KFC's "Vegetarian Sandwich" Isn't, Stop Kidding Yourself That Fast Food Restaurants Have Vegetarian Options

In an effort to appease PETA and other angry vegetarians, KFC recently began selling a vegan, “Unchicken” sandwich in its Canadian locations. Guess what? It’s not vegetarian.

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

(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Raanne says:

    did they claim it was vegan, or just vegetarian? even the linked article states vegan, and follows it up with “may contain eggs”… milk & eggs are not anti-vegetarian, just anti-vegan.

    I can understand about the frying, but someone who is concerned about the slightest bit of cross-contamination probably wont be eating at a place which fries chicken. pretty much every surface you touch inside the store probably touched chicken at some point in time.

  2. samurailynn says:

    I was vegan for a few months (it was kind of an experiment, back in college). I pretty much didn’t eat out. Although a friend decided he wanted to take me out to pizza, and I responded that there wouldn’t be anything I could eat at a pizza place, and he said “just trust me”. It ended up that he knew the guy that managed the place, and when we got there he was just finishing up a special pizza with olive oil instead of sauce, no cheese, and tons of veggies. I’m pretty sure the crust probably still had sugar in it, but sometimes you have to live a little.

  3. Japheaux says:

    C’mon, just give peas a chance.

    Maybe the real question is what people call vegetarian. In my black and white world, if it has a heart, it’s an animal.

    That is why I often lose focus when people tell me they are giving up meat for Lent, then eat chicken breast and fish. Am I the only one who classifies ‘white’ protein from living things as meat?

    How ’bout it readers, what exactly do you think is vegetarian and what is meat?

  4. Brazell says:

    Vegan != Vegetarian. Something can be vegetarian without being Vegan, so we shouldn’t quickly say … “KFC’s Vegetarian Sandwich isn’t”, if it just isn’t Vegan. Funny, yes, accurate, not really.

  5. AstroPig7 says:

    @MichaelBrazell: However, if it’s being fried with chicken in the same vat, it’s also not vegetarian.

  6. ekthesy says:


    I personally classify myself as a “vegetarian,” knowing full well the term has many shades of gray. I don’t eat anything that directly caused the death of the animal it came from.

    Meat is muscle and fatty tissue from an animal. You can have snake meat, chicken meat, cow meat (beef, veal), pig meat (bacon, ham), or squirrel meat (hot dogs). The people telling you they’re giving up meat for Lent sound like they are only giving up RED meat; they are totally fudging the truth there.

  7. wattznext says:

    @Japheaux: Funnily enough, i have a friend who claims to be a vegetarian, but will pick the slices of pepperoni off a pizza and then eat it, and even lick the sauce off a chicken wing! neddless to say not only is he a cheater, he’s also a weirdo!

  8. Marko_Vulvic says:

    I’m a 5th level Vegan: I don’t eat anything that casts a shadow.

  9. cashmerewhore says:

    This story reminded me of when some PETA speakers came to my Animal Science class in college (stupid general education requirement). Anyway, one of them was stupid enough to say you could eat at Taco Bell. Those tortillas have lard in them, which came from an animal…

    Regardless, their scaretactics disgusted me for about 24 hours. After that, it was back to eating as normal…

  10. samurailynn says:

    @wattznext: Next time you have a party, you should have chicken wings, and you should just boil up some BBQ sauce or hot sauce or whatever and set it out in a bowl with a spoon for him. That way you can see if he still licks the sauce off the wings, or if he instead just eats a few spoonfuls of the sauce.

  11. incognit000 says:

    If you want to be so picky with your food that you refuse to eat not only meat but anything that might have come into contact with meat you really should prepare your own food instead of expecting everyone to cater to your whims.

    A friend of mine growing up was a dedicated vegetarian, and as such he rarely ate out. But I loved to have lunch with him. Why? Because both eh and his mom cooked really good food, much better than restaraunts.

    Me, I just eat anything slow enough to be caught.

  12. businesslady says:

    @Japheaux: I know some folks who consider themselves vegetarians but feel okay eating fish/seafood, I think rationalizing it based on the fact that they live in a completely different environment (a perversion of the old “nothing that has a face” Paul McCartney rule). But chicken is meat, straight-up, and anyone who doesn’t make that distinction is just crazy.

    And, if they’re observing Lent, then they know they’re not allowed to eat meat (besides fish) on Fridays, which should make that even more clear. There’s definitely not an “or chicken” exemption.

  13. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    @Raanne: How are eggs not anti-vegetarian? It’s still a chicken, right?

  14. BillyShears says:

    I think the confusion started at the newspaper article. There’s a good chance the writer doesn’t know the fine, semantic difference between “vegan” and “vegetarian”.

    The sandwich is probably okay for most casual observers (read: eating that way by choice, not because of some rare, meat-based food allergy) of a vegetarian diet. However, a vegan probably shouldn’t be eating in a KFC anyway since their money will eventually contribute to the slaughter of animals, which as far as I know, runs counter to the entire idea of being a vegan in the first place.

  15. nforcer says:

    @wattznext: There’s different types of vegetarians too. It all depends on their reasons behind being a vegetarian and they will approach certain foods in different ways.

    For example, my girlfriend will taste meat, but will not actually swallow it. This happened when I commented that the lemon chicken I ordered in a restaurant tasted of lemon and nothing else. She doesn’t guilt other people when they eat meat, and she feels no guilt in trying it so long as it doesn’t make it to digestion.

  16. samurailynn says:

    @dry-roasted-peanuts: I don’t know for sure, but I think that commercially sold eggs are not fertilized. So, it’s sort of the same as drinking milk – you are consuming something which was once part of an animal, but it didn’t kill an animal or stop the development of a baby animal (in the case of non-fertilized eggs).

  17. trecool95 says:

    that pea sandwich looks awesome

  18. failurate says:

    I always think it is weird when companies start catering to people who are not in their target audience.

  19. axiomatic says:

    Imagine whirled peas! Stop the violins!

  20. eggshelld says:

    @dry-roasted-peanuts: Eggs are allowable under most vegetarian diets because they do not mean the death of some previously-living animal. Eggs as we eat them are unfertilized and have no shot at becoming a chicken. This is also why milk/cheese/dairy is allowable – doesn’t lead to death necessarily.

    Though these points can be argued quite successfully when you start thinking of the way laying hens are raised, and the way dairy cows are treated. There is certainly enough death going around…

  21. @dry-roasted-peanuts: Eggs we get in the store have not been fertilized so they will never result in a chicken.

  22. ophmarketing says:

    @Japheaux: “In my black and white world, if it has a heart, it’s an animal.”

    And that’s why I’ve stopped eating artichokes.

  23. ophmarketing says:

    @nforcer: “For example, my girlfriend will taste meat, but will not actually swallow it.”

    Must. Resist. Easy. Comeback.

  24. ArgusRun says:

    @Japheaux: Giving up meat for Lent has nothing to do with vegetarianism, but rather Catholicism. Catholic doctrine treats fish as a non-meat. If I remember correctly there was some attempt to treat goose as a non meat as well in medieval times. So when someone is giving up “meat” for Lent, they are doing it based on religious doctrine and not any scientific or moral interpretation of animal vs. vegetable.

  25. GMFish says:

    Veganism is a dogmatic ethical lifestyle that include a restricted diet.

    Vegetarianism, on the other hand, is merely a diet that limits the intake of animal flesh and byproducts to varying degrees.

    As an example, I was a vegetarian for about a decade but still wore leather shoes, because it was not a ethical choice, but an attempt at a healthier diet. Other vegetarians will allow fish in their diets. Most vegetarians have no problems eating cheese or dairy products in healthy amounts.

  26. loganmo says:


    “I’m pretty sure the crust probably still had sugar in it, but sometimes you have to live a little.”

    What on earth does sugar have with to do with violating a vegan diet??

  27. Scuba Steve says:

    @Spaceman Bill Leah: Usually, anyway.

    There have been cases.

  28. badgeman46 says:

    Why does PETA dictate what I have to eat? I dont know about PETA members, but my eyes are on the front of my head, not on the sides like deer, horses, and other herbivores. I also have incisors and canine teeth, used for chewing meat. After all, if God didn’t want us to eat animals, why did he make them so tasty?! My personal favorite is Kangaroo, finest steak I ever had.

  29. xredgambit says:

    mmmmm animal parts. I love meat, I don’t care if you are a veggie nut as long as you don’t try to make me one of you. Honestly my ex wife showed me a peta vedio of how chickens are horribly mistreated and she asked me what I thought. I told her I was now hungry for chicken.

    Peronally even if the animal had a “bad life” I think its worse to not make use of the animal then to say I’m not going to eat meat because its wrong. No its wrong to just make that animals life never have meaning.

  30. badgeman46 says:

    @samurailynn: When did sugar become an animal?

  31. vildechaia says:

    As a good friend said, “If it had a face or a mother, I won’t eat it.”

  32. failurate says:

    @loganmo: Where do you think sugar comes from?

  33. ekthesy says:


    Oh yeah. Remember Cosmo Kramer’s “sweatshop eggs?” My vegetarianism is predicated more on animal rights than healthy diet, so I don’t buy eggs or milk at the supermarket, I buy them from local free-range “happy animals” farms where I can meet the cows and chickens myself.

