"Development of the recipe is still in its very early stages, and so the options we're exploring in our kitchen are still top secret," a spokesman for KFC told The New York Times in June. "Once we've perfected the recipe, we aim to test with customers this year, and if all goes well, we hope to launch a new vegetarian option in 2019."
Now vegan charity PETA has submitted a petition signed by more than 12,600 members of the public to the chain asking for a 100 percent animal-free option.
"More people than ever are seeking vegan foods, and business-savvy restaurants across the UK and beyond are updating their offerings to meet this skyrocketing demand," PETA Director of Vegan Corporate Projects Dawn Carr said in a press release.
"PETA is calling on KFC to dish up delicious all-vegan fried chicken that could spare millions of sensitive birds the horrors of the abattoir."
The charity added: "Chickens used for food endure systemic abuse in today's meat industry. They're routinely fed antibiotics and bred to grow so large that their legs often collapse under their own body weight. At the abattoir, they're shackled upside down, their throats are slit, and they're scalded in defeathering tanks, sometimes while still conscious."