Once upon a time – which is almost everyday – a vegetarian visits fast food joints across the city hoping to have a bite of veg deliciousness. Normally he is surrounded by herb-lovin’ friends, sharing a table loaded with veggie meals complete with fries, cola, choice of burger with extra cheese wrapped in attractively designed paper. In his mind, he thinks this is such a sinful, fulfilling, and royal meal.
A few weeks later, he befriended a meat-lover who was craving a cheeseburger at the same joint. They nodded at each other cheekily and drove together to their favorite place. Our protagonist was first to receive his order. Salivating over his tray, he trotted off to his regular table and waited for his carnivore friend. A few minutes later, both boys were seated happily chomping on their meal. Suddenly, our veggie friend notices something odd. “Stop!” he says to his friend. “Stop eating!” Squinting at the two burgers, his eyes widened, and mouth fell open. Mr. Meat Lover wrongly surmising the situation said, “Don’t worry! You are eating vegetarian! See your patty has only vegetables. Even the wrapper has a green dot!” As he poked at the veggie burger, Mr. Veg Only swatted away his hand angrily and howled, “I know it is vegetarian! Look at the difference between our meals! Why do I get a burger wrapped in paper, and YOU get a box? Why is my burger looking so sad with just a few bits of lettuce and a slice of tomato, while yours sits like a royal bulging king? This is so not fair!”
The meat-loving friend began laughing. “My burger costs more. Obviously they will dress it up better. It is called a Maharaja or something.” The vegetarian scowled as he said, “Yes! It is more expensive because it is meat! Why would they give you more vegetables? I’m the one ordering the veg burger here! It feels like the restaurant is mocking vegetarians and showing that we are no good. What’s more, none of our burgers look like they do in the ads! But YOURS DO!”
This is a real experience. Have you ever been to restaurants and found just Paneer and Aloo dishes on the menu? Have you been to fast food joints and found just ONE vegetarian option? Why don’t brands understand that there is a significant vegetarian population in every corner of the world? When they do respect that, why do they make a clear distinction in the way they serve meat lovers and vegetarians?
We don’t just eat grass people! We are not cows! Stop with “We have a salad” for a vegetarian option. On the other hand, when you make fast food, we would appreciate if you add all vegetables AND cheese while excluding the meat (egg, fish, beef, chicken, mutton, anything that a is part of a dead animal is meat), instead of slapping a slice of cheese, tomato and lettuce between two burger buns and calling it a Veggie B.
We too love fast food, and we know you can make good food. Show us that food’s not a tale of The Prince and The Pauper for us vegetarians.