When Burger King announced the Impossible Whopper (a vegan alternative to their best-selling burger), they did so with the tagline: “100% Whopper, 0% Beef.”
Turns out, the statement may have been misleading. At least, that’s what customer Phillip Williams, who is vegan, has claimed in a lawsuit filed against the fast-food giant in South Florida on Monday.
Williams purchased the Impossible Whopper (without mayo) at a drive-thru store in Atlanta after reading about the Impossible Burger online. He bought the vegan Whopper, which costs around $1 more than the regular Whopper.
Being a strict vegan who doesn’t eat any animal byproduct, Williams studiously checked that the burger was indeed mayonnaise free and proceeded to eat it.
He says he was shocked to find later on that the Impossible Whopper is cooked on the same grills as the meat. Williams alleges that no signage on his trip warned him that his burger would be cooked on the same grills as the meat, nor was he notified by any staff before he ate it.
Williams argues that he was duped by the fast-food chain and that he wouldn’t have paid for the premium priced burger if he had known that it was “covered in meat by-products”. He is taking Burger King to court on behalf of all vegans and vegetarians who have similarly bought the product under false pretenses.
In November, Impossible Foods revealed in its own report that an ingredient in its burger was tested on rats, causing controversy over whether it can truly be vegan if it is tested on animals. A number of rats died in the testing of the burger.
Of course, seeing as most vegetables are grown using animal by-products (such as manure), we may be heading down a slippery slope. But in the meantime, Williams has kindly asked for a pretty simple solution: that in future, Burger King plainly discloses that the Impossible Whopper is cooked on the same grill as its other meat when advertising the burger.