In what many thought was an April Fools' Day joke, Burger King introduced a plant-based Impossible Whopper to its menu in 59 St. Louis-area restaurants. If the experiment succeeds there, according to a post on Vox, the fast-food company will bring the Impossible Whopper to its 7,200 outlets nationwide. This move follows in the wake of Carl's Jr. adding the plant-based Beyond Burger® in January. (I've contacted Carl's Jr. to try to get sales figures of that item and will report if/when they respond.) That sound you hear is the country's vegans smugly bellowing, "It's about fucking time!"
Seriously, though, decisions like this by mainstream fast-food restaurants signal an important, if tentative, stride toward a sustainable future. These corporations know that they'd have to pry their slaughtered-cow sandwiches from their customers' cold, dead hands, so they've taken a chance on an enviro-friendly solution to humans' pig-headed desire to consume animal flesh. And as the video below demonstrates, at least a handful of hardcore carnivores really can't tell the difference.
In a world awash with bad ecological news, these baby steps taken by huge beef peddlers offer a sliver of hope that people—and fast-food-joint CEOs—are starting to take the prospect of ecological catastrophe with the seriousness it deserves.