    However, you have to draw the line somewhere…I mean, if I go out to a restaurant and they have a zabaglione on the menu, I’m going to eat it, regardless of the provenance of the eggs. Common sense prevails; I’m not going to browbeat a waiter or chef to see where the eggs come from.

  34. trujunglist says:


    I couldn’t help but laugh out loud with the hot dog meat reference.

  35. BillyShears says:

    My whole outlook on vegetarianism is this:

    When lions start feeling guilty for eating zebras, I’ll be the first to go buy tofu in bulk.

  36. xredgambit says:


    Sugar sometimes has animal bones in it to make it white.

  37. AnderBobo says:

    @badgeman46: @loganmo: Some sugar is decolorized by a process that uses animal bones and for that reason hardcore vegans won’t eat sugar in most commercial products.

    To be a true vegan you basically have to cook all your own food and can NEVER eat out. They are also always hungry which is why most vegans are in bad moods.

  38. badgeman46 says:

    @AnderBobo: I’d say thats an old wive’s tale, as “processed” Sugar is white because the valuable molasses is spun out of it using a centrifuge. Molasses is why sugar is brown.

  39. Jetgirly says:

    I’m a picky eater. The food that I don’t like is meat. This means there is a legitimate name for my pickiness- vegetarianism- and I can realistically expect restaurants to cater to my pickiness. I don’t eat fast food (except the occasional McFlurry), and I tend to eat at locally-owned places rather than (inter)national chains, so I rarely have a problem. If the restaurant can’t prepare something for me, I will go elsewhere. Sometimes I have problems when I’m traveling, like the time I told a restaurant in Paestum (Italy) that I was a vegetarian so they made me a bacon-stuffed artichoke. Mexico (especially Jalisco) was a problem, as their idea of vegetarian food seems to start and end at cheese quesadillas.

    However, I think it’s pretty common sense that any “vegetarian” food you get in a fast food place is going to be pretty iffy. Most vegetarians are smart enough to know this (believe me- cut the red meat out of your diet and you actually will experience newfound mental clarity!). Swedish McDonalds had (have?) Veggie McNuggets, which I quite liked, but I’m not kidding myself about where they were fried and what the employee’s gloves touched before they touched those wee veggie morsels. If I were a vegetarian for moral reasons I would just pass on the fast food all together… and somehow, I would survive!

  40. xwildebeestx says:

    yeah, well, if you’re any sort of veggie, you’re probably not going to be eating too many meals at a place that has CHICKEN right in the name.

    /common sense

  41. ekthesy says:


    Don’t hate on tofu. It’s obviously not a meat substitute, but cooked correctly it’s really tasty.

  42. blong81 says:


    Tell that to the lion as you walk across the savanna.


  43. ekthesy says:


    Sometimes I have problems when I’m traveling, like the time I told a restaurant in Paestum (Italy) that I was a vegetarian so they made me a bacon-stuffed artichoke. Mexico (especially Jalisco) was a problem, as their idea of vegetarian food seems to start and end at cheese quesadillas.

    Bacon-stuffed artichoke…lol. If you ever go back to Jalisco (specifically Puerto Vallarta) look for a place called Planeta Vegetariano. Muy bien y no es carne.

  44. Jetgirly says:

    @BillyShears: Hippos and apes are pretty manly, and they don’t eat other animals!

  45. Breach says:

    Just eat meat, life is easier

  46. T16skyhopp says:

    @Marko_Vulvic: lol. you win, kind sir.

  47. tande04 says:

    @GMFish: Well put.

    There are any number of reasons that people turn to vegitarian life styles but wouldn’t go full vegan. Another example would be people like my brother, who just don’t really like the taste or texture of meat. He isn’t really concerned with cross contamination or anything like that at a place like BK or KFC. Just the fact that it isn’t hamburger (or chicken in the case of the later) is good enough for him.

    I finally quite my vegitarian lifestyle because I realized that the flip side of that statement is true too. If you’re doing a vegitarian diet because of ethical concerns you likely are still contributing to any number of equally unethical industries when buying shoes, cheese, milk, etc.

  48. exkon says:

    There is something horribly wrong if a Vegan/vegetarian tries to eat a dish at friend chicken place.

  49. bellhop68 says:

    If you want something without meat in it at KFC, stick to the chicken. Hiyo!

  50. Hanke says:

    In my world, Vegetarians are disturbed. Also known as my wife is disturbed. Vegans are insane.

  51. Etoiles says:

    @Japheaux: I think they’re using the Catholic version of “meat,” as opposed to the broader meaning. It’s like every restaurant in Rhode Island having fish on Friday nights, because “meat” in this context pretty much means “mammal.”

  52. samurailynn says:

    @loganmo: @badgeman46:
    Some sugar is processed with bone char. Some isn’t, but it’s pretty much impossible to tell which brands do or do not, and which brands the restaurant or manufacturer used. While I was a vegan I didn’t eat any sugar (except for that pizza).

  53. blitzcat says:

    >>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.

    Um, no I can make that decision on my own. Ordering Unchicken allows me to eat at one more ‘normal restaurant’ with ‘normal people’, instead of making a social ass of myself every time I can’t go eat somewhere because there is no token vegetarian item. Its not like I enjoy always being the weird kid with special dietary needs.

    Not all vegetarians/vegans behave that way for ethical reasons, so I welcome being able to eat at KFC along with you murders, if the need arises.

  54. Raanne says:

    eggs are vegetarian because the ones you buy in the store aren’t fertilized, thus they are not, nor do they ever have the potential to be, chicken.

  55. ludwigk says:

    @ekthesy: …and eating a veggie patty that was fried in a vegetable oil fryer, which previously contained chicken does not directly contribute to the death of an animal. Right?

    There are a lot of different ways/reasons to be a vegetarian, which in turn affects how you execute your own restrictions

    1) There’s the ethical “animals have souls” reason.
    2) There’s the nutritional “meat is unhealthy” reason.
    3) There’s the environmental “meat consumes too many resources” reason.
    4) There’s the personal “Meat is icky, I’m a douche” reason.
    5) There’s the religions “God told me not to eat that” reason.

    and I’m sure many more.

    The worst are people who refuse to eat things that have trace amounts of something that contained animal near it, or that previously were used to prepare animal products before undergoing industrial sterilization. It demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of reality.

    But this article is also junk. What the hell kind of Vegan would go to a Chicken Restaurant for any reason? Vegans shouldn’t eat any prepared foods that came from any non-vegan establishment.

  56. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @blitzcat: I welcome being able to eat at KFC along with you murders, if the need arises.

  57. Snakeophelia says:

    For any vegans/vegetarians planning on visiting South Carolina, just be forewarned that down here not even the VEGETABLE dishes are vegetarian. Most if not all of the rice/peas/corn/beans dishes come made with hamhocks, lard, or some such ingredient.

  58. SpdRacer says:

    @Jetgirly: And they are also some of the meanest animals in the animal kingdom, Hippos are known for attacking boats and other things in or near the water for no reason.

  59. jdmba says:

    Are vegans really going to go to KFC and eat anything? I mean, really – why bother.

  60. Letsgohokies says:

    I once saw a bumper sticker that made me laugh.
    “If god didn’t want me to eat animals, he wouldn’t have made them out of meat”

  61. ekthesy says:


    Well, like I said, shades of grey. I’m not militant about not eating meat. Here’s a for-instance: if I go to a Chinese restaurant, and I order vegetable lo mein. The guy who ordered before me got chicken lo mein. Chef cooks the chicken lo mein, and then my veggie lo mein in the same wok.

    I’m fine with that because it respects the guy who wanted the chicken. I’m not ordering it and I’m not eating it, and the argument that goes “OMG there are chicken atoms in your veggie lo mein” doesn’t go very far.

    I am a combination of #1 and #3 in your list.

  62. Snowblind says:


    Don’t worry, the yeast in the dough ate the sugar…

    What really disturbs me is vegetarians who try to eat “meat substitutes”.

    I dunno, it comes across as trying to say you did not have sex with that woman because it was just a blowjob.

    (Full disclosure: I only eat vegetarians)

  63. ludwigk says:

    @Jetgirly: I cut red meat from my diet for over two years. Ate a lot of chicken an vegetarian dishes. There was no newfound mental clarity. When I returned red meat to my diet, those were some of the most productive and mentally stimulated periods in my life (I was completing a physics major). To me, the presence or lack of red meat made no difference, so I’m calling shenanigans on you on that one.

    @Jetgirly: Apes are omnivores. Not only do they possess the metabolic tools for processing meat, but they are known to hunt.

  64. ChuckECheese says:

    Many of you will enjoy this brief discussion of orthorexia nervosa, which is what this thread is really about:


  65. SadSam says:

    I’m a pescetarian [en.wikipedia.org] which means that I eat fish, seafood, milk, eggs, cheese. It’s not a perfect diet but if I went any more veggie my husband, a meat eater, would revolt. Although my husband loves veggie sausage, hotdogs, “chix” patties.

