On the way home from Ithaca, we’ve learned the hard way to avoid I-80 through the Poconos on a holiday weekend. Past experience indicates that about 80 percent of the population of New Jersey (to be fair, a percentage of that may be those from New York City) tries to squeeze through the Delaware Water Gap at just about dinner-time the day before work starts again. There is a longer alternate route, I-476, the turnpike, which you catch north of Scranton and exit in Allentown. The only issue with this plan is that, unless you want to exit the turnpike to try to find food in rural Pennsylvania, there’s only one travel plaza between our entrance and exit. It’s a nice enough stopping point, but for a vegan on the road options are limited. As we pulled in we noticed there was a Burger King. Would they have the much touted “impossible burger”?
It turns out that they did. Having last had a whopper well over two decades ago, mouth memory may have faded a bit, but I can honestly say this was like the whopper I remembered. If you hold the cheese and mayo, you have a vegan version. This discovery made me strangely happy. For years at remote locations (and some urban) we’ve stopped when the only other options are meat based and had the BK veggie burger. It’s not too bad most of the time, but if you want to think you’re eating meat while not contributing to the massive environmental degradation of industrial farming, the impossible burger seems like a reasonable option. This is one area of technology that I’m glad seems to be catching up with ethics.
I often ponder how much our western point-of-view is based on the Bible. Our reluctance to include animals in our ethics is another example of how the hard line between species has been applied. Even scientists are susceptible to worldview bias. When we realize we’re all part of a continuum of biological relatedness, it’s a lot more difficult to argue for our special place in the divine eye. At the same time, insisting one’s ethics be applied to all is a form of fascism. I’m just glad my conscience can be assuaged with some plant-based food options. After all, I’ve been on the road for a few hours and I’m sitting here happy to be eating at Burger King. It’s a matter of perspective.