What vegans need to know about eating at Arby's

In case the tagline "WE HAVE THE MEATS" proved too subtle, we are here to tell you that Arby's does not care for their potential vegetarian — let alone vegan — customer base. Cruelty Free Reviews examined Arby's menu in search of anything that would be appropriate for customers who abstain from eating animal products. For "Vegan Sandwiches/Dishes" they found none, stating "If you want you can buy some bread and a side dish and make a 'sandwich' out of it I suppose, but I wouldn't recommend it." The vegan options at Arby's include the bread used to make their sandwiches and a handful of side dishes like fries, apple sauce and slices from their kid's menu, French toast sticks, and sauerkraut. Cruelty Free Reviews also lists the dressings and sauces Arby's offers that are vegan, but by that point, you can detect a facetious feeling in the enterprise. Summing it up, the outlet asserts "Almost every fast-food joint has better vegan options than Arby's." 

This jives with the information provided by Forbes investigation into what exactly the tagline "WE HAVE THE MEATS" really means. The phrase isn't merely a statement that Arby's sells meat products. Rather, the brand takes the position of "we have all the meat you could ever possibly need and don't care whether some hippie who eats like a rabbit says it's unhealthy." Arby's does not so much decline to cater to a vegan demographic as actively steer away from it in favor of their flesh-eating fanbase. 

Arby's has the meats, and not a lot of interest in vegans

The Forbes piece was written not solely because of Arby's tagline, but because of their headline breaking stunt that demonstrated how dismissive they were of vegans and vegetarians alike. In 2016, VegNews reported that Arby's debuted a new "megetable" menu, which consisted of a list of vegetables made from meat. Jim Taylor, Arby's Chief Marketing Officer, explained the rationale behind their new offerings to Fast Company, saying "People love meat already. What Americans have a harder time doing is enjoying vegetables. So we said, 'If they can make meat out of vegetables, why can't we make vegetables out of meat?'" It sold headlines, if not units at any rate, which was probably the point of the stunt. 

It should be noted that this is actually just another instance of Arby's pulling a prank on non-carnivores. In 2016 the roast beef slinging chain announced via a press statement that they were preparing to offer their first ever vegetarian options for one day only, leap day. On February 29th, 2016, you could order a vegetarian Ham 'n Cheese slider, described as "Melted cheese on a soft slider roll without Arby's tasty and tender smokehouse cooked ham." The rest of the menu similarly played on the same joke, offering Arby's sandwiches without the meat, which they made sure to describe in lurid detail. The point of all this posturing seems to be that, despite alienating the vegan and vegetarian communities, Arby's solidifies their grasp on the world's bacon munching fanbase by signing to them that they dislike vegheads too.