by Michael dEstries
Categories: Eats
Tags: .

vegetarian_burgerking

Note: Mills says there is no deal in place with Burger King — see follow-up story here.

Did you just do a double-take on that headline? Me too.

Heather Mills — yes, that Heather Mills — has just signed a contract worth a reported $6 million dollars to be the face of a new Burger King campaign promoting their vegetarian burger. From Digital Spy:

A friend told The People: “Heather is ecstatic. She believes she can change the eating habits of millions. She’s also being paid a lot of money and the deal will help boost her standing.” News of Mills’s deal comes just three months after McCartney announced plans to revamp his late wife Linda’s vegetarian food range. A source close to McCartney commented: “Sir Paul will probably see a certain sense of irony in Heather’s career move. But he won’t be fuming. If more people become vegetarian as a result of this, then some good will come out of it.”

Wow. Um, yes, this is a bit odd — mainly because Mills is a hardcore vegan, and teaming up with a massive meat-pusher like Burger King seems a bit askew. I mean, we’re talking about the same people who released a “meat-scented” cologne a few months back. On one hand, I understand how this fits into her grand scheme to get more people thinking about veggies — but on the other, that $6 million must have been a HUGE factor. I mean honestly, what vegetarian looks at Burger King and thinks “lunch”. Even with a veggie option, wouldn’t we still be helping to fund a major meat operation?

I’m not convinced that this was the right move — and I think the money was a major part of Mills’ decision — but I remain open-minded that perhaps the campaign really will inspire some folks to think more about going VEG. Bombard me with your thoughts below. Does this undermine Mills’ mission to be a vegan powerhouse or prop up her message to an even larger audience? $6 million can definitely help find a lot of great projects and initiatives. But is the association with BK worth it?

via Cele|bitchy

[UPDATE: For those that are curious, Greenopia has a list of vegan/vegetarian options from major fast food chains. Grab it here.]

About Michael dEstries

Michael has been blogging since 2005 on issues such as sustainability, renewable energy, philanthropy, and healthy living. He regularly contributes to a slew of publications, as well as consulting with companies looking to make an impact using the web and social media. He lives in Ithaca, NY with his family on an apple farm.

View all posts by Michael dEstries →
  • http://www.quarrygirl.com quarrygirl

    this just confirms what i already thought about heather mills—she’s an attention-seeking fame whore. i don’t think she cares about the animals…she just wants money and publicity.

    i mean, BURGER KING??? C’MON!

  • Rachelle

    Didn’t she get enough money from Paul in the divorce? LOL!

    I see what she hopes to do…to get more meat-eaters to try the veggie burger on their own turf and hope they’ll like and return to it often…but hard-core meat eaters won’t give a damn.

    Personally, as a vegan I don’t patronize fast food joints…But if Heather thinks something good can come from this campaign…well…let’s just wait and see.

  • VeggieTart

    Oh, please. Like she’ll convince people to take the veggie burger instead of one of the animal sandwiches. She just wants money and publicity.

  • Just a thought.

    I actually like BK’s veggie burgers :-\ Sometimes when I’m out on the road and there aren’t any other options, it’s nice that Burger King even offers it.

  • Matt

    I don’t see any difference between ordering a veggie burger at Burger King and shopping for veggie food at a grocery store that also sells meat or choosing the veggie option at a restaurant that also serves meat.

    While it would be great if the whole world went vegan overnight, in the meantime I think it is great when meaty restaurants offer veggie options. Meat eaters are less likely to eat at a vegan restuarant, and if all they ever see that vegans are able to eat at their restaurants of choice is a side salad, no wonder so many meat eaters think it is hard to go vegan.

    But if you can even get a veggie option at Burger King, which has restaurants everywhere, that pretty much deflates the argument that going vegetarian or vegan is too hard, doesn’t it?

    Way to go Heather Mills! I say support any and all veggie options everywhere in every way that you can. It can only help our cause. And if you can get Burger King to give you money instead of some cattle rancher – more power to you!

  • Miguelo

    I think publicity for veggieburgers is always good, but when it sort of greenwashes the rest of BK that’s where I draw a line. –AND YOU KNOW THAT’S THEIR INTENT– Are they changing over ALL of there menu to ethical, Earth-saving veggie meals, well noooooo…

    Although on the road it’s difficult to find vegetarian alternatives with the road-based commuter nightmare that is America. It’s a better meal for those of the masses that are not as strict in their diets as some of us are.

    On a morbidly funny note, I had a friend order a BK veggie burger and it came with 2 strips of bacon on it. Guess the server was offended somehow?! Probably the Mad Cow Disease hahaha

  • http://www.vegangrub.com Eric

    As much as vegans and vegetarians think that we will bring the meat corporations to their knees by not patronizing their establishment, the fact is that there are far more of “them” than “us”.

