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Panda Express Adds Vegan and Vegetarian Meals at All 2,000 Restaurants in Response to Petition

By Sophie Hirsh

Like many other chain restaurants have done over the past few months, Panda Express is finally making its menu more inclusive. In response to a petition created by nonprofit organization Vegan Outreach, the fast casual Chinese restaurant is officially adding permanent vegetarian and vegan dishes to the menu, in all of its 2,000-plus locations across the U.S. As Plant Based News added, the options will be completely vegan in every location by the end of February.

As Vegan Outreach's petition explained, Panda Express currently has zero vegan or vegetarian options on its menu. Even its veggie-heavy meals like Eggplant Tofu and Chow Mein are cooked in chicken broth and with other animal products. Since those two meals would be straightforward to veganize, Vegan Outreach asked Panda Express to make those two meals completely vegan, and to consider adding a new entree using vegan meat alternatives. The petition garnered more than 5,000 signatures, and also inspired customers to contact Panda Express about the matter. 

On Monday, Feb. 25, Vegan Outreach posted an update to the petition, announcing that Panda Express has agreed to make the Eggplant Tofu and Chow Mein vegan. And as PETA reported, Panda Express is also going to veganize its Brown Steamed Rice, White Steamed Rice, and Super Greens side dishes. "While seemingly small, this change by Panda Express will make a big impact," Vegan Outreach said. "Not only will the chain contribute less to animal suffering by using more plant-based ingredients, but it will send a powerful message to other chains — this is financially beneficial and if we can do it, so can you." Furthermore, Panda Express' enthusiastic response to the petition proves that asking companies for what you want to see from them can be incredibly powerful.