    I also do my best to buy vegetarian eggs (which are eggs from chickens that are not fed other chickens), organic milk from happy cows and organic cheese.

  66. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    @blitzcat: So you admit that being a vegan makes you abnormal and a social ass. Congratulations, you’ve just completed the first step to recovery!

  67. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    oh yeah, and I fully support PETA – People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.

  68. ZoeSchizzel says:

    We’re pescatarians. We do eat freshly caught fish on occasion, but otherwise eat mainly plants and grains; our diet does include animal products that do not result in the death of an animal, like eggs, cheese and milk. Yet we still wear leather shoes, and I don’t fret too much about how Burger King probably cooks my veggie patty on the same grill as their meat patties on the rare occasion that I eat there. Why? Because we feel better, and are healthier overall eating a diet that’s just naturally lower in fat and generally less processed. Because we live in the real world where you just can’t let yourself get tied in knots to the point where every decision is to be heavily weighed as a moral choice. Because a diet lower in meat is better for the planet. Because the way that animals are currently farmed is inhumane. Because you shouldn’t do NOTHING just because you can’t do EVERYTHING.

  69. HogwartsAlum says:

    I’m not a vegetarian, but I play one on TV!

    No, seriously, I used to hang out with some people who were vegetarians and one vegan and they just ordered salad when we went anywhere. No one made a stink about it. Most of them didn’t eat fast food anyway. Almost every place has salad, anyway. You can order it without chicken if that’s how it comes.

    Salad is good for you. Except iceberg lettuce, which is just water and cellulose. :P

  70. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    @samurailynn and eggshelld and Spaceman Bill Leah: Ok, that makes sense. The whole fertilized/unfertilized bit didn’t even occur to me. Thanks.

  71. blitzcat says:

    @aaron8301: And you admitted you cannot read. I’m not a vegan. I could care less if you are killing animal or what Peta thinks.

  72. a vegan wouldn’t eat at KFC, period. why would you financially support something you are against? oh right, thats what our country has become.

    if you are really in a tight spot (or on the PA Turnpike which has literally no options), certain places like Burger King and Chik-fil-a’s fries are vegan and are fried in separate fryers.

    @ZoeSchizzel: …but you should do as much as you can. i know there are limits, but they easily stretch beyond those mentioned.

    @aaron8301: how irrelevant, yet relevant at the same time as only half of PETA is vegetarian, who knows how many are actually vegan…

  73. Canino says:

    @Jetgirly: Hippos and apes are pretty manly, and they don’t eat other animals!

    Chimps most definitely eat meat when the opportunity arises, and also eat bugs constantly. I prescribe some National Geographic Channel for you.

  74. axiomatic says:

    Omnivore FTW! I would in fact be willing to eat a Vegan.

  75. So…are you calling KFC pointless? This article makes me want to file a redhibition suit.

  76. goodywitch says:

    Why eat at _____, if you’re veggie, you shouldn’t eat at non-vegetarian places. That’s because veggies are social, and we don’t want to be a pain in the butt to our non-veggie friends. I ate at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles because I didn’t want to be a pain to my friends and in the neighborhood we were in at the time, it was the only place open. (I got the sweet potatos.) Most of us have already memorized the omnivore places that are generally veg-friendly and already know what we can/not eat at them.

    Just get the salad. OK for one-time events, it’s OK. However, for prolonged events, to ask a veggie to go a few days on just salad is annoying and makes a veggie person want to b*tch-slap someone. Salads aren’t filling. I went to a two day conference and stated ahead that I was veggie, and I basically had to live off of side-dishes. (Veggies only, no rice and beans.)

    That said, everyone knows not to eat patties from those places. Unless, if questioned, they reply “it’s microwaved” or “there is a specific section dedicated purely for the use of veggie burgers”.

  77. Snowblind says:


    Don’t do it! You will never get the Pacholli oil smell out.


    Sounds about right. I wonder if it related to the tendency of a good number of religions to self-identify using a dietary code.

  78. wattznext says:


    “For example, my girlfriend will taste meat, but will not actually swallow it.”

    Hahahahahahahaha. Ok, I’m done.

  79. Landru says:

    @blitzcat: I think you mean “I could not care less if you are killing animal or what Peta thinks.”

  80. Benny Gesserit says:

    Did’ya hear the one about the Vegan Zombie: He staggered down the street going “Grains! Grains!” (Yes I stole that from io9 at some point.)

    @goodywitch: I wish more people would be as sensible as you about their life choices.

    I prefer to do what my incisors would indicate but I try to show some sensitivity: I usually eat my steak “blue” but I’d never do it knowingly in front of a vegetarian. There’s living how I want to live but that’s just rubbing their nose in it!

  81. ChuckECheese says:

    @Snowblind: I think orthorexia’s closely related to other eating disorders, and/or obsessive-compulsive disorder. In a very broad way, they all appear to be disorders of control and self-mastery. Although the author of the orthorexia site claims that ortho- differs from ano- in that orthos seek “purity” and a sort of spirituality, and anos merely want to be thin, in reality some anorexics also speak of the moral and spiritual virtue of not eating and thinness. Eating disorders are more of a spectrum of behaviors than a bunch of clear-cut syndromes.

    FWIW, religiousity has been correlated to OCD symptoms too. And eating disorders (and much OCD) have a very religious/legalistic vibe to them.

  82. Mr_D says:

    I have a few Indian friends, who immigrated here when they were young. So they’re vegetarians because their parents tell them to, but there are so many non-vegetarian foods they usually end up eating meat or animal products without knowing it.

    I derive sick pleasure from telling them how their favorite foods have animal products in them. Sure, it’s obvious to us, but not someone from a totally different culture.

    French onion soup? “Oh well, guess I have to stop eating that.”
    Spanish rice? “That has chicken broth in it, are you sure?”
    Cheese (excluding paneer, cream cheese, etc) “Who cares, I like cheese.”

    I haven’t had the heart to tell them refried beans, one of their favorites, is made with lard. I figure I’m doing them a favor, though. You gotta respect other people’s dietary restrictions.

  83. Skeezoyd says:

    Soylent green?

  84. notcroft says:

    Yuck. Too bad. I’d actually been looking forward to trying this, having never in my life set foot in a KFC before. I’m just vegetarian, but for vegans, I had read elsewhere that the patty was vegan so the whole thing could be okay by skipping the mayo and getting it on a wrap instead of a bun. I don’t want to eat little bits of chicken contamination or chicken fat though :(

    @cashmerewhore: Taco Bell does not use lard in it’s tortillas or beans, so many vegetarians and some vegans do eat there. The tortillas do have mono-and-diglycerides which some dedicated veg*ns worry about as they can be from an animal source. They are also commonly from plant sources though, so often okay. I don’t know the source of the ones in Taco Bell food.

  85. MyPetFly says:

    >>”and probably animal rennet”

    Actually, from my minimal research, apparently most “cheap” cheese doesn’t use animal rennet, but artificial rennet. It’s cheaper. Hard to say with any certainty what cheese does and doesn’t use real rennet.


    An unfertilized chicken embryo, so until it’s fertilized it’s incapable of life. (Does that make me pro-choice?)

    As for my own personal eating habits (aside from drooling and making annoying sucking and gurgling sounds), I’m a vegetarian (I think) — I eat dairy products as well as vegetables. The one thing I probably fudge on is cheese, since it may or may not, as mentioned above, have animal rennet. If I knew the cheese I had used animal rennet, I wouldn’t eat it.

    At the same time, I’m not going to push my food preferences on other people (I don’t even own red paint to use on people wearing fur), and if something slips by and I end up eating a non-dairy animal product, I’m not going to make myself throw up.

    Point to note for the V people out there: Marshmallows usually contain gelatin, most yogurt contains gelatin, gelcaps have gelatin, etc. And don’t forget the bug parts that are in the “safe” food. ; )

  86. khiltd says:

    I don’t like fish at all, but strangely enough, this fact does not compel me to walk into seafood restaurants and complain about the lack of fish-free entrees, demanding that they cater to my lifestyle choices.

  87. rdldr1 says:

    Is this a blog article or is the a preachy sermon on how I should feel guilty for all the things I eat/consume? Seriously consumerist, I thought you were better than that.

  88. JoeTan says:

    Please. These people should be bitching that there’s no chicken in the chicken nevermind this vegan nonsense.

  89. huadpe says:

    @samurailynn: Since when is sugar not vegan? Sugar is just purely a plant product.

  90. JoeTan says:

    Vegans. Please. If we didn’t start eating meat we’d still be swinging from the trees.

  91. mcjake says:

    I worked at KFC in high school. We had vegitarians come in and order fries, cole slaw and mash potatoes and gravy. I would always warn them, the gravy has broth, and the fries are cooked with chicken, and not a single one of them cared.

  92. MyPetFly says:

    I don’t understand what the fuss and name calling is all about regarding vegans and vegetarians. Sure, **some** can be weird and overboard and overbearing, but a lot of us are realistic and recognize a person’s right to eat meat.

    If you don’t eat brussels sprouts or mushrooms or cauliflower, does that make you a freak? Being vegan or vegetarian is just a personal choice, not necessarily a crusade.

