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.

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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.

 

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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.

GO ROYALS!!

Laura

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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.

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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: 

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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!

 

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Meet Twalla, VH Manager for the TX Rangers

August 14th, 2014
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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.

GO RANGERS!!

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We’ve come a long way

August 5th, 2014

That’s a Twitter post from a San Jose Mercury News reporter at Levi’s Stadium, the new home for the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara, California. To reply or Retweet this, link to his post here.

(The dogs are actually vegan frankfurters from Field Roast.)

Enjoy!

 

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Special dairy-free ice cream coupon for June!

June 10th, 2014

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Sweet Jane’s Frozen Desserts in Astoria, New York is offering Veggie Happy fans a special deal: Get a free second scoop of ice cream with any dairy-free ice cream purchase during the month of June! 

Let us share some of the fabulous dairy free ice cream flavors sold there to date (they change regularly):

Soy based flavors: Papaya, Strawberry Rhubarb Pie, Caramel Swirl, Banana, Gingerbread, Coffee, Mai Tai, Thai Curry, Chai Latte

Almond based flavors: Pure Chocolate

Coconut based flavors: Coconut Basil, Mai Tai

They also make dairy free fudgesicles.

Have we whet your appetite?  The vegan community is all abuzz about this place only one week after its grand opening. Get over there and use your Veggie Happy discount!

Sweet Jane’s is located at 27-17 24th Avenue, Astoria, NY, 11102. Click to link to their Facebook page for hours and more detailed information.

(Note that select, traditional ice cream is also sold there, but the dairy free versions are all made on premises. This coupon is only valid for the dairy-free flavors of ice cream.)

* Print this post to use as your coupon and present it at the store. * 

Enjoy!  

 

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Vegan ice cream shop opens in Astoria, NY

May 28th, 2014

Veggie Happy is thrilled to pass along this news about Sweet Jane’s, a new ice cream shop in Astoria, New York, serving a delectable variety of non-dairy ice creams, all made on premises. (It will also serve traditional, select ice cream.)

Sweet Jane’s invites the public to join the Grand Opening festivities this Saturday, May 31.  Join the fun and tell your friends! Here is Sweet Jane’s press release for more information:


SWEET JANE LOGO
For more information, contact:

Jane McGinn | sweetjanesastoria@gmail.com

Joanna Barber | joannawbarber at gmail.com | 917.549.5415

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Sweet Jane’s Introduces Dairy-Free and Traditional Ice Cream Treats to Astoria

At 120 calories per pop, the Vegan treats bring guiltless indulgence in time for summer

Astoria, NY. May 27, 2014 – A new ice cream shop called Sweet Jane’s Frozen Desserts is now in offering refreshing summer treats in Astoria. The store’s key offerings include dairy-free ice cream and made-on-premise dairy-free fudgesicle pops, along with traditional ice cream and Italian ices. Located at 27-17 24th Avenue, in the heart of Astoria, Queens, Sweet Jane’s fills a void for delicious, sweet and low-calorie summer frozen novelties.

**** GRAND OPENING ALERT: The public is invited to join the Grand Opening festivities on Saturday, May 31, 2014, commencing at 1:00 p.m. Activities will include a ceremonial ribbon cutting with Costa Constantinides, Queens City Councilperson. All guests are invited to try free samples of ice cream. ****

“As a long time Astoria resident, this community is my community and I wanted to bring them the absolute best frozen treats,” said Jane McGinn, Creator and Owner of Sweet Jane’s. “By offering a vegan treat that tastes just as good, if not better, than dairy, my hope is to provide a treat that appeals to both the old-school Astorians and the recent wave of fresh residents who are bringing new vibrancy to the area.”

Sweet Jane’s Frozen Desserts offers the best of both worlds: the goodness of a healthy, environmentally-conscious product and the indulgence of delectable and creamy ice cream in one treat. “I believe we can treat ourselves and indulge ourselves while respecting our world as well,” continued McGinn. “It doesn’t have to be bad for you to taste oh-so-good.”

