Here's a little secret that might surprise meat-eaters: Vegetarians like to eat more than just salads.
We like a nice hearty sandwich as much as the next person. We like salty, cheap food, too. And we'd eat a lot more of that stuff if only fast food restaurants were willing to sell it to us.
Oh, to be able to order straight off the menu at highway rest stops. To be able to say yes, when a person's carnivorous husband asks if maybe, just maybe, it would be all right to get fast food for dinner!
And so it is, dear McDonald's, that I ask you: Please introduce a veggie burger.
The benefits wouldn't just be for a person and her carnivorous husband. McDonald's, I'm also thinking of you.
Your new CEO -- welcome to the job, Steve Easterbrook! -- has a mandate to attract new customers, including millennials.
I am not myself a millennial -- team Gen X here -- but apparently I share that generation's dietary proclivities, preferring plant-based food to meat.
Now, you don't need me to tell you why someone might choose to not eat animals (the environment, health and straight up compassion, being just a few).
All you need to know right now is that there's a growing number of us who, for a whole variety of reasons, don't partake in the no-doubt delicious burgers your company feels it currently isn't selling enough of.
I don't mean to rub it in, but look how well Chipotle's doing with its vegan sofritas option.
You're not even coming close to selling out of some delicious meat-free concoction right now, McDonald's. In the U.S., anyway, you offer us pretty much nothing.
Your website promises that salads and wraps can be made to order without meat. That's no great shakes to start with. Like I said, vegetarians like more than salads, and no one likes wraps, which tend toward being mealy and damp in the best of times.
But here's the real kick in the pants: Your website has the disclaimer that the salads (ugh) and wraps (ew) "aren't certified vegetarian."
I don't even know what that means, other than it makes these items even less appealing.
No, McDonald's, please don't hold out an uncertified salad alongside some hideous wrap, and tell me I should eat at your restaurant. That's not cutting it.
Hey, look, you already know how to make exactly what we crave! This is so easy!
Your McVeggie sandwich is now available in India, but surely exportable to the U.S. and other markets where you're looking for a boost?
This sandwich is basically a dream come true. The McVeggie is made of battered, breaded green beans, carrots, potatoes and more. It is substantial and, from what I hear, addictively tasty.
It's also healthy enough, while still offering plenty of the less virtuous qualities that one is likely be looking for, when one is looking for fast food.
I'd go get one today, if it were available in the States. And I think that many of my fellow plant-eating Americans would happily join me.
In short, and not to beat a dead horse here -- that wouldn't be in the spirit of asking for vegetarian food, would it? -- but, please, sell us a veggie burger, McDonald's.
One that actually tastes good. One that comes on a bun.
McDonald's, I really think this could work out well for all of us. Because you need some new ideas, and I need some lunch.