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[Photograph: Kathy Freston]

With its meat-heavy menu, cobbling together a complete, filling meal at McDonald's is a tough proposition if you're a vegetarian. That's what health and wellness author Kathy Freston is hoping to change with a petition on change.org that calls on McDonald's CEO Don Thompson to add a "healthy meatless option" to the permanent menu. Freston says a plant-based protein alternative made entirely without any animal products would be ideal because it would appeal to vegetarians, along with diners who are allergic to lactose or eggs.

McDonald's debuted a veggie burger in 2000 (which flopped) and currently serves veggie wraps in Canada and Europe (along with veggie burgers in India), but in the US, meat-free items are mainly limited to a few salads and a handful of breakfast items. That's not going to cut it with Freston, who says she's looking for something "hearty and protein-centric", just like the sandwiches and burgers on the current menu, but made with plant-based proteins.

The petition, which currently has over 90,000 signatures, is more than half way to its goal (150,000 signatures). If you're all for McD's adding a healthy, hearty, meat-free option to its core menu, sign the petition to show your support.

[Via The Wall Street Journal]

About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax

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