The Associated Press reported today on a “BK Veggie” giveway sponsored by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) this past Tuesday in Reno, Nevada. The Reno giveway was part of the animal rights group’s larger West Coast “BK Veggie” promotional campaign.

“We think going vegetarian is the best thing people can do and Burger King has made that easier,” Kristie Phelps of PETA told AP reporter Scott Sconner as she passed free samples of Burger King’s new flame-broiled, blended vegetable patty sandwiches.

A similar PETA-sponsored rally in Miami, where Burger King’s corporate headquarters is located, resulted in nearly 200 veggie burgers being given away per hour.

The additional publicity was welcomed by Burger King. “After all, our first name is `Burger,”’ Ken Johnson, director of operations for 12 restaurants in northern Nevada told Sconner. “For them to support what we are trying to do is definitely beneficial.”

The relationship between Burger King and PETA has not always been so cozy. Sconner also reported estimates that “PETA held nearly 1,000 anti-Burger King demonstrations since 2000.

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