  93. SinA says:

    more like vegeterrible!

  94. MyPetFly says:

    Next note… I DO, however, partake in cannibalism. Does that exclude me from being a vegetarian?

    (Notice to law enforcement: This is a joke, only a joke.)

  95. I say do not eat plants. They’re living creatures who consume lots of water, take a lot of energy to produce and grow in factory-style fields.

  96. Alex Chasick says:

    @MyPetFly: I forget which site I was reading, but it indicated that of the major fast food restaurants, only Taco Bell used microbial rennet in their cheese. Hearsay from company spokesmen, etc., but for what it’s worth, BK’s nutrition info specifically says “Does not contain animal ingredients” on certain items, and their cheese isn’t one of them.

  97. MyPetFly says:


    Eat salt, water and dung and all will be well with the world. : )

  98. AD8BC says:

    Alright all you vegans. All together now.

    1, 2, 3:

    “Waaaah! Waaaah! Waaaah!”

  99. Triborough says:

    I am a vegetarian and I would never think of going to someplace called Kentucky Fried Chicken to get anything vegetarian. The name of the establishment is a big give away to what they sell there!

  100. MyPetFly says:

    @Alex Chasick:

    Interesting. If I could, I’d avoid animal rennet cheeses, but it’s hard to tell. I looked into making my own cheese, not because I’m a vegetarian, but because I thought it would be fun and taste better, and that’s how I found that artificial rennet is available. In fact, I think other acidic compounds can be used with varying results.

  101. xnihilx says:

    It didn’t take me too long when I went vegetarian that I was in for a battle if I wanted “fast food.” I still to this day fail to see how it is difficult for fast food places to just put something vegetarian on the menu that isn’t horribly nasty. Seriously! That BK “veggie” burger is just disgusting. I’ll stick with my “don’t ask, don’t tell” bean burritos (which probably have lard) when I want a non-meaty snack. They are losing a big part of the market. Not all veg-heads want to have to pack a lunch every day, not to mention all the people ewith religious dietary restrictions. Of course if no one wanted to listen to me in 1997 then I fail to see why they’ll listen now.

  102. imwm says:

    MANY vegetarians, including myself, eat eggs and milk. If KFC claimed their sandwich was vegan, then it would be different.

    @blitzcat: I agree completely.

    Although I wouldn’t eat it because it is (allegedly) cooked in the same fryer, I still think it qualifies as vegetarian. Lots of vegetarian things are cooked with the meat. And while I think it’s gross, in a pinch I would eat it.

  103. imwm says:

    @ludwigk: Meat is gross to me and that doesn’t make me a douche. I’m sure there are some things that other people eat that you find gross. Maybe you’re a douche?

    If someone doesn’t want to eat anything that was near trace amounts of animals (or whatever you said) that’s their choice too. It may be driven by a personal reason too. Nothing lacking in understanding about that.

  104. liquisoft says:

    Why would a company fry a meatless patty anyway? That’s sort of contrary to the point.

  105. MyPetFly says:

    I read something on a website about vegetarianism and veganism, and it all boiled down to (pun intended) making attempts at being reasonable. Don’t make a stink about other people eating meat, eat what you feel comfortable with when you’re with other people, don’t ask for special arrangements, etc. The point is to put meat eaters at ease so they don’t think all V-people (my new shorthand) are goofy.

  106. imwm says:

    @ChuckECheese: Religion definitely didn’t help my OCD!

  107. she-ray says:

    I think some people may’ve lost sight of the consumer issue at heart, in favor of baring their bloody fangs and growling at vegans and vegetarians.

    Three consumer issues come to mind, here:

    1)the company’s obligation to meet expectations created by product marketing
    (‘If it says “veggie” not only should it not contain meat or be fried in chicken fat’ but it shouldn’t be fried in the same oil etc)

    2)the restaurant’s right to call ‘fowl’ if the upset consumer’s expectations don’t correspond to either of the above
    (‘Of course we don’t have a separate prep area, fryers, etc., you loony veghead!’)

    3)the consumer’s right to push a business to make a change, even if the disputed business practice is common.
    (‘But that’s gross and unethical and I’m going to take my complaints to the top and hope it’ll change.’)

    That said. The article falls short of true revelation. Vegans know that mayo and cheese are not vegan. Vegetarians who have heard of rennet expect it in most cheese. Vegetarians generally (rightly) have minimal expectations of fast food restaurants.

    “You mean they don’t meditate in back to cleanse themselves of meat-serving sins, pray to gaia, then change the fryer oil and put on new gloves before preparing my vegetarian meal?” sorry johnny.

  108. lizk says:

    I think people should make their own food choices, and no one else should tell them their choices are wrong, bad, uneducated, inconsistent, stupid, etc. There are so many levels of “vegetarian,” it’s really ignorant to make statements that indicate every vegetarian thinks and eats the same way. C’est la vie.

  109. Whyspir says:

    Also, just so everyone knows, and for some reason like to goto McDonalds for food, but still get vegitarian stuff, neither are the fries I suppose, though, I think that’s in most fast food fries.

    Does anyone know what beef tarrow really is?

  110. lingum says:

    Why don’t you goddamn veggie snobs just stop it. Nobody’s impressed.

  111. MyPetFly says:


    Say 4,000 Hail Marys and 25,000 Our Fathers.


    Finally the voice of reason. ; )

  112. MyPetFly says:


    No more beef jerky for you pal. It’s going to your head.

  113. jayde_drag0n says:

    I’m not saying don’t be a vegan or a vegetarian.. eat what you wish.. i just think you need a bit of a reality check, don’t think your food is spared from the deaths of animals. Unless you grow it all yourself.. animals will be killed for it. Millions of animals are killed by wheat and soy bean combines during harvesting season. Also, many vegetarians don’t know (or care to acknowledge) that in many parts of the United States they have “control hunts” in which hunting permits are passed out whenever there is a pest problem (the pest here is deer, elk and antelope) that threatens wheat, soy, vegetable and other crops; this happens several times per year.

  114. jayde_drag0n says:

    I’m not saying don’t be a vegan or a vegetarian.. eat what you wish.. i just think you need a little reality check, don’t think your food is spared from the deaths of animals. Unless you grow it all yourself.. animals will be killed for it. Every year millions of animals are killed by wheat and soy bean combines during harvesting season.Also, many vegetarians don’t know (or care to acknowledge) that in many parts of the United States they have “control hunts” in which hunting permits are passed out whenever there is a pest problem (the pest here is deer, elk and antelope) that threatens wheat, soy, vegetable and other crops; this happens several times per year.

  115. badgeman46 says:

    As humans, most of are intelligence evolved from eating meat. We needed to hunt it, and if we werent good hunters, we would have died out. This is why in nature, meat eaters are simply more intelligent. Look around your house, you have a dog, maybe a cat. They eat….meat! They are damned smart arent they? Did you train your lettuce eating turtle to get the paper? Do you see lots of trained Deer in the circus? Even horses are really not that smart given their size. Intelligence=meat!

    I think some of us carnivores should start demanding that those insensitive hippy vegetarian restaurants start serving some meat!

  116. stevejust says:

    Point 1: Sometimes vegans and vegetarians go on road trips, and there’s not a whole lot to choose from food-wise at roadside rest stops. So all of these comments that are wondering about why a veg*n would be at KFC in the first place, while obvious, miss the fact that they live in the same world that you all do. Maybe a vegan is stuck on a layover in an airport. Okay, so maybe it’d be super cool to have a vegetarian sandwhich option… as a last resort… at an airport KFC, for example. By making a product not suitable for the biggest potential market for it, they ensure it won’t please anyone. So doing it wrong is an exercise in futility.

    Point 2: As for the bumper stickers that say “If God didn’t want me to eat animals, he wouldn’t have made them out of meat.” I guess God kinda messed up when he put all that fat and cholesterol into that meat, leading to Americans being the fattest humans on the planet – and suffering from heart disease, strokes, colon cancer, etc.,. That doesn’t fit as well on a bumper sticker though. Yet there’s no question that certain “diseases of affluence” are directly correlated to meat consumption. Of course, if you eat meat and you stay active, you can mitigate all the bad things eating meat does to us. So don’t tell me about your 95-year-old farmer grandfather who’s in perfect health and eats 5 meat meals a day. We were physiologically designed to be omnivores, no question. But that gets us to point 3.

    Point 3: As for the notion that lions eat zebras and we clawed our way to the top of the food chain, and so we should eat meat… Well, I am fairly big and strong. I stepped on the scale last night at the gym and weighed in at 189. I can probably kick your ass, and if I can’t, I could just shoot you and then rape your wife/girlfriend/sister while I’m at it. But that wouldn’t make it “right.” But why not? Because human beings are different from all the other animals in that we have the most highly developed moral code. (Note that we’re not the only moral agents – there’s a lot of evidence of morality among higher apes.) It’s the very fact that we’re able to think and reason and make ethical decisions that leads some of us to think, wow, if I think killing unnecessarily is wrong… and I don’t need to kill animals to live… then maybe I shouldn’t eat meat.

