So you've hit the hallways with your campaign to get a veggie burger in the cafeteria—and now everyone has a question for you. Are veggie burgers healthy? How much will they cost the school? Where do you find them? And don't veggie burgers feel pain too?
Here's how to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the Veggie Burger Project!
Why do you want a veggie burger in the cafeteria?
All students—whether they are vegan or not—deserve a healthy school lunch. I'm simply asking for more options for vegetarian and vegan students. Reasonable, isn't it?
What are veggie burgers made out of?
There are many different types of veggie burgers—some are made out of soy, some are made out of vegetables, and others are made out of beans, rice, or grains.
Are veggie burgers healthy?
Yes! Vegan burgers contain protein, iron, and fiber but don't contain cholesterol and saturated fat—both of which are linked to some of the leading causes of death in the U.S., including heart disease, cancer, and strokes.
Don't you need to eat meat, eggs, and dairy products to be healthy?
No way! Vegans can get protein from more efficient sources such as beans and vegetables—this kind of protein is better for our bodies and doesn't contain unhealthy and unnatural antibiotics, hormones, and fats. Vegans also get calcium from more effective sources such as leafy green vegetables, nondairy fortified milks, broccoli, beans, and other non-animal sources. Vegans, on average, weigh 10 to 20 pounds less than their meat-eating counterparts and are at a lower risk for diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, and strokes.
Can't you just bring your own lunch?
Sure, but sometimes bringing a lunch isn't an option, and every student should be provided with a healthy lunch at school. Veggie burgers can benefit all students—not just vegans or vegetarians—and provide a healthy alternative to the normal lunchroom food.
Why are you trying to force everyone to go vegan?
I'm not forcing anyone to go vegan—I'm just asking to have an option available in the lunchroom that I can eat.
How does going vegan help animals?
The average vegan saves more than 100 animals every year. Animals killed for food are forced to endure filthy conditions on factory farms, and many are mutilated without being given any pain relief. As more people take a stand against eating animals, fewer animals will be killed just to end up on someone's plate. It's simple supply and demand!
Animals are made of meat! Why shouldn't I eat them?
Animals are made of the same thing that we're all made of; we all have the same parts. Pigs, cows, turkeys, chickens, and other animals all feel pain, desire freedom, and experience suffering—just as we do. The kinds of abuses that animals on factory farms endure—such as being castrated without any painkillers or having their throats cut while they're still conscious—would be illegal if cats or dogs were the victims.
Will this cost the school a lot of money?
Some of the world's largest food-service providers (which supply schools, hospitals, and businesses) already offer lots of vegan options, so it can be as simple as schools asking their providers to switch to a different item. Two of these providers are Sysco and ARAMARK—both names that our school's dining-services department probably recognizes. Vegan products are more mainstream than ever, and it would be easy for any school to order them.
Is it hard to find veggie burgers?
No way! You can find veggie burgers everywhere. Stores such as Walmart and Target stock meatless burgers on their shelves, and restaurants such as Denny's, Red Robin, and Johnny Rockets are serving them up to their customers. And every day, more and more businesses are offering veggie burger options, making it even easier to eat vegan no matter where you live. Why should school cafeterias be any different?
Why would a vegetarian or vegan want to eat something that tastes like meat?
Most of us grew up eating animals and liking the taste of meat. But when people like myself learn that animals on factory farms are kept in filthy conditions, are mutilated without being given any painkillers, or are often dismembered while fully conscious, we want vegan options available to us. There's nothing wrong with eating familiar foods such as burgers and riblets as long as no animal was tortured in order to make them. The point is to end cruelty to animals, which we can do by choosing a vegan diet.
I won't sign this petition because I like meat!
This petition is about student rights and school support for students who don't eat meat. I'm not asking you to go vegan or even eat the veggie burger, but I think we can all agree that students should have the right to have options that they can eat in the lunchroom, right?
Do veggie burgers taste good?
Definitely! There are so many different kinds of veggie burgers out there nowadays—from ones that taste just like the real thing to ones that are made out of veggies and taste a little healthier. Most people don't realize that when they bite into a burger, they're really tasting the "extras"—seasonings, condiments such as mustard and ketchup, and toppings such as pickles and tomatoes—not the actual meat. It's easy to top a veggie burger with all those things and more!
C'mon, can't you just eat salad?
I'm vegan and doing the best thing that anyone can do to help stop cruelty to animals, fight climate change, eliminate world hunger, and improve my own health—why should I be forced to eat a plain salad every day? With so many healthy, affordable, and popular vegan items available to schools, it makes sense that schools should accommodate all students in the lunchroom.