Grading the Grills: PETA Ranks Best and Worst Burger Joints Nationwide

White Castle and Red Robin Earn Top Scores, While Checkers and Rally’s Flunk

For Immediate Release:
September 15, 2016

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Los Angeles

The demand for healthy and humane plant-based meals—including the ever-popular veggie burger—continues to skyrocket. Now, PETA has released letter grades for burger joints across the country, noting which spots offer delicious vegan entrées and which need to play ketchup.

The results run the gamut from the “A” awarded to White Castle for its hit Veggie Sliders—served on a vegan bun with tasty Sweet Thai sauce—to the “F-” given to Checkers and Rally’s. The two chains flunked for not offering a single animal-friendly option: Nearly everything is covered in beef chili, cheese, or bacon—and even their French fries have eggs in them. Red Robin earned an “A” for letting diners make any burger vegan, and Johnny Rockets also aced the contest with its animal-friendly Streamliner burger. The complete rankings are available on PETA’s website.

“Today, diners expect a delicious vegan entrée on every menu, and White Castle and Red Robin are leading the charge by offering crowd-pleasing burgers made without harming animals,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA urges Checkers, Rally’s, and others that bombed in the rankings to step up their game and satisfy the nation’s hunger for healthy, cruelty-free cuisine.”

Research from the National Restaurant Association confirms that plant-based meals are vital to an eatery’s success. In its What’s Hot 2016 Culinary Forecast, vegan entrées placed among the top 10 in the “Main Dishes” category and were said to be a “hot trend” or “perennial favorite” among 76 percent of professional chefs surveyed.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—notes that cows raised for food are crammed together by the thousands in feces-filled lots. These sensitive, gentle animals are castrated and branded, often without pain relief. After being transported to slaughter in all weather extremes, they’re strung up by one leg and their throats are slit, sometimes while they’re still conscious.

In addition, cheap hamburger meat often comes from female cows on dairy farms, who are continually impregnated so that they’ll produce a steady supply of milk and whose calves are repeatedly torn away from them within days of birth. Once they’re no longer considered useful for milk production, mother cows are slaughtered for meat.

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