    I’m not saying that this is absolutely correct. But you have to realize that at this point in the conversation 1 of 2 things needs to happen. You either have to separate people from all other animals that are killed for meat (and then think about why don’t we eat dogs and cats) or you have to say, well, I think unnecessary killing is perfectly okay. Most people (minus sport hunters) tend to think unnecessary killing is wrong. But most people think because humans have souls or are smarter than other animals, it’s totally cool to kill and eat them. That’s fantastic. But I think I’m smarter than you. How ’bout I kill and eat your pet? Or you? There’s no attribute that humans have (other than people who believe we have souls) that other animals don’t possess. And for that reason, I became vegan 13 years ago. I know, that makes me crazy… blah blah blah. But to me, it’s more crazy that someone would want to eat something that bleeds, farts, snots, pisses, craps, etc.,. That’s just gross.

  117. MyPetFly says:


    >>(Note that we’re not the only moral agents – there’s a lot of evidence of morality among higher apes.)

    A level of evolution to which I aspire someday. : )

    Actually though, I agree with you regarding your last sentence. I wish I could kick the milk and cheese habit — I hear it’s not much better. Nice cold glass of pus anyone?

  118. oldheathen says:

    How many of you hardcore carnivores would last a day working at a slaughterhouse or meat-packing plant? Damn few, I’d wager.

    I grew up on a farm with many animals and understand the food chain fairly well. At times, my father and brothers hunted for the food that was on our table.

    I’ve also been a vegetarian for 25+ years. We consider ourselves as humans so elevated from the beasts of the woods, yet we’ve not intellectually evolved past having *other people* do our dirty work in ways so horrific as to be as beyond comprehension.

    To suggest that some animals (but not others) should exist solely to be tortured and die painfully for the sake of your next Big Mac is the moral equivalent of suggesting that you’d have no problem with your dog living in a 3′ x 5′ cage his entire life, force fed and anally electrocuted for your family’s eager consumption.

    To suggest otherwise makes you a hypocrite and racist – after all, such is common practice in other cultures. Eat meat if you will, just make it an informed decision which acknowledges the animal suffering and profound environmental impact of your choice.

  119. howie_in_az says:

    I think it’s pretty telling that the veg*n commenters are making sane, rational comments and yet an overwhelming majority of the meat eaters have to chime in with “omg i luvz me some meat especially when its in my mouth!”, or flat out insulting others that have a different outlook on things. Do vegans and vegetarians really pose a threat to your lifestyle such that you feel the need to make them realize the ‘error’ of their ways and eat meat, all the while demanding they not ‘convert’ you?

    KFC tried to do well by their non-target audience in an attempt to get more traffic in their stores, corresponding to more sales. This backfired. Just as well — it’d probably give me the runs like their ‘chicken’ used to. Maybe vegetarians and/or vegans can use this opportunity to steer their coworkers/friends towards more vegetarian-safe restaurants in an effort to expand culinary palates; I know I would’ve never gone to certain Ethiopian or Thai restaurants if a vegan friend hadn’t suggested them, and now I frequent both places because ingudai wat (with injeera) and panang tofu are amazingly delicious dishes.

  120. Alex Chasick says:

    @MyPetFly: The Whole Foods near me sells microbial rennet in the vegetarian section, and their cheesemonger has a list of which cheeses are made with animal rennet and which aren’t. That’s how I got hooked on their Australian cheddar, which is one of the tastiest, cheapest cheeses I’ve ever bought.

    If you’re in a regular supermarket, stick with Cabot. They don’t use animal rennet in any of their cheeses. I think, but am not certain, that Boars Head doesn’t either (oddly enough).

  121. balthisar says:

    A great, great number of vegetarians aren’t self-righteous. I’d almost dare say “most” vegetarians aren’t such, but being that they’re not vocal and obnoxious, they’re under-represented. These are normal people that have decided to exclude as much meat from their diets as possible, but have no particular moral reasons. Health is their biggest concern insofar as they avoid the continual overload of animal products. They’re not going to quibble over a little bit of crossover now and again.

  122. superlayne says:

    Catholics don’t believe fish to be meat. Lent is way different that normal vegetarianism.

  123. SchuylerH says:

    I always thought being a vegetarian was crueler than being a carnivore because plants can’t run away.

  124. Katxyz says:

    “As humans, most of are intelligence evolved from eating meat.”


  125. radiochief says:

    @AnderBobo: “They are also always hungry which is why most vegans are in bad moods.” Not a truer statement has been uttered.

    About ten years ago, my wife and I were over a couple friend’s house. Me and the guy were chillin’ and we got on the subject of some other friends we had just visited who were Vegans.

    It was general jibing until we came up with that Vegans were like a Star Trek villains. The Planet of the Angry Vegans.

    Spock: “Capt. We are approaching the Planet of Angry Vegans.”

    Kirk: “Shields up, Mr. Sulu; Red Alert Mr. Checkov!”

  126. god_forbids says:

    1. Religious groups observing Lent have varying requirements. Do not assume they all must become “vegans”.

    2. If someone is allergic to something, I get it when they flip out over peanut dust or contact with utensils-that-also-touched-the-dreaded-ingredient. But really, how much of your dogma is violated by having a whiff of oil-which-also-fried-chicken in it? It’s not like your head’s going to explode.


  127. MyPetFly says:

    @Alex Chasick:

    Thanks Alex, information noted. Although doesn’t Boar’s Head use cerebral fluid? (Just kidding)


    He he… that reminds me of some comedian’s joke, something about being a vegetarian because he has a grudge against plants.


    Actually, my mood hasn’t really changed since I became a vegetarian. Then again, I haven’t lost much weight either.

  128. damitaimee says:

    i think it’s very odd that kfc would even ATTEMPT to make a sandwich aimed towards vegans. or even vegetarians.

    most (not ALL, obviously) people who choose to become vegetarian do it because they feel it’s wrong to kill an animal. there’s a huge chance that they know about KFC’s chicken cruelty practices. I really don’t understand how KFC could possibly think they could convince vegetarians to buy sandwiches from them. i guess there’s always that small few.

    if you want peta or just angry vegans and vegetarians off your back, just stop torturing chickens. that’s all they’re really asking for.

  129. HogwartsAlum says:


    It’s a 1973 sci-fi movie with Charlton Heston where these wafers are food, and they are made out of a surprise. It’s very good. I highly recommend it

    See link below. Don’t read the Plot section if you don’t want to spoil the surprise.


  130. damitaimee says:

    @MyPetFly: it took about two years, but now my mood changes. i have to be sure to keep snacks around so that i don’t get too hungry. a lot of it is from being busy and eating being near impossible when trying to dine out, i’ll often end up forgetting to eat. as strange as it sounds.

    i’ve been a vegan for 3 years and have lost 60 lbs. most healthiest i’ve been in my life. i’ll deal with the extra hassle of planning my meals if i have to.

    giving up cheese and milk is really tough. i definitely don’t blame you on that. i still crave a slice of pizza that actually has cheese on it, but i thankfully i have the control down. :D

  131. damitaimee says:

    someone think of me when eating pizza today.

  132. Ixnayer says:

    Why are they trying to appease vegetarians? What they serve is in their restaraunts name “CHICKEN”.I wish companies would stop trying to appease these veggie lovers and just slather bacon on everything. And to all you vegetarians/vegans… How do you know vegetables don’t feel pain when you cut them? Just because you can’t hear their cries of agony and pain, doesn’t mean theyr’e not screaming. You are all just a bunch of veggie murderers. V8 is a serial veggie killer!

  133. damitaimee says:

    i really hate that there’s no “edit” button. which ruins things. >=(

    i meant to say, “someone think of me when eating pizza today, i’ll be eating cheese-less pizza. i’ll be slightly jealous of you.”

  134. MyPetFly says:


    Actually, if I remember correctly, veggies do exhibit signs of trauma when cut. I don’t know what monitoring method was used, though. Anyway, people can be reactionary fools here if they want (“slather bacon on everything”) but I can tell you that my decision to stop eating meat was well thought out over a long period of time and done in stages. I’m not doing it to be cool.

  135. I had a salad for lunch with some vegetable soup but all this talk is making me want a big fat, juicy T-Bone for dinner. Make it rare, please.

  136. BytheSea says:

    @aaron8301: So you admit that being a vegan makes you abnormal and a social ass.

    Vegans do wonderful, wonderful things with peanut butter. It’s their only source of protein. Their cookies are so gooey they have to be kept in the fridge.

    For this reason, I support veganism.

  137. Meathamper says:

    It’s OK. I just had a vegan sirloin steak. Right…

  138. MyPetFly says:

    @The Rude Bellman:

    Actually, even though I’m a vegetarian, I do like meat — especially pepperoni and the chicken in Rubio’s street tacos. But no more for me, and it’s not a big loss.

  139. overbysara says:

    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.

    That is absolutely… the most ridiculous thing I have ever read on consumerist.

    So vegetarians shouldn’t be able to accompany their non-veg friends and find suitable, healthy food? Or, hell, they shouldn’t even be let out of the house! How dare they think they can grab a quick meal like everybody else! Damn you vegetarians – go home and cook beans!

  140. Kimbeegrin says:

    At the restaurant I work at, we griddle the veggies burgers on the same griddle raw meat has been on. It’s almost impossible to not cause cross contamination.

