Fast Food Restaurants Are Offering Vegan Items. Is That A Good Thing?


Calling all vegans! We need your help settling a debate. Have you seen those fast-food TV commercials lately? The ones from places like KFC, McDonald’s, Panda Express, and more advertising their brand new, fully vegan items on their menus? Our guess is that you have, because with so many fast-food chains coming out with vegan options, these commercials are hard to avoid. At a first glance, this all may seem like wonderful news. Some of the biggest brands in the U.S. (if not, the world) are making their menus more accessible to vegan eaters, which couldn’t possibly be a bad thing, right? Don’t be so sure, because there may actually be a not-so-good side to “vegan-ifying” fast food. Today, we’re going to break down the pros and cons of fast-food restaurants adding vegan items to their menus. Once you’re finished reading over all of them, let us know your opinion! We’re dying to hear. 

What Are Some Of The Pros of Restaurants Offering Vegan Items?

On one hand, many people would say that any restaurant offering vegan items is a major win for the vegans! KFC is now offering Beyond fried chicken, Burger King an Impossible Whopper, and Carl’s Jr. a Beyond Burger – which, in its simplest form, means more options for busy vegan eaters. Let’s break down some of the pros of fast-food restaurants offering vegan items in further detail.

It makes vegan eating more accessible.

As we mentioned above, fast food restaurants offering vegan food means busy vegan eaters have more options than before. No more long road trips spent wondering where to grab a quick vegan bite. No more breaking your vegan diet when you’re in a pinch. It also makes vegan food more accessible to those living in “food deserts,” or places where healthy food options are not readily available.

It encourages more fast-food restaurants and other types of restaurants to do the same.

Diving into some simple business talk, the more demand there is for vegan food, the more food businesses will develop vegan options. And, the more fast-food restaurants that offer vegan items, the more competitors are driven to do the same. We call this a pro because what it really means is all-around more options for vegan eaters and encouragement of the vegan diet.

It most likely tastes good!

Let’s be real – fast food can be really delicious. Although it’s not the healthiest for you, as a once-in-a-while treat, it can certainly hit the spot. In our eyes, a classic vegan burger and fries may make the transition to a vegan diet easier – which we’re all for.

What Are Some of The Cons of Fast-Food Restaurants Offering Vegan Items?

On the other hand, some vegans may argue that fast food restaurants offering vegan food is nothing short of a terrible idea. Why, you might ask? Let’s break down some of the cons. 

Just ‘cause it’s vegan, doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

A common misconception about a food being vegan is that it automatically is considered healthy for you. This simply isn’t the case. Just because a fast-food restaurant’s menu item doesn’t contain meat, dairy, or eggs, does not necessarily make it good for you. These restaurants still pack their ingredients with harmful GMOs and chemicals, high levels of saturated fats, and refined sugars. Those who are new to the vegan diet may not realize this and go for these vegan options too often, which can be just as unhealthy for you as indulging in a traditional fast-food diet. 

It encourages vegan eaters to support environmentally-damaging corporations.

It’s no secret that fast food restaurants play a major role in causing environmental damage, and by purchasing from these corporations (even if your purchase is a vegan one!) You are supporting their practices. Just food for thought – no pun intended.

Those vegan “options” we speak of are really quite limited.

We’ve used the word “options” quite a lot throughout this article. But, when we refer to the vegan menu “options” that certain fast-food restaurants offer, the truth is that they’re quite minimal. You may get lucky and find a vegan burger at Carl’s Jr. or Burger King, vegan chicken at certain KFCs, or a vegan eggplant dish at select Panda Express locations. But, although advertisements may make it seem like vegan fast-food options are plentiful, they really are not. Furthermore, the vast majority of these vegan items are cooked using the same equipment as the restaurant’s regular food. So, how vegan are they really?

Is it really a good thing that many fast-food restaurants are offering vegan options? Using the pros and cons we laid out, we’ll let you decide! If you find this post insightful, be sure to share it with a friend or family member. And, hey – maybe you two can debate about it over a delicious, vegan The Pizza Plant pizza! 


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