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Taco Bell Thinks Outside the Beef

Written by PETA | January 25, 2011

A California woman is suing Taco Bell after discovering that her beefy fast-food fixes are only 35 percent cow flesh. The other 65 percent is made up of oats, yeast, soybeans, corn starch, and various seasonings, all of which make the meat leaner and, dare we assume, less disgusting.

traveling.lunas/cc by 2.0

Considering how much gross stuff is often found in ground beef (saturated fat, cholesterol, hormones, antibiotics, E. coli, etc.) one would think that would be grounds for a lawsuit, not the other 65 percent.

Since Taco Bell’s “beef” is already mostly vegan, why not go all the way? “One hundred percent cruelty-free” has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • vito says:

    Where does Taco Bell source their beef from, does anyone know the name of the ranch/ factory farm and what country.

  • court says:

    actually studies have shown vegans/vegetarians live longer than omnivores

  • Joe says:

    We (vegans) do not have to worry about heart attacks, clotting arteries or most of your other health problems through the year. We live healthier lives because of our diet, albeit shorter. But honestly I don’t find the problem with dying 10 years earlier being that the rest I was healthy.

  • DAC says:

    I really don’t care one way or the other. Humans are designed to be omnivorous. Otherwise we would not have canine teeth, not to mention the incisors.

    That said…Let me clarify for the gentleman that thinks he knows animals…Look at the picture again. It is a cow. Horses have a set of front upper teeth with a gap, then the molars. Cows have an upper plate with a full set of lower teeth.

    Either way, like I said, I don’t care.

  • PrincessErika says:

    My gosh. As soon as I saw that picture, I wanted to just throw up. That is so awful. I don’t understand how anyone can do stuff like that and feel completely comfortable with it.

  • Pumbaa says:

    If Taco Bell is going to call it “beef” then their taco should have enough meat in it to be lawfully called beef. I personally would like a veg taco.

  • reply to matthew says:

    no one is being harrassed on this webpage, this is simply informative for all of us vegetarians who want to be in the know about food facts. now as for the other half of the unanswered question. if you would check into the lives these animals are given and put yourself in their perspective you would realize why it’s such a big deal. it’s perfectly possible, healthier, and more humane to eat how we do, people just refuse to give it a try. fun fact: 90% of vegetarians and vegans were once the type of people who criticized others for being active and said themselves ‘i could never do it’ including myself. but now i’m here to fight for the rights that other beings can’t fight for theirselves. study up on it a little bit. see if you don’t change your mind. you’ll feel like a better person and noticeably healthier as well. one last thing. i did as you asked and replied to your message so i’d be very grateful if you’d do the same. hope to hear from you soon! -chris, proud member of the PETA street team and former carnivore.

  • Emily says:

    When I saw the picture at first I was EXTREMELY angry, why show a horse head really?! you SCARED ME, and yes, a vegan taco sounds good ’bout now

  • dee says:

    I’m trying figure out why some people hate other people who eat meat so much that they want to refer to them as “carnivores”. Just because you don’t eat meat doesn’t mean that good people are bad because they do. You have no idea where they get their meat, or even if they raise it themselves. The term is pure ignorance.

  • Pumbaa says:

    I would like a vegan taco. However as long as Taco Bell claims they sell a beef taco they should be required to meet the legal standard for beef.

  • jadewarlock says:

    The photo is of a horse’s head, based on the shape and teeth. Cattle are very close yes, but as someone who has been around horses most of my life, I can honestly say that is a horse. That said, I do find it appalling that people use horses for food too, and would be appalled if Taco Bell was sneaking horsemeat into the food. Would explain why I don’t eat there anymore either.

    As far as Taco Bell, only time will tell who’s telling the truth. I’m not surprised if they do have cost-cutting corners and pull stunts like this. It’s one reason they’ve started requiring ingredient lists in some states regarding food items.

    Maybe that’s the solution – petition that people must list their ingredients completely on their nutrition guide documents. I only know of a couple that do this, maybe it should be mandatory.

