There is some confusion among vegans about the Impossible Whopper, the 0% beef plant-based burger from Burger King. While it is plant-based, it is not vegan for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the default burger comes with non-vegan mayonnaise, immediately making it not vegan if ordered with no modifications.
Secondly, the patty, while being made from “mostly soy protein, potato protein, coconut oil, sunflower oil, and hemp,” according to the Impossible Burger website, is the product of animal testing according to Impossible Foods CEO, Patrick O. Brown. About this, VegNews writes:
Brown explained that in testing, his team sought to do the least harm—choosing to use a minimal amount of rats, housed in the best conditions possible, at a laboratory known for humane practices—and hopes that these types of tests will never have to be conducted again. “It is industry standard to perform rat-feeding studies to demonstrate that a food ingredient is not toxic and is safe,” Brown said. “I personally abhor the exploitation of animals not only in the food system but in testing and research,” Brown explained before revealing that he has worked tirelessly to avoid testing on animals during his 30-year career in biomedical research.https://vegnews.com/2017/8/impossible-foods-ceo-speaks-out-about-animal-testing
Finally, the patty is cooked on the same surfaces as animal flesh products, so it is at least partially contaminated with the residue from animal flesh. Burger King does say that you can ask to have it cooked in an oven, but this is a step that most are not aware they will need to take to ensure the plant-based patty stays fully plant-based.
In all fairness to Burger King, they do not make any claims that their Impossible Whopper is vegan. Their claim that it is 0% beef, which is true, but this does not make it a vegan option.
The animal testing aspect of the Impossible Burger reveals a serious problem with the laws that require such barbaric practices in order to ensure the safety of new foods for humans. This is an issue that I hope vegans will work on in the future to develop a synthetic way to test foods and medicines without having to test on any sentient beings, bringing us another step closer to the peaceable kingdom of God.