  141. Dlaing22 says:

    WOW It is truly amazing that an article cannot even seem to include the words vegetarianism or vegan in a meaningful sentence without attracting many an angry individual who MUST voice their total opposition the whole concept of meatlessness and seem incapable of articulating anything beyond lame jokes and puns and the same tired arguments on health, nature, the Bible, canine teeth, plant emotions… come on!Some of the arguments resorted to here are quite stupid and embarrassing.

    I can only marvel at the level of ignorance and mis/un-education on this subject and the sheer level of confused vitriol displayed by so many.
    On the surface it is easy and rather fun to disparage vegetarianism. I hope some more thoughtful readers might go a little beyond their personal preferences and beliefs when hearing about vegetarians some time and attempt to learn more about it through research and careful consideration of moral theory, medical research, history, culture, etc.
    I don’t know, maybe your lives will improve from it and from not having to fear and loathe non-omnivores every day.

  142. FuriousGeorge160 says:

    Agreed. The one safe place that I generally feel like I can eat is Taco Bell, and most times, they’re pretty good about special orders if you go in and explain ( in some detail) what you want them to do.

  143. jacobsor says:

    Hey cashmerewhore… Taco Bell is a very veggie-friendly (and vegan-friendly) restaurant. The tortillas do NOT contain lard. This is an easily verifiable fact. You were wrong and the “stupid” people were right.

    I’m vegetarian, but that doesn’t mean that I need to live like a hermit and not eat out. I enjoy good (and bad) food as much as anyone.



  144. rworne says:

    So if I understand correctly:

    vegetarian = eats little to no meat products as a dietary choice.
    vegan = eats no meat products as a political statement.

    That about sum it up?

  145. lihtox says:

    I’m no vegan (I would starve– most vegetables taste terrible to me) but it seems to me that the ethical question is “Have I caused an animal to suffer through my actions?” If that is the question, then cross-contamination isn’t an issue. If the cooks make your vegetable lo mein (to use an earlier example) in the same wok as someone else’s chicken lo mein, your order had no effect on any animal, and so may be eaten with a clear conscience. (Hmm, seems to me that this would also allow people to eat roadkill, so I dunno.) There seems to be some confusion or blending here with being kosher, where cross-contamination is a big deal.

    However, if a vegan/ethical vegetarian orders a meal at KFC, they are financially supporting a company whose primary business depends on slaughtering chickens. That seems like a bigger ethical dilemma than whether some chicken grease got on their veggies. Mind you, we all have to pick our battles, but it’s an interesting question.

  146. jacobsor says:


    You raise valid points. I agree 100% concerning the “cross-contamination” issue.

    I’ve never liked KFC, but I do eat at Taco Bell. They’re owned by the same company, so I’m lining the pockets of Yum Brands when I eat there.

    At the same time, it’s important to vote with your dollars. If restaurants realize that vegetarians have money and like to eat out, then hopefully they’ll offer more options and reduce animal cruelty in the process. More tofu and less chickens killed…

    If all of the vegetarians just eat at hippie granola restaurants, then none of the other restaurants will offer good veggie options. (I have nothing against hippie granola restaurants, I just like having more options.)

    For what it’s worth, the good people at PETA have no ethical objection to eating at a steakhouse (with vegetarian options) for that very reason. Some people might view that as hypocritical, but they’re just being practical and recognizing that vegetarians can’t wall themselves off from the world.


  147. stevejust says:



    Vegetarians: don’t eat meat. Some people call themselves vegetarians if they eat fish. But that person would technically be a pesco-ovo-lacto-vegetarian, meaning someone who eas fish, eggs and dairy. People who call themselves “vegetarian” when all they mean is they don’t eat red meat are silly.

    Vegans: are pure vegetarians who don’t eat any animal products. That means no meat, and no animal products. Thus, no dairy, no eggs, no jello or skittles or marshmallows because of the gelatin used to make that stuff… and most vegans also don’t eat honey (an insect product) for a bunch of reasons that aren’t well grounded in reality anymore.

    There are plenty of political vegetarians. Because veganism is more extreme, vegans tend to be the more vocal, in-your-face annoying ones everyone’s been talking about in this thread. I’m more than happy to oblige, since this debate is actually really old. I’ve heard every conceivable argument and they all suck if you just take two minutes to reason out the arguments philosophically. Speaking of which, Pythagoras is credited with inventing the term “philosopher.”

    Pythagoras was a vegetarian and Pythagoras… well… quite frankly he won the veggie debate long before Jesus ever walked the face of the earth. In addition to the whole A squared plus B squared equals C squared, he taught women. Teaching women wasn’t something that happened in 500 B.C. He also freed slaves. Freeing slaves didn’t happen in 500 B.C. He also taught freed slaves. He knew what was up.

  148. SJActress says:


    Because eggs don’t have to be fertilized to be eaten.

  149. verdantpine says:

    @ZoeSchizzel: You pretty much summed up our lifestyle as pescatarians too.

    Someone responded below that “you should do as much as you can”, which implies that everyone has the time, money and resources to do as much as the average vegan but that they’re simply not trying hard enough.

    Not everyone is going to become a vegan, or stop eating meat, but through gentle modelling (rather than being hardcore and “guilting” people), you can encourage folks to eat less meat, and to support less wasteful, painful methods of making meat or other animal products. Insisting that everyone must go to the extremes that you deem important is not only disrespectful of differences, it’s just not logical.

    When a viable manufacturer creates non-leather shoes with shock-support that can be used with my prescription orthotics, I’d be the first to buy them. I suppose I could go barefoot and never leave my house, but then I wouldn’t be able to do much – including helping out local animal shelters and other charities.

    When, like on STAR TREK, there’s a machine that can make healthy vegan food full of nutrients from spare molecules, I’ll stop feeding my cats products that contain meat, and I’ll stop eating fish for the omega-3 protein.

    I know there are those people who insist you can feed your cats “vegan diets” with nothing going wrong, but no one’s done a scientific study proving that they won’t go blind without taurine in their diet (as has been seen anecdotally). Maybe by Captain Kirk’s time we’ll be able to put plenty of taurine and omega-3 in vegan food.

  150. verdantpine says:

    @AnderBobo: So true! I think the ones with the foulest moods though, are those who refuse to cook and end up not eating enough or just eating crap. Though, that afflicts meat-eaters too – a friend of mine who hates cooking, hates all vegetables and mostly eats deep-fried food just had her gall-bladder removed after a painful attack.

    There’s another reason why some vegans are so crabby. A vegan friend of mine began acting very erratically, and was diagnosed with B12 deficiency – which can cause nerve damage and mental health issues.

    He didn’t need to stop being vegan, he just needed to plan his diet to include B12. It can happen to vegetarians too, if they don’t supplement somehow (through cereal with sprayed on B12 or B12 yeast).

  151. SJActress says:

    To “stevejust”:

    You give a valid argument for your cause. More power to you. I don’t worry about my morals; animals are yummy and I have anemia and crave iron.

    So, if you’re REALLY going to go for it, grow all your own food. Otherwise, you’re still a murderer.

    Just so you know, THOUSANDS of field mice and snakes are killed while big ol’ mean machines mow down your wheat and corn.

    Also, lettuce screams when you cut it. Are you saying that just because it doesn’t have eyes or blood it doesn’t have feelings?

    Also, for other readers: If you have pets of any sort, DO NOT give your money to those yahoos at PETA. They think ALL animals should be liberated, including puggles and Siamese. Owning a pet means you SUCK.

    Give your dollars to the ASPCA or Humane Society…you know, someone who RESCUES animals bred by the mutt of the toothless wonder on the other side of town.

    As for the KFC story…duh. I’m deathly allergic to tree nuts, and I still don’t eat peanuts out of a can. Those processing plants are used for more than my legumes.

  152. rworne says:


    I guess it depends on what your definition of “meat” is. I said simply vegetarians eat little to no meat products. To me, meat is animal (any animal) flesh, and perhaps eggs.

    Vegans seem to be more strict and militant about their choices.

    While my comment above is admittedly little snarky, I really could not care less about the food choices people make – it’s none of my business. Activists telling me what to eat/not eat based on their own beliefs should also mind their own business and learn to live with the consequences of the choices they make.

  153. stevejust says:

    @rworne: No one’s telling anyone what to do. I don’t want you to think I think it’s my business what you eat. I’m just talking about ideas, and definitions of different philosophies here. No one’s making you read some b.s. post on a blog on the internet. Avert your eyes if it offends you.

    @SJActress: It’d be awesome if I could just PM people instead of being “that guy” but I don’t have that option. So…

    1) Where do you get the idea that PETA is opposed to pets? I think it might be a requirement to have rescue animals as pets to work at PETA. Everyone I’ve ever known that worked at PETA has pets. Do people just make stuff up and post it on the internet? Yes. But have I known people who worked at PETA? Yes. Do I have any incentive to lie? No. And I’m not PETA’s biggest fan by any means. I find them about as annoying as most people because they tend to make people think veg*ns are insane.