  • Kirby says:

    Nany I agree with u, me being a carnivore wouldnt mind eating fake meat. I eat what ever tastes good. I would not turn down a vegan burrito or burgar. For everyone else TACO BELL SHOULDNT BE VEGAN CUZ THE ORIGINAL CREATER DIDNT ATTEND FOR IT TO BE VEGAN. AND IT CANT BE VEGAN IT WOULD COST TO MUCH! But i think u guys should use all ur anger towards the world and love for animals towards creating ur own fast food chain.

  • Kirby says:

    Rich a look up the definition of cannibal it is somebody that eats humans and carnivores eat meat. Now that we got that straight, if we are going to kill an animal to eat it, we may as well eat all the parts, dont u think? NO seeing a cows head does not make me not want to eat meat. I believe how they treat the animals leading up to their death is wrong and free range meat should be encouraged. But it is simply natural for humans to eat meat, its just part of the food chain. The bigger animal eats the smaller animal, dont u think a lion or a black bear would eat u if they had the chance? Flesh is delicious and jesus ate meat too

  • Becky says:


    Why are we appalled? Well, let’s see, because using any amount of meat no matter what is disgusting maybe. Or maybe because when Taco Bell advertises they advertise 100% beef. I guess we should be happy that only 35% of a cow is actually used versus 100% but to me, that’s not good enough.

    As to your second question, why won’t we leave these people alone? Well, because then we wouldn’t be very good activists would we? No one ever got anywhere just being complacent to sit on their behind and watch the death that happens right before their eyes without saying a word, when in fact they want it to stop.And I am guessing you work for Taco Bell, as there are tons of other companies on this website whose animal abuse and exploitation are exposed and you are sticking up for THEM?

    As far as the picture goes (it’s a cow btw), oats and spices weren’t used because oats and spices aren’t what we are fighting against the exploitation of. We are fighting for the lives of animals (like this poor one in the picture which offends you so) and sometimes it takes the graphic imagery to get the  people who would rather look away than pay attention to do just that, pay attention. Just my personal opinion. Have a nice day! 🙂

  • Becky says:

    To ALEX: First of all, the fries in your “happy meal” aren’t just bad for you because of the oil, but if we are talking specifically about McDeath, they are bad because they in fact contain meat and dairy in them. It’s true, look it up.

    Second, grass fed and free range don’t mean anything except the obvious, they are fed grass and instead of being confined to a cage where they can barely breathe let alone stand up or spread their wings, chickens are crammed into a shed instead. That is the sad truth of “free range” it actually SOUNDS better than the reality of it is. Free range isn’t chickens who get to walk around in the sunshine and live a higher-quality life. Free range is just being out of a cage and crammed into a larger space with more chickens; a larger cage if you will (feel free to look that up as well. Either way the whole point of being vegan, to me anyway, isn’t just to have animals be slaughtered after they have lived a better life, it’s to not be used as products AT ALL. “Free range” or grass fed, in cages, or grain fed, they shouldn’t be products, at all, period.

    On a side note, I am so completely up for vegan tacos but I can make them at home for half the price I’d probably spend at a vegan taco bell. lol

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Hot Carl & Matthew, It is a cow’s head. If you check out traveling.lunas’ photos on Flickr, that’s the way he/she labels it. I’ve also personally seen skinned cows’ heads at a slaughterhouse, and that photo sure looks like a cow’s head to me. Alex, You stated that “It was recently proven that saturated fat is good for you.” Can you provide a few more details as to the science behind that statement?

  • anne hoesch says:

    the picture is certainly disgusting, hard to tell if this is a horse or a cow, but whatever it is, this is the reality of eating meat, every living animal has a face, this is the face of an animal who died to feed those who choose to eat meat,beef is just another word for the flesh of an animal, theres really no such thing as beef, pork, bacon etc, its all just flesh and blood, same as ours!!!! vegetarian taccos would be a step in the right direction to ending the suffering of millions of animals, and i hope they laugh this woman right out of court!!

