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A new report ranks vegan offerings at fast food chains

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Man holding vegan chickpea burger

Man holding vegan chickpea burger
Photo: AegeanBlue (Getty Images)

A new report called the “Moving the Menu” from the non-profit organization World Animal Protection ranks fast food chains based on their vegan offerings. The restaurants on the report are ranked using a system of stars, with the highest ranking chains labeled as “Menu Movers” and the lowest labeled as “Dining Dawdlers.”

Cute names aside, this report is serious business. For the purposes of the report, the 50 largest fast-food chains in the U.S were graded based on not only their vegan options, but also their ability to “highlight the benefits of plant-based proteins in their corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting, and make public commitments to reduce meat or increase plant-based menu items by a percentage.”

Only seven companies on the list were given the honored five-star designation of “Menu Movers,” and I have to say there are some surprises here. Pizza Hut, for example, earned itself a spot at the top. The report explains the reasoning behind this ranking is partially because the company is exploring a plant-based pepperoni pizza topping to add to its menu. As for its current vegan options, Pizza Hut has a veggie pizza but you’d have to ask for a no cheese pizza to be sure it’s vegan. I’m not really sure why Pizza Hut would look into plant-based topping before trying out a vegan-friendly cheese. Sorry, but pizza is not pizza without cheese.

An unsurprising failure on this vegan grading scale is McDonald’s. The report states, “As one of the largest and most iconic fast-food chains in the US and around the world, as well as one of the largest purchasers of chicken and beef, McDonald’s has a responsibility to meet consumer demand, be more sustainable, and improve animal welfare. Sadly, the company is failing on all three fronts.” I have to agree there, McDonald’s is super late to the meatless party, though they’ve just started testing out the McPlant.

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