    2) Lettuce screams? Really? Let’s assume for a second that all the urban legends about broccoli and other plants “feeling” is true. Does broccoli have a brain? So if it “feels” pain, how does it “process” that pain or “understand” that it’s feeling “pain”? If it can’t process that “pain” with a brain, can it feel anything? Seriously. You have a brain. Use it to think about this point you raise.

    3) You have my agreement with large scale ag operations killing animals. But what’s worse, field mice dying as casualties of harvesting… or field mice as casualties of harvesting (because people have to eat veggies too, or they’ll die) + cows, pigs, chickens, etc.,. The reductio ad absurdum argument is… absurd.

  154. ghostofczolgosz says:

    The above article is somewhat misleading or perhaps just ill-informed. Burger King customers can obviously choose not to have cheese or mayo on their burger — you can customize any burger. Additionally, Burger King can cook the BK Veggie burger in the microwave so that it doesn’t come in contact with meat cooking surfaces. This was (and I imagine still is) a nationwide policy.

    Regarding some of the comments on veganism versus “vegetarianism”:

    “Vegetarianism” has evolved to usually mean lacto-ovo vegetarianism (eating milk and eggs). Additionally, “vegetarianism” has seemingly come to include cheese consumption, but I don’t really see how that can be called vegetarianism since cheese often uses animal rennet (and many people can’t or don’t investigate the cheese they consume to avoid it). Strictly speaking, “vegetarianism” — without qualifiers — means a “vegan” diet.

    The use of the term veganism attempts to clarify this confusion. Veganism requires a diet free of animal products and byproducts, along with an animal-free lifestyle beyond one’s diet: no leather shoes, no wool suits, etc.

  155. ghostofczolgosz says:


    You say: “I don’t worry about my morals; animals are yummy.”

    Then you proceed with what seems to be an ethical criticism of PETA and others. Huh? It seems you must be basing your argument on morality. Why not just end your comment/argument after your second sentence? Am I misunderstanding you?

    You say: “So, if you’re REALLY going to go for it, grow all your own food. Otherwise, you’re still a murderer.”

    Please define what you mean by murderer. Are you saying that you are a murderer and that your ethical system allows for this? Or are you saying that if someone’s ethical system seeks an ideal and immediately doesn’t meet it, it fails, and should be rejected? Should it meet an ideal merely in your eyes or an objective, numerical figure of some kind? (i.e. “Veganism fails as an ethical system if 1,000 or more snakes are killed this year by tractors.”) Using that example, if only 1 snake is killed, is the ethical system’s usefulness utterly negated at that point?

    This seems to be an argument from a sort of immediate helplessness. (I can’t completely fix the problem right now, so I just won’t attempt to begin fixing the problem at all.) That is different from simply disputing that there is a problem.

    You say: Also, lettuce screams when you cut it. Are you saying that just because it doesn’t have eyes or blood it doesn’t have feelings?

    Please back this up with some sort of evidence. If you have evidence that lettuce screams, present it. If you have evidence of self-reflexive awareness of pain outside of animal nervous systems, present it.

    You say: Also, for other readers: If you have pets of any sort, DO NOT give your money to those yahoos at PETA. They think ALL animals should be liberated, including puggles and Siamese. Owning a pet means you SUCK.

    Which is why so many PETA “yahoos” have companion animals, their literature often speaks of companion animals and the benefits of adoption, and they sell products specifically for companion animals, right? Please back up what you are saying with something PETA actually printed or said.

    You conclude: “Give your dollars to the ASPCA or Humane Society…you know, someone who RESCUES animals bred by the mutt of the toothless wonder on the other side of town.”

    Are you familiar with PETA’s numerous animal rescue operations?

  156. parrotuya says:

    I don’t know what KFC is. If you mean Kentucky FRIED Chicken, then I don’t understand why anyone would go to Kentucky Fried Chicken to eat a veggie burger or eat any burger for that matter. Kentucky Fried Chicken is a chicken place not a burger place. Remember, it’s “finger-lickin’ good!”

  157. aikoto says:

    Not only that, but I don’t understand why they don’t offer wheat or multi-grain buns. I can’t stand eating that white flour garbage.

  158. BFIrrera says:

    Let’s just put aside the whole vegan/vegetarian aspect of this issue and realize that there’s a WHOLE ‘NOTHER kettle of worms here…

    …what about all the people with poultry allergies who might have wanted to try this sandwich when friends wanted their fix for KFC?

    If this veggie pattie is fried in the same fryer, wouldn’t the patties get some of the chicken fat infused into them? That’s just asking for people to go into anaphylactic shock!

  159. glitterpig says:

    @cashmerewhore: Taco Bell doesn’t use lard, in their tortillas or otherwise. Their bean burritos are vegan, if you get them cheese-free. They’ll also make bean crispy tacos, if you ask.

    I ate at one of those TacoBellKFCHuts just last week. They didn’t have any kind of veggie burger, though – I didn’t even know KFC offered such an option. Regional thing, maybe?

    Lacto-veg, myself, although I’ll eat egg products or even stuff that’s (GASP!) touched a surface that’s touched meat products if I’m out and have no other options. Although I’ve been told that I’m going to hell for being so slack, so yeah, I can understand being moderately annoyed by veganglists. Seriously, though, some of the folks here need to step back – what anyone chooses to eat isn’t anyone else’s business, and rudeness is rudeness, regardless of dietary choices.

  160. coolkiwilivin says:

    If you want to be a vegetarian fine, just don’t try to force it on me or anyone else. Around the world, meat is the very thing that keeps people from starving. I’m not talking about a 2lb porterhouse but 1 chicken could feed a family, 2 fishes could do the same. The West’s (maybe except the frenchies) problem is that everyone has lost touch with the whole food process. Just look at a kids menu? It’s the same at every single restaurant. People have no idea what foods about and thus the more wackier tenets of vegetarianism can seem reasonable. Regardless, it just makes sense that if you’re a vegetarian stay away from KFC. But then again vegetarianism makes no sense anyway.

  161. WinnipegDragon says:

    I’ve been a vegetarian for seven years and I went out last night and had these veggie chicken burgers for dinner.

    I’m completely aware that it is cooked in the same fryer as the other chicken items, but I could care less.

    Here are the rules my wife and I live by:

    1. We don’t eat any meat. Period. Not that we don’t like meat, we just don’t feel it’s necessary for anything else to die just so we can eat.

    2. We don’t care what anyone else eats. We aren’t here to tell anyone else how to live.

    3. We support businesses that make an effort to cater to vegetarians.

    The sandwiches were yummay. Will have them again!

  162. timsgm1418 says:

    @nforcer: that is very odd….

  163. timsgm1418 says:

    @BFIrrera: I guess that could happen if pieces of chicken actually fell and stayed in the oil, not really sure how that works.
    I know that some people with peanut allergies can still eat things cooked in peanut oil because the protein that causes the allergy isn’t in the oil….

  164. Cerb says:

    I’m a (-)5 Vegetarian, I’ll EAT anything that casts a shadow. Just last night I ate delicious snails with some aboriginal tribesmen. MMMM

    btw, high and mighty vegetarians (and especially Vegans) can eat a dick (hah). We are animals programs to eat animals. Get over it.`

  165. timsgm1418 says:

    @lihtox: I’d have to agree with you on that

  166. WinnipegDragon says:


    Actually we are omnivores. We can eat meat, veg, grains, whatever. We don’t have to eat meat to be healthy.

  167. hebrewhammer770 says:

    if someone is vegan or vegetarian (i’m mostly talking about your more political, PeTA-oriented veggies), why would they be patronizing a place like KFC?

    anyway, if you want to be sure you’re not eating anything with animal products, just buy kosher pareve (neither dairy nor meat) and make sure there’s no eggs involved.

  168. hebrewhammer770 says:

    they were “yummay” because they had meat products!

  169. WinnipegDragon says:

    No, they were “yummay” since the average veggie chicken burger is not overly spiced. These are spiced the same way as a classic KFC chicken sandwich.

    But you know, “LOL VEGETARIANZ” or whatever.

  170. kwsdurango says:

    I love the pea sandwich photo.

    True “vegan-ism” would be an extremely tough lifestyle given the number of manufactured products that in some way rely on either direct ingredients from animals (i.e. leather) or byproducts (numerous). I seriously doubt there are many vegans who walk the talk for real.

    I’m an omnivore personally. I was never much of a vegetarian supporter until I started eating at my friends’ restaurant (Nishta in Dubrovnik if you’re ever there). The chef is a genius. He’s not trying to “fake” meat, he’s just creative. The food is brilliant. I’m still an omnivore but my menu is greatly expanded as a result of the experience.

    I could go vegetarian but never vegan. Absolutes of any flavor usually have holes somewhere.

    @nforcer: “For example, my girlfriend will taste meat, but will not actually swallow it.”

    Thanks – I needed that laugh.

  171. Consumerist-Moderator-Roz says:

    Folks, let’s keep comments on topic. Please restrain yourselves to comment on the article – rabidly pro/con vegetarian/vegan posts are not on topic.

    @Cerb: Telling vegetarians to eat a dick is not appropriate. Read the comment code.

    Let’s keep the conversation civil, interesting, and related to the original article, please!

