Plenty of fast food chains are starting to offer meatless and plant-based options. Burger King added the meatless impossible whopper to their menu and Little Caesar’s recently started testing meatless sausage. However, the most famous and popular fast food chain in the US, McDonald’s, has yet to join the club. Although they’ve added vegan options in other countries like their vegan happy meal in Sweden and the McVegan in Finland, they’ve yet to add any plant-based options to their US menus.

Over 215,000 Americans are asking McDonald’s to offer plant-based options. That’s how many people have signed Kathy Freston’s petition asking the fast food chain to offer vegan options. Freston is the author of books like Clean Protein and The Book of Veganish. As Freston says in the petition, “Adding plant-based protein options at McDonald’s will appeal to workers out for a quick lunch, families with health-conscious members out to dinner, children on field trips, and anyone looking for something different than the current menu at McDonald’s where even the french fries contain beef flavoring.”

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At the annual shareholder meeting being held today in the Grand Hyatt at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport, Managing Director of Campaigns at Change.org, Michael Jones will speak to McDonald’s on behalf of all who signed the petition.

Jones told us: “I’m here to make sure that the over 215,000 supporters of Kathy’s petition are represented. McDonald’s should use its shareholders’ meeting as an opportunity to discuss how it will deal with a world that is eating less meat. Clearly, the demand for plant-based alternatives is growing. Over 50,000 of the 215,000 signatures have come in the last 30 days, a time when numerous fast-food competitors to McDonald’s — from Burger King to Del Taco to Tim Horton’s — have announced plant-based menu items. The marketplace is watching every fast-food outlet right now, and all eyes are on McDonald’s to see how they’ll respond to customer demand.”

McDonald’s is such a popular fast food chain in the United States and in some cities you can’t walk more than a few blocks without seeing one. It would certainly be convenient to have easy access to affordable meatless options.

Petition starter Freston also told us, “Eating burgers at McDonald’s is a long-held and much-loved tradition, and no one is saying we should give up that pleasure. But if animal and plant-based proteins are nearly indistinguishable in taste and texture, why wouldn’t you offer a healthier, more humane option for those of us who care about that? Plant protein has no cholesterol, requires a fraction of our natural resources to make, and causes no animal suffering, so it’s a win-win across the board. There are over 210k of us and counting, and we hope to see a big, thick vegan burger on the menu, with non-dairy cheese to boot! And maybe even a McFishless and McChickless, too!”

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It’d be interesting to see how McDonald’s responds. Whether or not you like the food at a certain fast food chain, it’s undeniable that having more meatless options is a victory for animals, health, and everyone!

Update: McDonald’s responded, “we obviously have to assess the consumer demand” and that they are “not disclosing any plans.” 

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