PETA’s Top Ten Veg-Friendly MLB parks

July 28th, 2015

You’ll likely get wind of PETA’s Top Ten Veg-Friendly MLB Ballparks for 2015. The list generates a lot of news media (and social media) attention every year. 

We want to provide an important caveat to that list: PETA considers all the suites-only (and club) menu items equally with general concessions when it creates its list. In fact, suites-only items are often what are referenced in their media release (such as the vegan nachos at Dodger Stadium.) It’s great that these options have made it into the suites menu, no doubt, but it’s important to note that this doesn’t reflect general concessions. Veggie Happy wouldn’t rate a ballpark’s veg-friendliness based equally on what’s only available for high-paying suites ticket purchasers. Our focus is primarily on general concessions and what’s available to the average fan. 

For general concessions menu listings, check our MLB Venue Veg Guide.(We were told the Venue Guide link would be added to the PETA release online, so hopefully that has happened by the time you read this.) It provides all the individual ballpark menus (we have a listing for the NFL as well) and contact information so fans can share their menu comments or suggestions directly with each ballpark. We also have volunteer Veggie Happy Managers listed for some of those ballparks. Contact them if you’d like to galvanize local support or join group outings, etc.

It’s great that PETA gets so much media attention around it’s Top Ten Veg-Friendly venue releases and we know from our own interactions that large venues strive to get on the list every year. P.R. incentive is good incentive too. But fans make the most difference by chiming in directly with the ballparks. (See our previous post “Progress, progress, progress” about some of the set-up-to-fail issues surrounding signage, concession worker awareness and stand locations at some ballparks.)

PETA’s Top Ten list has been posted to Veggie Happy’s Facebook page with a couple of comments as a caveat. If you’d like to share PETA’s list on social media, please consider sharing it via our Facebook post, so those comments are included. 



Progress, progress, progress

June 11th, 2015

We’ve come a long way when the L.A. Times writes that Dodger Stadium has “upped its food and drink game” by offering vegan cheese on its nachos, among other things. It wasn’t too long ago when the only vegetarian options at a ballpark were literally peanuts. As of today, most MLB stadiums (all, minus four) have vegetarian hot dogs on their menu, and many are now going with popular vegan franks. (Yankee Stadium added them to their menu this season.) Ballparks are also offering veggie burgers and options such as vegan “chicken” or “cheese steak.” Pretty cool.

That’s not to say there isn’t more progress to be made. Some ballparks limit their wonderful vegan options to suites and catering, which let’s face it, probably isn’t as big an issue anyway. It’s general concessions that matters most to us. Folks paying for suites are going to get what they want a lot faster than the many thousands of regular fans paying general admission prices. Like anything in a capitalistic society, money tends to grab business attention first, and if there isn’t much in the way of money, then it’s the amount of people asking that makes the difference. We all count; that is, if we make sure we’re counted. That’s why sharing your menu feedback directly with the ballparks (or on a general level, doing so with any place that calls you a customer) is important. Veggie Happy advocates for fans, but fans need to chime in directly too.

Here’s where progress still needs to be made. When vegan options are on the regular concessions menu, they tend to be limited to one or two stands, sometimes with very little in the way of clear signage or other indications to fans that they’re available at all, or where to find them. Those vegan franks are popular with regular consumers, not just vegetarians or vegans, which is why we advocate for them, but how will most fans know they’re available?  They may not fare as well as they could or should, given true fan interest, and concession managers might take their sales numbers to mean they aren’t popular. That’s not true, the items are just not evident.

Here’s an example of that. It’s an excerpt of an email we received from a Red Sox fan about Fenway Park:

“There is only one vendor in the park selling vegetarian dogs. Its down a dead end alley, on the side of another catering area. In fact, the people in the regular lines for food blocked my sight line to even see the sign.”

The Nationals’ ballpark is a lovely exception. They notified us that veggie dogs are available at 11 total stands there this season.

We continue to contact the ballparks and update our Venue Vegetarian Guide’s MLB listings as they send confirmations of their 2015 menus. Keep checking the Guide for updates and be sure to use the contact information provided there to contact the ballparks directly with any comments or suggestions of your own. They tally fan comments and requests and yours could be the one to make the difference.