  172. The sugar-with-animal-bones thing is pretty much obsolete, and I think actually banned in some places.

  173. HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak says:

    @she-ray: See, I disagree with your premise 1. “Veggie” simply means that — that it’s made from veggies. It’s not a guarantee that no meat or animal product whatsoever ever touched it during preparation. Expecting a fast-food place to maintain two separate cooking areas, or to change all the oil in the fryer, scrub down the griddle, etc. just for your special order, is just plain unreasonable, and it’s a major reason that no fast food place will bother to cater to vegans — they simply aren’t willing to put in that degree of effort to accomodate a small, but loud, portion of the population.

  174. Werrick says:

    What I don’t get is why vegetarians and vegans so consistantly try to duplicate meat using anything but.

    Look… if you’re so fascinated by meat then just eat it!

    Joking aside, I support any company that tries to diversify their product line to incorporate new customers and to grant greater choice. I don’t think anyone at KFC thinks for a second that they’re offering up a “vegan” choice, or even a “vegetarian” choice, for that matter. But at the very least if you happen to be that one guy in a group of six that can’t/won’t eat meat, then when they stop at KFC for late-night snacks after the night of drinking you have something you can order aside from coleslaw and potato salad.

  175. cashoverass says:

    where did you see, or when did you make up that Taco bell taco shells are not vegan?
    Here is a list of ingredients. i do not pretend to be the vegan police, so if i missed one, please teach me.

  176. cashoverass says:

    @Werrick: probably one of the more frequent responses that i hear. also probably one of the more retarded comments. I ate meat for 19 years. it tastes good. However, it’s bad for you, it’s bad for the environment and you have to kill a living thing to get it. So… let’s think about this. if you can make a product that tastes exactly (or even sort of) like this, but uses less energy to make, takes up less land to make, is better for you and you don’t have to tear it away from it’s family and kill it, wouldnt that be a plus??

  177. WinnipegDragon says:

    @cashoverass: Exactly my thoughts on it. I grew up in a Scot/English meat and potatoes household, and ate the stuff for 25 years. Frankly I missed the taste of KFC, so this was a really nice surprise.

    And the sandwiches really are *good*.

  178. Werrick says:


    I was kidding. I even said “all joking aside”. Seriously, at least for my sake, ease off on the dogma… anthropomorphising animal social groups in order to evoke sympathy or guilt isn’t going to help your case.

    Eat whatever you like… I don’t care. What I object to is being told that my own eating choices are somehow wrong or immoral when eating meat is no more so than having sex. A lot of the hostility tha tyou’re seeing on this post in the direction of vegetarians is actually backlash, just so you know.

  179. Sasquatch says:

    Animals are leather bags full of hotdogs.

  180. Sasquatch says:

    @Sasquatch: And that was a succinct joke that a friend of mine wrote when I was in high school. I don’t want anyone getting all Earth Crisis on me.

  181. WinnipegDragon says:

    Go through these comments and tell me who seems to be more militant about what you *should* be eating :)

  182. Plorry says:

    Just checked out the KFC in Toronto on Queen st. W, and they told me they fry the veggie burgers in the french fryer, which apparently is animal-product-free, though I’m basing this on the fact that the fries claim to have 0 cholesterol.

    Also, I tried it, and it’s basically what I remember KFC tasting like – something I’ve learned to live without anyway.

  183. Plorry says:

    @Plorry: Ha, “the fries claim to have 0 cholesterol” made me think about talking fries. I trust y’all understand what I meant.

  184. StevePJobs says:

    There are many levels to “vegetarian.” Vegan is just the most extreme.

  185. she-ray says:

    @HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak: @HeartBurnKid, creepy morbid freak: I agree, but I know I wasn’t clear. My point was that as a consumer with particular needs, you should be aware of standard practices in food preparation, and if you don’t agree with them, you can exert pressure to try and shift the model.

    What’s more, vegans may be a ‘small but loud portion of the population’, but so is Gary Coleman, and you don’t see me turning off Diff’rent Strokes. :-)

  186. Marko_Vulvic says:


    Oh no my friend, your user name is epic win, but begs a question:

    Would you eat a womprat?

  187. navstar says:

    I’m a vegetarian (10 years!) and even I find vegans to be whiney, bitter, mental cases. Being vegan is an excuse to complain about everything on a plate.

  188. AD8BC says:

    If we weren’t meant to eat animals, then how come they are made out of meat?

  189. jerseyvegan says:

    @sototallycarl: “a vegan wouldn’t eat at KFC, period. why would you financially support something you are against” – so true! even the promise of a quasi-veggie burger couldn’t lure me to KFC.

  190. jerseyvegan says:

    @navstar: You need to find different vegans to hang out with.

  191. rworne says:


    I don’t think that they are trying to duplicate meat using tofu and other veggie by-products, I rather think those products are for people trying to break the “meat habit”.

    The best meat substitute I ever tried (and I don’t usually try – I prefer the real thing) was a portabello mushroom burger. It likely had butter on it, but it was good!

  192. tweemo says:

    I have a hard time seeing how any vegetarian who cares about their food toughing meat would willingly give money to KFC.

  193. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @stevejust: Where do you get the idea that PETA is opposed to pets?

    From their website:
    “…we believe that it would have been in the animals’ best interests if the institution of “pet keeping”-i.e., breeding animals to be kept and regarded as “pets”-never existed… This selfish desire to possess animals and receive love from them causes immeasurable suffering, which results from manipulating their breeding, selling or giving them away casually, and depriving them of the opportunity to engage in their natural behavior.” [www.peta.org]

    From their co-founder and president, Ingrid Newkirk:
    “‘ For one thing, we would no longer allow breeding. People could not create different breeds. There would be no pet shops. If people had companion animals in their homes, those animals would have to be refugees from the animal shelters and the streets. You would have a protective relationship with them just as you would with an orphaned child. But as the surplus of cats and dogs (artificially engineered by centuries of forced breeding) declined, eventually companion animals would be phased out[en.wikiquote.org]

    Everyone I’ve ever known that worked at PETA has pets.

    Likely because they don’t really know that much about what Peta is all about. Because Everyone I’ve ever known that worked at PETA was utterly ignorant of how how much of Peta’s $30 million+ annual budget goes to local animal shelters ( NONE), how much of their budget goes to animal rescue (less than 1%), ignorant of the fact that despite having a budget in excess of 30 million dollars last year, they only found homes for 17 animals in their care. SEVENTEEN. What did they do with the thousands of others? They killed them.

    Peta is not concerned with animal welfare. But they’ll certainly tell you they are to get you to donate.

  194. snead says:

    Three words:


    Why would a vegan even set foot in the place?

  195. jimstoic says:

    I remember being vegan (for five years). I remember being vegetarian (for another five years). I’m amazed people put up with me.

  196. Vilgrom says:

    I chose to become vegetarian about a month ago, for a variety of reasons. I’m not hardcore about it, but I avoid animal flesh at the very least. The vegetarian diet seems beneficial in many ways, and the only drawback is having special food needs when you’re around other people.

    It’s strange to me that no one around me has viewed my decision to become vegetarian as a sacrifice. It’s always looked down upon as some foolish activist pursuit.

  197. SpaceCat85 says:

    I’m surpised they didn’t just “go healthy” like McDonalds and Wendys have with their marketing. Sure, it’s still not going to be truly healthy, but there’s still a lot of money involved and less politics to deal with than when you’re trying to appease wacko fanatics from PETA (which, as others have said, is fruitless when you have “chicken” in your name). Usually big chains like this are trying to choose the easiest path…

  198. Robbybobby says:

    I am a manager of a KFC in Canada. We were pretty much blackmailed into carrying these sandwiches. PETA told us that we either carry these sandwiches or they were going to step up their protests at our restaurants. We’ve had PETA protestors show up and block our driveways, so no customers could get in. We’ve filed charges against individuals for doing this, but it’s like PETA is full of zombies. They just keep coming.
    Anyways, we have had these sandwiches for about 2 months and I can tell you, that in my store, we have not sold a single one.
    And they are deepfried in the same oil as chicken products, but have BBQ sauce instead of mayo. We have special buns for thses too, but they’re frozen, never to see the light of day.

  199. minvasive says:

    I’m a lacto-ovo-pollo-bovo-pesco-porco-vegetarian.

  200. Benjaminx says:

    @AD8BC: seriously.

    …actually this makes me want to go eat at KFC now.

  201. countrycity says:

    I’m confused. If you’re vegetarian for health reasons, a little bit of animal cross contamination isn’t going to hurt you. If you’re vegetarian or vegan for political reasons and you object to the killing of animals, then it’s highly hypocritical to eat in a fast food restaurant whose whole industry is based on the killing of animals. Even if you want to go where your friends are going, you’re still supporting the industry that kills animals.

  202. Anonymous says:

    I’m not sure WHEN the writer of this article worked in fast food, or WHERE, but these days, it is MANDATORY that veggie items are prepared with (in the cases of hand prepared food) new gloves, and the vegetarian item is handled with a designated “veggie” tong. I don’t know what would make a vegetarian go INTO a KFC, but at BK and Quizno’s, I know this to be fact.