Rhett James McLaughlin and Charles Lincoln Neal, III (known collectively on social media as “Rhett and Link”) featured vegan fast-food hacks on a recent episode of their popular YouTube show Good Mythical Morning. “Can we make fast food vegan and delicious?” Link asked, before he introduced the plant-based edition of the show’s segment, “Fast Food Secret Menu Hacks.” Rhett and Link visited several fast-food restaurants to order menu items that did not contain animal products and created their own “hacks”—or hypothetical dishes that could be crafted with these items. The duo constructed “Arby’s Vegan Loaded Crostini” from the meat-centric chain’s potato cakes (fried hash browns) as the crostini base, the vegetable fillings of a Beef Gyro ordered without beef or the bread wrapper (which leaves only a side of lettuce, tomato, and onions), a side of red and yellow roasted peppers, a side of jalapeños, and Arby’s Red Ranch sauce (a vegan dressing that is available upon request). Rhett and Link continued to create a complicated vegan burger patty—that they made using ingredients from a deconstructed Wendy’s salad blended in a Vitamix with two burger buns and an entire baked potato—and a vegan shake (the “McVegan McCoffee McShake”) made with coffee, apple pies, and hot-cake syrup sourced from McDonald’s. While Rhett and Link are admittedly not vegan, and the segment’s intention was more humorous than educational, the topic they chose to cover exemplifies the pervasiveness of veganism across media platforms.
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