My name is Kathy Freston. I'm an author of books like Quantum Wellness: A Practical and Spiritual Guide to Health and Happiness, and some of you may have seen me talking about healthy living and conscious eating with Ellen Degeneres, Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Oz, or others on television or in print. I've been fortunate enough to reach millions of people with a positive message, and with this petition I’m hoping to bring a positive change to America with a mainstream meatless option at McDonald’s!
Adding plant-based protein options at McDonald's will appeal to workers out for a quick lunch, families with health-conscious members out to dinner, children on field trips, and anyone looking for something different than the current menu at McDonald’s where even the french fries contain beef flavoring (they don't in Europe, incidentally)! According to a recent survey, more than one-third of Americans already buy meat substitutes for reasons that range from health to ethics! So why not make a meatless option available at one of America’s favorite restaurant chains for everyone to enjoy? Healthy living should be about progress, not perfection, and this is an easy step that McDonald’s could be taking.
Sales of meat substitutes in the U.S. bring in over $553 million a year and visionaries like Bill Gates of Microsoft and Evan Williams and Biz Stone of Twitter are helping fund some of the many meatless options in development for mass markets. Meanwhile competitors like Chipotle have new braised tofu Sofritas, Tropical Smoothie added vegan chicken strips, and Burger King has a veggie burger! That's not even getting into the fact that KFC has vegan chicken in Canada (really, try it!), Subway already has a veggie patty, and McDonald's Canada has veggie wraps! We Americans love a protein center to our meal, so veggies and salads alone (or even in a wrap) won’t do the trick; we want something hearty and protein-centric just like the burgers and sandwiches you already have, only with something plant-based instead.
In September, McDonald's partnered with President Bill Clinton (who improved his own health by eating plant-based foods) and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation to make some youth marketing improvements, but still left me and many members of the public wondering about people of all ages looking to lower cholesterol, reduce saturated fat intake, and cut calories. Offering an option that is completely without animal products is ideal, not only for those who don’t eat animal products for ethical reasons, but for those who are lactose intolerant or have egg allergies.
Like many Americans, I’m over this "all or nothing" way of thinking by powerful decision makers in the government and in the corporate world. We need to work together to find positive ways to work towards common goals like eating healthier, farming sustainably, and treating animals with respect. In that spirit, one very simple step can come from fast food giant McDonald's adding a healthy, plant-based item to the menu in the United States. Truly, there can be something for everyone!
Please sign my petition to support adding a healthy, meatless option at McDonald's.