A Smoke-Flavored Patty 

Murder King Throws Meatless Bone to the Veg

Burger King's BK Veggie Burger

Everywhere

The existence of the Burger King Veggie sandwich has posed somewhat of a moral and ethical dilemma for vegetarians and vegans. The sandwich was introduced last spring in the wake of the failed-then-resurrected (in Canada) McDonald's McVeggie burger and, according to every authority on vegetarianism on earth, it sends a clear message that Burger King is finally recognizing the strong vegetarian contingent in the United States.

Well, of COURSE they're recognizing the vegetarian-consumer contingent, because they were officially known as "Murder King" by that very contingent for years. (PETA launched a campaign to force "Murder King" to revamp its cruel treatment of livestock, which actually worked; BK complied with PETA guidelines, becoming the most responsible fast-food chain as animal treatment goes, and now PETA and Burger King are friends again.) So all the veggie authorities are like, "Hey, support the BK Veggie, because if you don't they'll get rid of it," and while I have reservations about going to Burger King, if supporting it will make me a better vegetarian, then fuckin' a.

Only, it takes ASSLOADS OF WORK just to get the BK Veggie to the point where it's vegetarian. First, you have to remember to ask them to microwave it for you, cause if they grill it, there is a chance that leftover meat grease on the grill will taint it. Second, if you're vegan, you have to order it without the mayo (which contains egg whites) or bun (which has real butter flavoring). Also, the patty, which is made by the Kellogg's-owned company Morningstar Farms, contains sugar, making it inedible for some vegans.

So anyway, I ordered mine microwaved and sans mayo (because mayo grosses me out). Overall, the sandwich is fairly unremarkable, though edible, if you can erase the thought of eating a big hunk of genetically modified StarLink corn from your mind. (Morningstar is famous for saying they don't use GMOs, but then testing positive for StarLink, a GM product NOT approved by the FDA for human consumption--which is scary, since everyone knows the FDA would approve a tube of poop-filled jizz if the right company developed it.)

The patty itself is a perfectly round, rather small conglomeration of carrots, rice, and some other unidentifiable stuff. I was particularly impressed by the smoky, flame-broiled flavor and painted-on grill marks. In fact, the smokiness of the sandwich kind of supercedes all other tastes, including ketchup, onion, lettuce, tomato, and real-butter-flavored bun. (GMO! GMO! Oh my god, my kids are totally going to have flippers.)

Ultimately, I don't believe anybody really itching for a Whopper is going to be converted to the ways of veg by the existence of this magical meatless sandwich. However, I do believe the BK Veggie is going to save that last bastion of pioneers: the TOURING BAND. Vegetarian touring bands have long suffered a diet of Chik-o-Stix, salads, and vegetarian-by-default Fritos, and now they can finally eat a sandwich when BK is the only place to dine on the way to their show in Sioux City.

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