    What is wrong with BK promoting a veggie burger and using an animal-rights personality as the voice for this campaign? Granted, I’d rather see a vegan option, but I guarantee that if their veggie burger does well, a vegan option would not be unlikely.

    Of course, BK’s motivation is tapping into the veg*n market’s spending capacity more than animal welfare, but its a start. I’m not saying that any of the vegetarians out there should support it by feeling obligated to buy the veggie burger, but I do think that stones should not be cast.

    Its a step in the right direction and sign that awareness is spreading, and I take heart in that thought.

  • http://www.ecorazzi.com michael

    Well said Eric — and I agree with the thoughts by many above that it’s great to see BK offer the option at all. As one person I was chatting with pointed out, sometimes, when you’re on the road, there just aren’t any options but fast food grub. Better to have something than nothing.

    I’ll be real curious to see how BK and Mills campaign together on this venture.

  • David

    Does anyone know if the BK Veggie is going to go back to being vegan as part of this deal?

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  • Marie

    I think they are wasting their money if this is even true. Why would they pay someone with her questionable background that much? They already have a veggie burger and no one orders it. Why do they think this golddigger will help it along. She is already telling lies about how long she has been a vegan. She is now claiming she has been one since she lost her leg. People who knew her said she became vegetarian to be with Paul. Vegan is something she took up recently. This woman has been sent packing from all the other ‘charity’ work she has done. This is the only means of self promotion left. This woman is a fraud.
    There are plenty of vegan and vegetarian options out there. Why would a vegetarian even go into a Burger King? What grill are they going to cook this on? Are they getting a seperate one?

  • Tede

    I don’t need mills to change my eating habits. She’s going after millions. wow. While any non-meat option great, her shrill voice makes her a terrible spokesperson. Her past lies including the one stating she was a vegan since she lost her leg make her an unworthy role model. An honest convert would be a much better person to set an example. I just don’t find her credible.

  • http://ECORAZZI John

    Indeed she will be changing the eating habits of millions. I for one will NOT patronize Burger King any longer. She is an opportunist with no moral fiber.

  • M Monroe

    I actually order the Veggie burger at Burger King all the time. I usually ask for a Whopper, but made with the Viggie Patty. The only thing I don’t get about this is that she is supposedly Vegan and BK’s Veggie Burger is NOT Vegan. What’s up with someone endorsing a product that they wouldn’t eat themselves.

  • http://www.onoursleeve.com Leanne Mai-ly (Vaute Couture)

    I’m with Matt, Eric, and Michael.

    Promoting a meatless option with an AR activist signifies a growing movement. It makes veg food seem less foreign and will likely be played up for its health benefits… all great things for making veg*sm more friendly and convenient for those on the fence. I’d expect (and love if) the burger went vegan before Ms. Mills began promoting, since she’s vegan herself, and then maybe I’ll grab one in the airport (when I’m weighing all the options at other meat serving establishments).

  • Penny

    I’m a vegetarian, but I won’t be running to eat at any establishment that uses Mills as a spokesperson. Sorry.

  • Kyle

    But BK’s veggie burgers aren’t vegan…

  • http://myspace.com/beauabroughton Beau Broughton

    Yeah, the veggie burger in the US def has egg whites and even specifically says that it is not a vegan product. However, in the UK the Veggie Bean Burger seems to be vegan

  • http://blog.veganbrew.com kevin

    Most of the comments here have been judgmental and moronic. Hopefully BK will make the minor changes it needs to make the BK veggie vegan, and hopefully this makes a quick, easy and cheap alternative for lots of people to choose while eating out. It is silly to think the world will magically become vegan overnight. Every little bit helps. Sorry, I live in a very vegan-friendly city (Philadelphia) and I buy my groceries at a store that sells meat (Whole Foods) and do most of my dining at bars and restaurants that also sell meat. It is what it is.

  • mary

    She a power chick. Why shouldn’t she make a business deal with a company that her husband just bashed because they used his picture in one of there eating establishment.

    If its Veggie or Vegan it fits to what she promotes. Why is everyone so jealous of this woman amazes me.

    She always been a career power girl why now that she is very famous thanks to her husband shouldn’t she like all famous use it to make a living. Don’t eat there or eat there but do it because you like or dislike there food not because you pist because she out foxed a Beatle and ended up set for life.

  • jaxin

    Unless they’re changing the burger to a vegan patty (and they’d have to change their buns too) this is total BS.

    I don’t get why she would want to hawk a non-vegan product. Boo!

