Veganism might be on the rise, but sceptics remain rife, ready to pounce on plant-based preachers with a well-rehearsed anti-lentil tirade.
They’re the ones who will question the point of vegan alternatives to animal products, such as sausages and burgers, claiming they're “nothing like the real thing”.
Nonsensical as vegan replacements might seem to some, refusing to serve them in a vegan-friendly way is irrefutably more so, which is exactly what one Mediterranean restaurant in San Diego seems to be doing.
While the trendy Luna Grill proudly advertises that it offers diners the option of having a Beyond Burger, a US-based plant protein burger from Beyond Meat made without any animal products, they allegedly refuse to serve it without feta, making it very non-vegan indeed.
Worse still, when Twitter user Grace visited the chain’s Poway, San Diego branch, she claimed staff explained they also fry the burger on a buttered pan and refused to cook it another way to make it vegan-friendly.
Tweeting a photograph of a poster, presumably taken inside the restaurant, the meat-free burger is advertised as a “revolutionary plant-based burger prepared with grilled onions, lettuce, tomato and spicy feta”.
Underneath, in smaller text, read the words: “Not able to prepare vegan style”.
“I asked them if it’d be vegan if I got it without the feta,” Grace wrote alongside the image, “they said no because they fry it on a buttery pan.
“I asked if they could use no butter. They said it’d take too long to wash the pan.
“What good is a beyond burger if it isn’t vegan?”
Her followers seemed equally perplexed:
"Why would they alienate their own market like this? I'd be so mad!" responded one person.
"This is the dumbest thing ever," added another.
Speaking to Metro, Grace claimed that without the Beyond Burger, there was little on the menu that vegan diners could eat, aside from falafel and fries.
She added that upon complaining, the staff were not very apologetic and seemed unsympathetic to her dietary requirements.
“He did not see the irony in not being able to sell it vegan. He just kept telling me that they’re not a vegan facility,” she said.
Despite Beyond Meat’s products being marketed to omnivores and not just vegans, Grace wondered why Luna Grill would bother serving the plant-based product at all if they refused to keep it vegan and fit with Beyond Meat’s environmentally-friendly ethos.
The Independent has contacted Luna Grill and Beyond Meat for comment.
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