Also, for those of you who might like to promote your products, organization, events or causes through Veggie Happy, note that we now also offer select advertising on the website, which averages 6,000 hits a month. This is offered in addition to Affiliation. Contact if you’d like more information about Affiliation or website advertising opportunities.

Play ball!



At last, the YANKEES!

April 21st, 2015

It’s been a long haul, but at long last, we’re very happy to share that New York’s Yankee Stadium will begin offering vegan frankfurters and burgers effective THIS coming Friday, April 24th!

Keep an eye on the MLB Venue Vegetarian Guide for updated concessions listings and contact information for all MLB stadiums. We’ll update the Yankees listing with the vegan frank and burger stand locations as soon as they’re confirmed.

Please use the Venue Vegetarian Guide as a resource for contacting venues with your own fan feedback. We never tire of beating the drum of advocacy and empowerment. The more fans that chime in directly, supporting and celebrating vegan options, the stronger those menu options become and the greater likelihood they’ll remain on the menu.

Play ball!




IKEA rolls out new veggie (vegan) “meatballs”

April 8th, 2015

IKEA_veggie_balls_2IKEA will roll out its new veggie balls or “Gronsaksbullar” throughout its 40 U.S. cafeterias (except in Carson, CA)  starting tomorrow, April 9. Gronsaksbullar are also vegan, as is the sauce being offered with them. The price is $4.49 for 10 balls and a side of veggies. The total caloric plate is 350 calories and the 10 balls alone are 240 calories. They are gluten, soy, dairy and GMO-free and are made from a blend of green peas, carrot, chickpeas, bell peppers, corn, kale, pea starch, seasonings, onion and canola oil.

Starting on June 30, Gronsaksbullar will also be available for purchase from the Swedish Food Court (as retail packages.)

IKEA has done a great job of celebrating this new item as “the first step to include a wider variety of nutritious and more sustainable food choices.”  One of its goals in offering this item is to cut carbon emissions by offering plant-based food selections.

“We will continue to serve delicious food, offering a taste of Sweden at affordable prices, but with increasing focus on the aspects of food that are really important to people: health and sustainability,” said Michael La Cour, Managing Director of IKEA Food Services AB. “We have high ambitions, and our journey in this direction has just begun. I am proud that we now take the first step and start serving veggie balls.”

Considering that IKEA sells more than one billion meatballs per year, this is a great first step.



Celebrating Veggie Happy Day

January 8th, 2015

Veggie Happy created Veggie Happy Day as a way to honor and celebrate the power of customer feedback. It’s been our experience that fan feedback at the ballparks played a key role in helping us open the door to vegan options there. Just think if everyone took the time to chime in at the food establishments they frequent (or don’t frequent for that matter, because of the lack of options), what a wave of positive change that could create!

We selected January 10 as Veggie Happy Day (formerly Soy Happy Day) for two reasons:

  1. Major League Baseball stadiums are about to begin the process of reviewing their menus for the coming season, and now is the optimal time for fans to begin chiming in with their suggestions and feedback on vegan food items they want them to either keep, change or add. They’ll be looking at all fan comments and suggestions as part of their considerations starting now through spring training. (Four MLB stadiums remain without a veggie dog/vegan frankfurter on the regular concessions menu as of last season: the Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals.)
  2. It’s a fabulous way to start the new year with a feeling of hope, pride and accomplishment, no matter what food establishments you decide to contact. You might be surprised at the difference your one comment can make!

When you offer your feedback, consider a couple of other things, too. It’s not enough for vegan items to be available; they have to be clearly and easily evident on the menu, and all staff should be aware of their availability and locations. After all, if customers don’t know these options are available, they won’t sell the way they could or should, and are sometimes destined to fail as a result. Veggie Happy has had the unfortunate experience of receiving emails from frustrated fans who know vegan options are supposed to be available at a given stadium (having checked our Venue Vegetarian Guide), but still have a hard time tracking them down. How is that situation going to stimulate any sales?

Recent headlines about McDonalds eschewing veggie burgers because “no one buys them” is another example. They state that they tested veggie burgers in certain markets and didn’t generate adequate sales. First, this was back in 2003, so there’s some catching-up to do, but also, how big a promotion did they create to ensure that customers realized they were available?

