisa Singer
Burger King’s Veggie-Burgers are made with Morning Star Farm’s Garden Veggie Patties. Photo credit: Lisa Singer

The veggie-burger itself was so flavorful with seasoning that even an ungarnished burger would have been tasty. But like BK’s burgers, the patty was flame-broiled, topped with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles, ketchup, and mayonnaise and served on a toasted sesame seed bun. After removing the pickles, it was perfect.

So “having it your way” doesn’t mean we can’t eat more compassionately (it contains dairy so unfortunately not for vegans,) but are we eating healthier?

Yes, at least in comparison to ordering a Whopper:

BK Veggie Burger Whopper
Calories 410 678
Fat 16g 37g
Carbs 48g 57g
Sodium 960mg 911mg
Protein 21g 31g

With the BK Veggie Burger, we’re getting less protein and more sodium than with the Whopper—one of my biggest issues with most processed vegetarian foods. But we are saving on calories, carbs, and fat.

This may not be the best choice if you’re dieting—especially if you’re like me and need to have the fries too. But this is definitely an excellent option to satisfy any junk-food craving.

And you know what? I’ll now choose the Veggie-Burger over Burger King’s meat options, and that’s a great step in the right direction! After all, the more convenient it is for meat-eaters to try these animal-friendly alternatives, the more likely we’ll continue doing it.

— Lisa Singer, exclusive to Global Animal

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