HELP US KEEP REPORTING. DONATE TO ORLANDO WEEKLY PRESS CLUB.

Would you like fries with that? 


As protests go, this one wasn't much: Three vegans affiliated with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) standing outside a Winter Park Burger King on April 22. Two held a crudely scripted banner reading "Go Veg!" The third passed out free Burger King sandwiches to folks in the drive-through lane at lunch -- odd behavior for a group that just last year blasted the fast-food giant for animal cruelty.

"It is slightly unsettling," says Bryan Wilson, erecting the banner on the sidewalk. "Burger King is doing us a greater service than we could ever do."

What has changed is the addition of the BK veggie sandwich. The patty is packed with mayonnaise and comes on a bun that, despite vegetarians' original hopes, isn't all whole wheat and actually has some dairy in it.

So it's not really vegan. But it's a start. "We're not going to bash them for not being 100 percent," Wilson says.

The sandwich brought mixed reactions. One 40-ish woman in a Suzuki SUV decidedly liked hers: "It's about time somebody did this," she says. Most pass on it altogether. Jeff Morgia, the store's manager, says they're "popular" but won't specify how many he sells.

"Burger King's not being cooperative," says PETA activist Andrew Mason, who had to buy the half-dozen sandwiches that he's giving away to promote the burger giant. "When PETA wants to promote [the sandwich], they sometimes won't let PETA promote it on the property."

"PETA did that on their own," says Morgia. "We had nothing to do with it. They just showed up and started doing it." In fact, PETA did it at 18 locations across the country to commemorate Earth Day.

Morgia wasn't exactly thrilled. About 10 minutes into the event, he rushed out of the restaurant and chatted with the sign-holder, who pointed him toward Mason, who had bought the burgers moments earlier, and a reporter, both of whom stood in the drive-through line.

"Are you in charge of these people?" Morgia asks.

No, the reporter replies.

"Are you giving free vegetarian sandwiches away?"

No, says the reporter again.

Looking flustered, Morgia turns and walks away.


Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues

Calendar

© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation