Following news that the parent company of Burger King New Zealand has been placed into receivership, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has written to the receiver, KordaMentha, urging it to reopen the franchise as a fully vegan chain.
In a letter to KordaMentha, we pointed out that a global shift towards vegan eating would go a long way towards addressing three major challenges the world currently faces – the climate crisis, zoonotic diseases, and animal cruelty.
For years now, scientists the world over have warned of the detrimental impact of animal agriculture on our planet, with the UN naming meat “the world’s most urgent problem”. More recently, the coronavirus pandemic has shaken our concept of ‘business as usual’. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that 75% of new or emerging diseases originate in animals. Indeed, since 2004, the world has seen economies hit and lives lost to a plethora of zoonotic diseases: from avian and swine influenza, to the novel coronavirus we now face.
And of course, there’s the fact that a vegan diet spares animals daily suffering and a terrifying death. In today’s meat, egg and dairy industries, mother pigs are confined to farrowing crates, chickens’ throats are often cut while they’re still conscious and cows are forcibly separated from their beloved calves.
If Burger King New Zealand do take this chance to reinvent the chain and reopen as a cruelty-free chain, they’ll be ahead of the curve, but not alone – with the global vegan food market is set to reach an estimated $31.4 billion by 2026, it’s clear that more and more chains agree that veganism is the future.
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