Free Beyond Fried Chicken nuggets given out in Patchogue ahead of Super Bowl


Long Island Orchestrating for Nature is encouraging Long Islanders tuning into the Super Bowl LVI this weekend to ditch the chicken wings and go plant-based instead. 

John Di Leonardo, the organization’s president, and several volunteers handed out 1,500 free Beyond Fried Chicken nuggets, a recent meatless collaboration between KFC and Beyond Meat

LION rescues hundreds of animals on Long Island each year and hopes to inspire others to make the world “a kinder and safer place for all beings, even if it’s just simply leaving animals off their plates.” 

“There are going to be millions of chickens killed this weekend, so we wanted to show people for the Super Bowl how easy it is to eat vegan,” Di Leonardo said. “If they want to have chicken for the Super Bowl, get some at KFC, but make it plant-based.”  

Although a fun day for football fanatics, the Super Bowl is also a record-breaking day for chicken wing consumption. 

In 2020, Americans ate approximately 1.4 billion chicken wings during Super Bowl LIV, which rounds up to 175 pounds of wings, and around 350 million chickens, Di Leonardo told Greater Long Island

Animal rights activists joined Di Leonardo at two KFCs — at lunchtime in Levittown and at dinner hour in Patchogue — to distribute 1,500 meatless nuggets, which represents the number of chickens killed for consumption every second, Di Leonardo said.

KFC launched Beyond Fried Chicken on Jan. 10. The plant based nuggest are available at locations nationwide for a limited time. 

Di Leonardo, a vegan for 13 years, adds that he sees other fast-food chains jumping on the bandwagon. And out of all the plant-based food brands, he says he thinks Beyond Meat is the “best in the game.”

“The vegan business is booming right now, and we’re happy because it’s never been easier to stop eating animals,” he said. “We want to show people how easy it is to live a kind and compassionate lifestyle, and have all the same flavors without killing.” 

Scroll down to see photos of the volunteers at the KFC at 533 Medford Ave. in Patchogue handing out meatless chicken nuggets.

A box of chickens labeled with the caption “Let Birds Keep Their Wings. Go Vegan!” Courtesy of the LION Facebook page.

Top: Volunteers from Long Island Orchestrating for Nature posing outside of KFC on Medford Ave. in Patchogue. (Photos: by Ana Borruto)