Burger King has been offering veggie burgers since 2002 and guess what? Any group of people with a vegetarian in its midst has likely chosen Burger King over McDonalds every time. The Vegetarian Resource Group calls this “the vegetarian veto vote,” and it’s a powerful vote indeed. One person will divert an entire group of diners to another location that offers a viable option for that individual, causing the other establishment to lose out on  “mainstream” customers as well. (It merits noting, by the way, that the BK Veggie Burger is not vegan. It’s a sponsored product, meaning that the brand pays big bucks for the privilege of being named. When sponsorship is involved, it can take a while to change, so all the more reason for them to receive and compile customer requests for a vegan brand instead.)

Chipotle offers a totally different example in its approach to offering vegan options. It has done a fabulous job of actively and widely promoting its new Sofritas menu and ensuring that signage is clear and well positioned so customers recognize it exists. It’s no surprise that their vegan Sofritas are doing well.

The same is true for the ballparks. Seattle’s Safeco Field saw sales of Field Roast vegan frankfurters spike 700% over its previous generic veggie dogs during one season, in part because it promoted the new menu item (including custom vegan topping options) and made sure fans were aware it existed. This should be an example to all ballparks.

Whether you contact a ballpark or another foodservice establishment for Veggie Happy Day, consider these basic questions: Do they offer what you want? If they do, is it easy for all customers to know it’s available? Chime in and let your voice be heard. Sometimes just one fan’s suggestion has made the difference in as large a venue as an MLB or NFL stadium.

Here’s to you, making a difference!



McDonald’s is changing its menu: veggie burger, anyone?

December 11th, 2014

McDonald’s has announced that it is trimming its menu after a continued decline in U.S. sales. Their sales in November declined by 4.6% with even further declines last week. To reassure investors, the chain is looking to reinvigorate its menu with foods that are considered more wholesome. McDonald’s USA president Mike Andres said they are doing this by looking at ingredients and the way their food is prepared and delivered. The idea is to improve the image of its food and make it more appealing. Starting next month, eight items will be cut from the menu as an initial form of simplification. Other menu ideas are also currently being considered.

So far, McDonald’s has not publicly referenced any plans to introduce a vegan burger, so we are encouraging you to chime in while they are in the mode of reviewing menu items with more “wholesome” ingredients. How about offering the tasty and protein-rich hand-formed vegan burger from Field Roast, which is now available through foodservice distribution?


Consumer feedback is where it’s at. McDonald’s created a campaign in October called “Our Food, Your Questions” in an attempt to assuage consumer concerns. Consumers can post questions to Twitter there, in addition to reviewing the information posted about their menu items and ingredients.

Consumers may also ask questions or offer feedback on McDonald’s Food & Nutrition contact page (please do so through the link provided here).

The more comments requesting vegan burgers that they get, the veggier the chances they’ll heed them! 





Vegan choices on Thanksgiving

November 20th, 2014

Thanksgiving dinner can be a very socially difficult experience for vegetarians and vegans. It’s hard to reconcile what we know about the way most turkeys are raised and treated with the fact that we’re gathering around a table, a large turkey at its center, for the purpose of giving thanks with family and friends. Cruelty is hard to reconcile as the default partner to a holiday focused on gratitude.

Some vegans will opt out of joining those gatherings, choosing to host or attend a cruelty-free gathering instead. Dining with kindred vegans is understandable and certainly far more pleasant and easier on the conscience. It can also be the best gratitude splurge in the world. Still, it doesn’t change anything for those who eat the traditional way. That turkey will still be served; vegan family members just won’t be there to bear witness.


For other vegans, going it solo or with other vegans is not as clean or clear an option.They may want to be with  family or friends on this special day and don’t want to become isolated by it. Instead of bowing out of traditional gatherings, they might instead opt to bring “special” dishes for themselves and those who might want them. Or they might feast on many of the side dishes together, since that is often plenty of food.

