This morning, I informed my youngest son that McDonald’s just announced a vegan burger. His mouth dropped open and (after a 10-second pause) asked, “Serious?”
He then insisted that even this news won’t stop him from referring to the fast-food giant as “Stinking McDonald’s,” because they’ll still sell meat.
Fast Company began their McDonald’s announcement article by calling beef “the most climate damaging food on the planet.” They also called McDonald’s out for being one of the world’s largest beef buyers – hence, one of its most environmentally damaging companies.
I wrote earlier, when Burger King and Taco Bell added plant-based options to their menus, that a history of environmental carelessness is all the more reason to celebrate any restaurants’ small steps towards more sustainable menus.
Each and every plant-based burger sold will be better for the environment!
I’m even more excited by this indication of increasing demand for plant-based products. For McDonald’s, the McPlant burger is just the beginning. They also have plans for plant-based breakfast options and a chicken substitute.
Last year, a Forbes article cited one primary reason for our changing diet preferences:
“Gen Z displays a growing interest in vegetarian and vegan food, many citing ethical reasons.”
Sixteen-year-old Galia Atik, who adopted veganism at 11, told the magazine, “I didn’t give up meat because of the taste, but out of moral principle.” The market for plant-based meats, however, isn’t limited to vegetarians and vegans.
Susan Schwaillie, executive director of consumer-preference analysis company NPD, told Forbes:
“Of the diners who have tried them [the plant-based meat products], 86 percent do not consider themselves vegetarians or vegans.”
So, for strict vegans and average, environmentally concerned consumers alike, plant-based options are increasing.
My seven-year-old has never even eaten at McDonald’s. A couple of documentaries we’ve watched as a family left him with an early aversion to the company. They might never gain his complete blessing.
But he did indicate that he will taste a McPlant burger when they come out, to see if it earns his approval!