The Burger King Vegan Joke That's Causing A Commotion On Twitter

There are many reasons people follow a vegan diet. Improved health, religious reasons, and simply because they care about animal welfare are some explamnations you may hear from a vegan (per Harvard Health). Some people might not realize that 'vegan' and 'vegetarian' are two different things and, understandably, can get confused. The best way to remember the difference is that vegetarians won't eat things that have a face but they'll eat things produced by animals such as eggs, dairy, and honey. Whereas vegans won't eat any of that as their diet is purely plant-based. 

Plant-based diets are on the rise all over the world whether it be substituting the occasional meat dish with a vegetable one or cutting out meat altogether. According to Medical Express, at least 10% of Americans identify as vegetarian, and Plant Based News reports that 32% have a partial vegetarian diet. Therefore, it stands to reason that many fast food companies are including vegetarian and vegan options on their menus. 

In 2019, Burger King introduced the Impossible Whopper, which uses a plant-based patty from the company Impossible Foods. Unlike Burger King's previous veggie burger that contained a vegetable patty, the Impossible Whopper aims to imitate meat. When one Twitter user posted a photo of a Burger King advertisement and put the words "There are no vegan men, just..." before the photo which states "Plant-Based Kings," the Twitterverse began to stir.

There are misconceptions surrounding a plant-based diet

The advertisement is a promotion for the extension of Burger King's plant-based offerings which include nuggets, burgers, and a Royale. However, some of the comments on the Twitter post seemed to be confused about why a vegan or vegetarian would want a burger that tastes like meat but isn't.

"Serious question...If you don't like eating meat, why are you still consuming "its flavor"? Makes absolutely no sense. IE. I hate shrimp. and I'm not looking for "shrimp flavored" w/o shrimp," replied one user. There are often misconceptions about why people become vegetarian or vegan. As the Million Dollar Vegan points out, most people grew up eating meat and it's not the flavor that they're giving up on.

Another tweeter replied, "Yeah keep eating that plant-based food from burger king thinking you're healthier than everyone else." This is another common misconception that equates being vegan or vegetarian with living a healthier lifestyle. While this is true in some cases, the majority of people who follow the lifestyle will tell you otherwise. A study conducted at the University of Bath, UK found that 73% supported veganism for ethical reasons and 70% believed it was better for the environment.

While the "Plant-Based Kings" post was probably meant as a light-hearted jest, we aren't surprised it inspired a social media debate.