It’s been indisputably proven that beef is a leading contributor to climate change, and whether you like it or not, the future of food will more than likely be light on (or entirely free of) meat. The multi-billion-dollar conglomerates that control the world’s food supply know this, like Unilever, which bought plant-based meat company The Vegetarian Butcher in 2018 and quickly inked a deal with Burger King International to put its burgers, chicken-ish patties, and nuggets on menus in 25 countries. And now, for one month only, the potential “Burger King of the Future” is being previewed in Spain.
Spanish news outlet 20 Minutos reports that a Burger King in Madrid has adopted a 100% plant-based menu, which could very well become the fast food standard for future generations. The menu features a plant-based Whopper, a “Long Vegetal” sandwich (a plant-based take on BK International’s Chicken Royale), and The Vegetarian Butcher’s crispy crunchy Little Peckers nuggets, which I swear to god is the product’s actual name.
Though the concept is plant-based, it is not vegan, as the sandwiches include egg-based mayonnaise. This means that if you are a vegan looking to get your Whopper on, you’ll need to settle for a drier, mayo-less burger, which is disappointing. There is no shortage of vegan mayos on the market (Unilever owns multiple brands!), but perhaps Burger King wants to ease the world into our meat-free future one small step at a time. Asking people to open their hearts to Little Peckers and vegan mayo simultaneously might be too much for the average consumer to handle.
This is the second time this year that a plant-based Burger King is popping up overseas; in June a Burger King in Cologne, Germany went totally meat-free for one weekend. Back in May, a Vegan Chicken Royale and a fully vegan Plant-Based Whopper—both of which, by some miracle, are made with vegan mayo—were permanently added to Burger King menus in the UK, where the company has pledged to make at least 50% of its menu plant-based by 2031.
Burger King hasn’t set such lofty goals for its American restaurants, even though we consume more beef than any other country in the world. The brand is inching in the right direction, though. In addition to the mega-popular Impossible Whopper, the restaurant chain is currently testing Impossible Chicken Nuggets at locations in Des Moines, Boston, and Miami.
We here at The Takeout gave Impossible Chicken Nuggets not one but two stellar reviews, though we probably would have ranked them even higher if they were called Little Peckers. Burger King might want to note that if it’s serious about getting Americans fully aboard the plant-based protein train as it chugs along into the climate apocalypse.