MIAMI: People For The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) hosted a series of free lunches last week - at Burger King.Last Wednesday, the animal rights organization staged events in front of Burger King restaurants in Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, and several other cities to support the fast-food chain's introduction of a vegan burger, and to celebrate the "Great American Meat Out."
The positive demonstrations kicked off last Monday in Miami, where PETA representatives bought patrons about 130 vegan burgers. The animal rights organization also had their "cow
Daisy on hand - armed with a sign promoting Burger King's new product.
"I think they are pleasantly surprised,
said PETA campaign director Bruce Friedrich of Burger King's response to PETA's actions. "They have been hearing from us on the veggie-burger issue for a while."
The events mark a huge change in position for PETA, which protested Burger King with its "Murder King
campaign until last year, when the chain agreed to hold its suppliers to higher standards for animal welfare. Part of the campaign also called for vegetarian menu options, added Friedrich.
The Burger King effort comes only weeks after PETA faced allegations from Rep. Scott McInnis (R-CO) and the conservative, pro-business organization The Center For The Defense Of Free Enterprise that PETA contributed funds to the Earth Liberation Front, a radical environmental organization that uses violence. McInnis also questioned PETA's right to nonprofit status.
But Friedrich claimed the organization continues business as usual despite the alleged link to domestic terrorists.
"Any nine-year-old kid with computer access can ask someone to revoke nonprofit status,
he said of McInnis' efforts. "We have no worries about our nonprofit status. The whole point of filing the compliant was trying to divert our attention (from current campaigns). We have a limited amount of time and energy, and we're going to continue to try to educate people."