McDonald’s burgers and eating vegan have never quite gone together, but if McDonald’s Finland has its way, that just may change. Just announced, the new burger will be called the McVegan, which is somehow simultaneously a no-brainer and a word that feels very, very wrong, and will be made with a soy patty.
Vegans hoping to try a McDonald’s burger and/or McDonald’s fans hoping to try the McVegan will have a pretty limited window to participate in the trial, however, as the burger will only be offered at a McDonald’s in Tampere, Finland from October 4 through November 21. Though if you can’t book a ticket in time, McDonald’s Finland Marketing Director Christoffer Rönnblad did say that the fries served in the country’s McDonalds are completely vegan as well, according to vegan blog Veggie Athletic.
Judging by the picture on the official McDonald’s Finland website, the McVegan hasn’t yet reached Big Mac levels, instead keeping it to a single soy patty with the usual quarter pounder toppings of lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, ketchup, and mustard (no cheese). But if the trial goes well, towering double-decker McVegans might not be as far off as they seemed even a few years ago.
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Vegetarianism and veganism are on the rise, with even the meat-loving U.S. going from 1% of people claiming to be vegan in 2014 to 6% this year. So McDonald’s seems to be preparing for potentially greater shifts alongside companies like Bareburger, which recently announced a new concept restaurant that would be entirely vegan, and the many retailers and restaurants starting to offer “bleeding” meatless burgers like the Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger.
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The recent wave has been aided not just its most committed members, though, but the changing habits of meat eaters. Americans, for example, are now substituting non-meat protein into meals at least once a week, and 22% say they’re doing it more than they had the year before. While growing awareness of how meat affects the world are no doubt a part of why, the fact that vegan meat-substitutes taste so much better than they have in the past can’t hurt, either.