Kentucky Fried Chicken introduced its new Beyond™ Fried Chicken across the United States yesterday and vegans are going nuts. You might assume that everyone is cheering this huge step forward as a victory for those who choose to keep animal products off their plate—or out of their bucket, in this case.
Some vegans are excited and are rushing to their nearest KFC to try this new treat. Many have declared it incredibly delicious, even. However, not everyone is happy and for more than just the obvious reason of it being unhealthy.
There are shouts from some vegans about KFC using the same fryer for dead chickens as they’re using for the more compassionate alternative. There are some folx making a lot of noise about how they won’t support a huge corporation while the corporation continues to have animals killed for food.
All fair statements. But, they’re not helping the cause.
To look at this situation from a practical perspective, KFC (or McDonald’s, or Burger King, etc) isn’t going to go out of business anytime soon, and protesting their attempt to make vegan options readily available in the mainstream market isn’t going to change anything except make them question their decision to do it. In fact, Burger King just opened an all vegetarian restaurant in Madrid so who knows where this could lead.
Just like continuing to eat factory-farmed food sends a message to suppliers that you want them to keep doing what they’re doing, spending your money on alternative meat products sends a message to KFC and others that the demand for alternative meats is high and they need to keep doing it. In addition, buying Beyond™ Fried Chicken supports Beyond Meat™ giving them the opportunity to explore even more plant-based options.
One person on Facebook posted that his friend is a manager at a Kentucky Fried Chicken and reported that the demand for the vegan version is so high that they are ordering fewer chickens in order to keep within their budget. Fewer chickens equals fewer animal deaths. That sounds like a win to me.
I don’t always agree with PETA but I share their belief that restaurants are going to be less willing to cater to vegans if they’re required to make too many changes. Vegans will be seen as difficult and there’s a good chance they will stop adding plant-based options altogether.
If you don’t like the shared fryer or giving your money to a mega-corporation, don’t patronize KFC. But, don’t ruin it for the rest of us.