  • http://vegan-la.com Lex

    Anyone negative to this needs to dust off the crystal ball and look into the future. Veg fast food will be on every corner, if BK has the foresight to change with the times we should applaud them what ever their intentions or spokesperson may be. It needs to be freak’n vegan, though or its pointless :)

  • http://niagaraanimalrightscenter.blogspot.com/ dan

    Is this a new and improved veggie burger? If Heather is promoting it I’d like to think that it’s vegan – why else would she promote it (oh yeah, the money!).
    I was under the impression that the veggie burger in Canada was vegan but I could be wrong.
    At least BK is willing to advertise their veggie burger. KFC in Canada didn’t promote their new faux chicken sandwich at all – they just let PeTA do it for them.
    While BK is certainly not thinking about the animals, they’re clearly trying to cater to vegetarians and/or vegans. I think this is a good thing, regardless of how anyone feels about their choice of spokesperson.

  • Carole

    Why waste that much money on Mills. Why not develop a vegan burger in their own kitchen. It doesn’t make sense. Will there be separate cooking stations. That is what is required in vegan cooking. Use the money on that so they can say it is truely a vegan pattie. They are throwing away money on this spokesperson. Where is the confirmation from Burger King. Why not a joint statement.

  • Whoever…

    Well, anything that helps promote and distribute vegan/vegetarian food is welcome!

    It’s great that V food is making its way into new markets!
    I mean, come on, it’s all about the money! It always has been and always will be! :(

    You wouldn’t catch me going into a BK or a MacD. or anything like that though, even if they have V food. It would be like going to a shop of a brand that only sells fur clothes which ‘on the side’ sells some organic clothes…
    In a grocery store or supermarket you have all kinds of products and brands… It’s a bit different, from my point of view obviously!

    About the fact that Mills is promoting it… well do they really need a public figure to promote their veggie burger? I believe she actually is only doing it for the money!! I believe it’s wrong – it’s like a famous anti-fur activist promoting a brand that sells fur clothes and that now decided to reach a new market and thus starts to sell organic clothes as well.

    I don’t know, it doesn’t feel right!
    If her intention was to call attention to the fact they are selling veggie burgers, she could have just made a public comment saying she supported this action of BK!

    Maybe I’m being too naive… ;)

  • Joe

    Who cares if she’s getting paid all that money. If this gets just one person to at least try a vegetarian option, then I’m all for it. Why is it so wrong for people to make a lot of money for these things anyway? I’m willing to bet you wouldn’t turn down $5 million to do the same thing. And if you did, then you’re a fool.

  • Joel

    “Heather is ecstatic. She believes she can change the eating habits of millions.”

    Yeah, millions will completely lose their appetite when they see her ugly mug. I don’t eat much fast food, but I guess I can cross Burger King off my list of places to eat that crud.

  • http://www.ecorazzi.com michael

    Because some people were curious, I found this on the BK website:

    “The veggie patty is NOT cooked on equipment with meat or poultry products.”

    So, now you know.

  • Anton

    I wish that the veggie patty was vegan, but I kind of get what she’s doing. If I see a very non-vegan place serving/offering something vegan, I try to make it a point to get it once in a while, even if it isn’t very good. Consumer dollars drive product development, and if companies start seeing that their vegan stuff is selling, they’ll make more of it. I understand the arguments against that, but it’s how I feel. Maybe she’s kind of got the same idea. Maybe it’s the six million, but I’m trying not to judge or be negative. :)

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  • http://www.ingaambrosia.com Inga Ambrosia

    She is going to take that money and feed children and the homeless vegan food. If she uses BK for that, perfect. If any of you were offered 6 million dollars, you’d leave your judgments at the door, I promise you.

    The end.

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  • Lisa

    Typical Heather Mills, create a story about nothing to get her face in the press. BK or any restaurant in this economic climate does not have millions to burn on an untested spokesperson.

    It never made sense that it wasn’t a joint statement with BK. It was an invention on Mills part. This is why you don’t trust her.

  • April

    She’s already changed my eating habits. Every time I see her, I lose my appetite.

  • yogafan

    She has a history of juvenile delinquency, pathological lying, and agressive behavior, not to mention her gold-digging sham of a marriage. This all points to one conclusion, in my mind. It just goes to show what sort of people corporations are willing to associate with. I’d rather get a veggie burger from somewhere else, and one sold by someone else.

  • Gerard

    At this point I dont think the bvegetaria/vegan community can afford to be picky and I think we should just support anyone who can initiate a trend to change peoples eating habbits. I know its a bit like pormoting a weapon producing company’s line of 1st aid kits but if this vegan/veggie burger becomes sucsesfulthen it might make it easier for ppl to become vegtariran, encourage people to consume less meat, encourage burger kinvg or even other company’s to focus more on vegetarian products and who knows maybe one day a vegan chain of fast food restaraunts will open up and more and more ppl will go veg