Columns » Kenneth Cleaver

Consumer Correspondent


Mr. Rick Dow
Senior Vice President of Marketing & Sales
Burger King Corporation
17777 Old Cutler Road
Miami, Fla. 33157

Dear Burger King:

I haven't tried your new veggie burger yet, but it's at the top of my to-do list. While it's never good form to complain about something you haven't tried, I was upset to learn that you were not using the BK Bean Burger I loved so well in the United Kingdom.

Too often, liberals like myself withhold props1 from the fast-food industry because it is a large corporation, a low-wage, nonunion employer, and an importer of rainforest beef. So let me be the first pinko to say that your U.K. Bean Burger is BOOMIN!2 Please trust this conclusion is not the result of a nostalgic palate or American Anglophilia -- a cultural disease to be sure.

A few thoughts on hamburger substitutes: They should not imitate meat flavor, just the burger concept. A few thoughts on vegetarians: The media-induced image is of an assortment of ethereal narcissists, unreconstructed hippies and graduate students. Unfortunately, this is pretty accurate. In the absence of a veggie Joe Six-pack everyman, I endorse co-optation via fast food. The problem is that when a mediocre manifestation of veggie burger emerges, it tends to turn more people off then on.

That is why I humbly request that you bring the bean burger to America. I'd even be willing to tolerate a "British Invasion" marketing ploy, or some ghastly "Bean Burger Benny" cartoon character. If I can be of further assistance please let me know.


Kenneth Cleaver

P.S. If it's any consolation, I tried the McVeggie burger and it tastes like McAss.

Read the Response.

1 African-American idiom, abbreviation for proper respects.

2 African-American idiom for positive quality; origin: a booming bass speaker system in a car stereo

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