If you’re a vegan at a traditional table, don’t forget that you’re also an example to those around you. That may not be something you’re concerned with, but it matters. People take notice and your food choices are registering in their conscience as doable. Kids at the table will tend to be less inhibited about asking questions or making comments, too. If they do, well there you’ll be with a window, however small and delicate, to explain in brief and friendly terms why it is you choose not to eat turkey. If they make faces and mock what’s on your plate, that’s usually because they’re not familiar with those foods or your way of life. It’s not their fault. Smile, make them feel understood and offer them a taste. You might, just might, be the first person in their life to show them that vegan foods are not only possible, they’re viable.

A thought, anyway.

For your plant-based center-of-the-meal dish, there are a variety of ways you can go. From store-bought and ready-to-go-after-heating options like Field Roast’s Celebration Roast or items from Gardein or Turtle Island Foods, to make-it-yourself dishes made with tempeh, seitan, mushrooms or tofu, there are lots of options to suit your palate. If you want recipes, check 41 delicious vegan Thanksgiving recipes here. You can also search “vegan Thanksgiving recipes” on Google and scroll and peruse away. What’s great is that vegan options are becoming increasingly well-known and popular not just with vegans, but with omnivores (flexitarians) alike.

We do the best with what we’ve got, and it’s good to know we’ve got a lot of vegan goodness to work with now.

Wherever you land on Thanksgiving, here’s to good company and a tasty and Turkey-Free Day.




Meet Laura, our new manager for Kansas City

October 29th, 2014

Royals picHi!

I’m Laura, your vegan, ROYALS fan here in Kansas City, Missouri! 2014 has definitely been an exciting season for our boys in blue!

It’s great to have Veggie Happy assisting sports fans. I’m especially thrilled that our Kansas City area sports stadiums offer a FANtastic variety of veggie food. I enjoy guiding folks to healthier choices as ultimately these choices benefit people, animals, and the planet.

I attended Game 1 of the World Series.  Kansas City is beyond excited!

I attended Game 1 of the World Series. Kansas City is beyond excited!

I’ve been mostly vegetarian since I was 18 years old, I’ve now been mostly vegan for over three years. Food is one of my passions, but the precious animals we save while eating non-meat and non-dairy foods are my heartfelt reason for why I adopted my lifestyle. You can email me through Veggie Happy or feel free to follow me via instagram.





VH in Veg Times’ Vegetarian Movement Highlights

October 23rd, 2014

The November issue of Vegetarian Times Magazine is a special issue celebrating their 40th anniversary. It features 40 highlights of the vegetarian movement to this day, which are also exhibited as The VT Wayback Machine slide show online. Veggie Happy is honored to have been selected as one of those highlights. To be in the company of Farm Sanctuary, Lisa Simpson, Paul & Linda McCartney and other amazing people, organizations and breakthroughs is, well, quite delightful and very appreciated.


In honor of our 40th anniversary, we’re taking a look back—not just at the early days of Vegetarian Times, but all the way back through vegetarian history in the Western world—to reflect on the highlights of a movement that has been deliciously life-changing. Follow along as we hit the high points of veg history.

Veggie Happy is #27. Here’s what they included: 


Veggie dogs hit a home run. Soy Happy (now Veggie Happy) kicks off a campaign to bring vegetarian and vegan options to sports stadiums and entertainment venues around the country. At the time, no Major League Baseball stadium carried veggie dogs, a fact that surprised baseball fan and Veggie Happy founder Johanna McCloy. Now, thanks to McCloy’s work with concession-stand managers, we can enjoy veggie dogs at almost every MLB stadium.

Live long and prosper!




Meet Twalla, VH Manager for the TX Rangers

August 14th, 2014

Twalla at a Rangers game at Globe Life Park

Hi, my name is Twalla (rhymes with Paula) and excited to be Veggie Happy’s Manager and your contact for Globe Life Park. GO RANGERS!

I’ve been a vegetarian for almost two years and following a vegan diet since 2/18/14. I am still transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, one step closer every day.

I have three yorkies that keep me pretty busy. We are advocates to “spay & neuter” and “adopt don’t shop.”

I look forward to hearing your ideas and suggestions. Feel free to send me an e-email or visit our page on Facebook, Veggie Texas Ranger Fans. Share your pictures and experience with us.