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

(Click here for why I started)

(MEATLESS/VEGETARIAN) Vegetarians and vegans looking to get a break today probably won’t—at least not at McDonald’s. I took my friend’s three-year-old daughter Jane there over the weekend and found McDonald’s offered no appealing meat-free options.

Three year old Jane Cohen at McDonalds enjoying her Happy Meal, something vegetarian and vegan children can't do./Photo credit: Lisa Singer
Three-year-old Jane Cohen at McDonald’s enjoying her Happy Meal, something vegetarian and vegan children can’t do. The Golden Arches’ menu doesn’t include any meatless burger or chicken options. Photo credit: Lisa Singer

For Jane, like most kids, going to McDonald’s isn’t so much about the food as it is the experience: sitting in the restaurant, opening her Happy Meal, and discovering the toy hidden inside. That’s why I was so surprised to see the only vegetarian options on the menu were salad and a yogurt concoction.

Don’t children who are raised with meat-free diets deserve that same experience?

Despite an on-going petition, McDonalds in America still doesn't offer any meatless burger or chicken alternatives. Unlike India where their vegetarian-friendly menu includes a McVeggie Burger and Veg McMuffin./Photo credit: daveibsen.typepad.com
Despite an ongoing petition, McDonald’s in America still doesn’t offer any meatless burger or chicken alternatives—unlike India where their vegetarian-friendly menu includes a McVeggie Burger and Veg McMuffin. Photo credit: daveibsen.typepad.com

Nowadays I would assume most fast food restaurants have at least one vegetarian or vegan item on their menu. If you recall, last year I ate one of my favorite veggie burgers at Burger King, McDonald’s biggest competitor. Even McDonald’s chains in other countries like Canada and India offer vegetarian and vegan fare.

When I was growing-up, you were either a McDonald’s family or a Burger King family. We were McDonald’s, so it’s pretty disappointing to see them so behind the times.

Don’t get me wrong, McDonald’s is a burger chain so it should sell burgers, and I’m not looking to change that. I just think with so many families raising their children vegetarian and/or vegan, the big, red-headed guy should at least start offering one hearty, meat-free burger or chicken alternative. And I’m not the only one.

Kathy Freston, author and activist, January 2014 outside McDonalds petitioning the fast food chain to add meatless options to their American menu./Photo credit: mindbodygreen.com
Author and activist Kathy Freston stands outside a McDonald’s restaurant petitioning the fast food chain to add meatless options to their American menu in January 2014. Photo credit: mindbodygreen.com

Back in January, author and vegan activist Kathy Freston started a Change.org petition asking McDonald’s to add “plant-based protein options” to its menu. To date, the petition has more than 100,000 supporters with animal loving-celebs like Ellen DeGeneres and Alicia Silverstone even showing their support via social media.

Unfortunately McDonald’s doesn’t seem to be listening. But to be fair, they did try in early 2000, but since no one was really lovin’ it they discontinued the McVeggie Burger.

Instead of giving up so easily, why not make a better version? After all, veggie burgers have certainly come a long way in the last ten years. Did somebody say, keep trying?!

— Lisa Singer, exclusive to Global Animal

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS:

SHARE