A reader at “green gossip” website Ecorazzi reported that the local KFC says it fries its vegan patties in the same fryers and oil that it uses to cook its chicken. It’s doubtful that they’re the only location that does this, but even if they were, there are several other reasons why this sandwich isn’t vegan, and might not even be vegetarian. The obvious one is the use of mayonnaise as a condiment, which contains egg products unsuitable for vegans. We couldn’t find any nutritional information on this sandwich at KFC or KFC Canada’s website, so we can’t speculate on what secret animal products (like enzymes or “natural flavors”) are in the bun. Having worked at a few fast food restaurants in high school, we know that gloves and utensils aren’t changed between preparing meaty and vegetarian items, so you’re probably getting some chicken fat in your KFC Vegetarian Sandwich one way or another.
It’s nice that KFC made the attempt to offer a non-meat menu item, but vegans and vegetarians shouldn’t be eating at fast food restaurants. Even the highly touted Burger King Morningstar Burger is imperfect: the patty itself contains milk and egg, the mayo contains eggs, and the cheese contains milk (and probably animal rennet). Burger King’s nutrition info brochure contains the following disclaimer: “Burger King Corporation makes no claim that the BK VEGGIE® Burger or any other of its products meets the requirements of a vegan or vegetarian diet.”
If you’d like to learn more about how cheese is made with veal stomach, sugar is bleached with animal bones, and other depressing reasons not to ever eat anything ever again, check out the Vegetarian Resource Group’s Frequently Asked Questions About Food Ingredients