Vegan Action #71

    So Burger King has a veggie burger!  Before you jump to any 'obvious' conclusions, it has been a major controversial issue among animal activists lately.  It is quite a conundrum if you give it a little thought.  In the interest of decreasing suffering and death of farm animals it makes sense to encourage people to eat alternatives to meat.  But at any cost?  Does it make sense to encourage people to patronize a major fast food chain that promotes cultural addiction and dependence on convenience? Can we justify financially supporting a multinational corporation and the fast food industry that is one of the largest killers of farm animals in the world;  one of the companies most responsible for the destruction of the rain forests, and an industry that has a reputation for consistently underpaying workers?
    As Eric Schlosser states in his book "Fast Food Nation" approximately 1/4 of all American adults eat at a fast food restaurant - every day!"  Could the veggie burger really convert a meat eater?  I'm told by many folks that it really tastes good.  Perhaps if the meat eaters gave it a try, they might continue to buy it and other vegetarian/vegan food from other places.  According to the USDA more than 8 billion animals are killed each year for food in the US.  If just 10% of regular Burger King customers all over the country switched to the veggie burger think of the impact for the animals and the environment, it is in fact significant.
    Ultimately it seems to me we are dealing with the issue of the "here and now vs. the future" activism.  It's kind of like the voting for Nadar issue.  We all knew that when we made a vote for Nadar, he would not get the majority vote (which would put him in office and affect the next four years) but it was planning ahead with the hopes of a third party option.  I don't mean to get off topic but the comparison is the same.  Do I encourage people to go to BK for a veggie burger (and help the animals and environment of now) or do I encourage people to establish a life less dependent on the fast food industry and suggest other alternatives for them?
    As my friend Steve says, "we are part of a national and global community, like it or not."  So, I guess as I see it, we have to deal with the consequences.  Sure I don't condone capitalism or globalization but I believe we need to work with what we've got while working to change the future.  Granted, this is not an easy task as one can often take away from the other.  Again, I refer to the Nadar issue -  many folks that opted to not vote in the past (participate in the system) did decide to vote for Nadar in the interest of making things better in the future within the same system we are trying to change.  There has to be some give and take with everything.
    My final take on the BK veggie burger - first and foremost, I suggest to people not to go to fast food restaurants and instead, to make the time to cook at home.  If they insist on maintaining their lifestyle of convenience, then fine, go ahead and go to BK and get a veggie burger instead of a hamburger.  I suppose it is good that the option is there.
    -thanks for reading and please get in touch   

krissi@vegan.org or krissi at vegan action  p.o. box 4288 richmond, va 23220

Make Them Yourself Lentil Burgers:  You'll need:   2 cups dry brown lentils  3/4 cup bread or cracker crumbs   1 cup finely diced onion  2 tbsp.  white flour or arrowroot powder   2 tbsp. miso paste or soy sauce  3 tsp. parsley   1 tsp. dill weed   1/2 tsp salt    dash of cayenne pepper  and some tomato juice.   Cook and drain the lentils.  Mix all the other ingredients in and use enough tomato juice to hold the mixture together and shape into burgers.  Heat up your fryin' pan and  cook in a little oil for about 10 minutes on the first side and a little less on the other side.  Top it off with a spread of vegan mayo and curry powder.  Delicious!

Raggedy Anarchy's No Bake Peanut Butter/Chocolate Squares :   You'll need: 1 cup dairy free chocolate chips   1/4 cup light corn syrup   1/4 cup peanut butter   2 tbsp. soymilk   1 tsp. vanilla   2 cup quick oats   1 cup peanuts.   Melt the  choc. chips, corn syrup, peanut butter, soymilk, and vanilla in a pan on the stove until melted and smooth.  Then stir in the oats and peanuts and let it cool a few minutes.  Line an 8" baking dish with wax paper and press the mix into the pan and refrigerate until firm.  Cut it up and enjoy.  Keep leftovers refrigerated.  So easy and no hot stove to deal with.