  • nancy says:

    I don’t think carnivores will be furious if it tastes good and they show it has the same amount of complete protein. I don’t understand why this woman wanted real ground beef. Ground beef contains feces for two reasons. On factory farms the cows stand up to their shoulders in their own feces because their living conditions are so poor. That’s why they’re on antibiotics. Second, because when they’re killed the feces from their intestines mix with the meat. Yummmm….

  • mouselover says:


  • Hot Carl says:

    Seriously, what does the horse head have to do with this article? Anyone?????

  • MizzTallah says:

    Ewwww!!!!! this pic is gross!!!! I think that taco bell should go vegan!!!!Seeing this pic makes me not want to eat anything that looks at me

  • Aalihia P. says:

    Vegan Tacos need to be produced !!!:)

  • rich says:

    Matthew, that’s not a horse, it’s a cow! See the slaughter pics or better yet, watch Glass Walls or Meat Your Meat videos on this site. That’s what they do to the cow’s heads when they strip the flesh. Why would anyone want to eat that after seeing it, but more, why would anyone want to eat anuses and bile and intestines and ears and so on, and that’s all MEAT. Only cannibals eat animals, we are all flesh and blood under the skin.

  • Kirby says:

    Mathew i will have to say I agree with u 100%. What is with the picture? and If all u people dont like what is in taco bells meat then dont eat there! it is as simple as that!!

  • Rosie says:

    I agree! Why not go 100% vegan? 🙂

  • Ian says:

    It’s false advertising, and she should sue them.

  • margotbean says:

    Vegan: Yes, that picture disguised me too. I don’t recognize myself anymore. 😉 matthew: It’s a cow, not a horse. And it seems to have grabbed your attention, hasn’t it? My personal experience with Taco Bell is a friend who once worked there…he never ate there, even though he wasn’t vegetarian or vegan…he was simply disgusted with the frozen bags of orange grease they called “ground beef.”

  • Christina says:

    I’ll actually go to taco bell more now that there’s 65% better stuff! Someone does need to start a fast food vegan restaurant.

  • Rachel says:

    The perfect taco bell meal: 7 layer burrito, no cheese, no sour cream, add onions. It is perfection.

  • sami boo says:

    hell yea vegan tacos MMMM tasty

  • Julie says:

    Seriously? What is wrong with eating oats, soy and seasonings? And I love vegan tacos! I make them all the time with beans. So yummy!

  • thanksforthat says:

    and exactly WHAT is the contextual relevance of that picture??

  • stephanie says:

    They should actually go all the eay with it but the problem is all the carnivores are going to be furious. Even if they ate only 35 percent of beef they are still going to replace taco bell with some other fast food chain.

  • Constantina says:

    I think that is a wonderful idea. The world could use a more ethical fast food chain out there. I’d eat vegan tacos!!!

  • Alex says:

    It was recently proven that saturated fat is good for you. The really bad things in your happy meal are the bun (white flour) the fries (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil) and the drink (way too much sugar). Aside from that you’re right though. The factory farmed stuff is that bad (grass fed and free ranged is better).

  • Lindsey says:

    I would love it if they went vegan on the tacos so then I could eat that stuff and I am only a teen and a young one at that but made the decision of being vegitarion and it is going good so far. But thepicis sad to see.

  • matthew says:

    First of all, I have a question: why put a picture of a horse there rather than oats or some of the other things that there are for sure in Taco Bell’s meat? You guys knew all along about what they put in this meat, yet you seem appaulled about reading it on this website. I know that Taco Bell’s meat is not 100% beef, but I eat there anyway. Why don’t you guys just leave these people alone??? Please someone answer my questions.

  • Emma Toon says:

    YES!!!! VEGAN TACOS ANYONE?!?!?!?!??!

  • vegan says:

    that image truely disguised me to the core 🙁

  • shawnharper1970 says:

    Great idea….never happen.

  • grossmeout says:

    When I saw this picture I threw up! Disgusting! !!