Fudgesicle flavors will change daily and include: “A Crazy Li’l Thing Called Chocolate,” “Bohemian Raspberry,” “Mellow Mango,” “Rhubarb Strawberry Pie” and “Buzz Me Up Butter Cup.” Along with her dairy-free ice creams, Sweet Jane’s will carry traditional ice cream made with non-rBST milk and organic ingredients. Jane is also developing a line of Italian ices which are High Fructose Corn Syrup-free and will debut in June.

In addition to the desserts, Sweet Jane’s is incorporating a respect and care for the environment into every aspect of the store by using recyclable or recycled serving supplies and green cleaning products. “My paints, cabinets and counter-tops were retrieved at Build it Green, NYC, which provides low cost, salvage surplus building materials,” said McGinn. “My counter-tops were once a bowling alley lane in the Bronx and they have been restored to show the beauty of the wood.”

Sweet Jane’s Frozen Desserts is located at 27-17 24th Avenue in Astoria. For more information and updated flavors, visit Sweet Jane’s Frozen Desserts page on Facebook. Follow Sweet Jane’s on Twitter @sweet_janes, for daily flavor updates.

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About Sweet Jane’s

Founded in 2014, Sweet Jane’s is Astoria’s premiere vegan frozen novelty shop. Featuring propriety flavors and carefully-sourced dairy ice creams, Sweet Jane’s offers a rotating menu and custom creations. Sweet Jane’s first store is located at 27-17 24th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11105.

 

 

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Vegan franks a hit for MLB fans in 2014

April 1st, 2014

We’re proud to have helped make more tasty MLB menu updates possible this season! Here’s a brief summary. (Note that updates are still happening and we’ll have more news and menu additions to share during the next several months, so be sure to check our MLB Venue Vegetarian Guide regularly.)

Many teams/ballparks are following the lead of other parks in offering Field Roast vegan frankfurters (and in many cases, also their handmade vegan burgers, which aren’t yet sold in retail outlets). Parks already offering Field Roast include the San Francisco Giants (A&T Park), Cleveland Indians (Progressive Field) and Seattle Mariners (Safeco Field, which also has a dedicated cart and offers specialty franks). New parks switching over or introducing Field Roast franks this year include the Arizona Diamondbacks (Chase Field has their Italian sausages),  Oakland A’s (O.Co Coliseum), Washington Nationals (Nationals Park), Minnesota Twins (Target Field), and San Diego Padres (Petco Park)… with more likely to follow.

The Field Roast booth at Safeco Field

The Field Roast booth at Safeco Field, section 131

The Washington Nationals’ Nationals Park has a dedicated vegetarian/vegan food cart called “Field of Greens” that offers items including vegan crab cakes, portobello mushroom sandwiches, vegetarian cheese steak, veggie wraps, veggie burgers and more. They are hoping to add vegan frankfurters to the menu there soon, as well.

Nationals Park "Field of Greens" menu board

Nationals Park “Field of Greens” menu board

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field has added Field Roast’s vegan Italian sausage to their menu this year, which is very exciting!  (We highly encourage this sausage because meat eaters also express a real liking for it.) The board has the item listed now as a “veggie dog.” It’s offered with marinara sauce and vegan mozzarella cheese in the in-seat service. If you get it in general concessions, however, it’s not vegan mozzarella, so if you want it vegan, ask for it without the cheese.

Dbacks Veg Dog on menu

Chase Field menu board. It’s actually Field Roast’s vegan Italian sausage.

Let’s not forget all the MLB stadiums that have been selling veggie dogs or frankfurters for a while now, and will continue offering them to their fans. All the MLB teams/stadiums that offer veggie dogs or franks are marked with our veggie happy icon button at the top of the menu listings.

There are only four MLB stadiums left that do not offer fans a vegetarian hot dog: the Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, and quite surprisingly, the New York Yankees. We have helped to facilitate sample tastings for all these stadiums and continue to encourage them. We know it’s just a matter of time, of course. ;)

Fan feedback is really important, whether it’s expressing appreciation for vegetarian/vegan options already on the menu, or requests for an item not yet available to fans, concessionaires and stadium reps take these comments into account when they consider what to keep or what to offer, so take a few minutes to chime in with your own feedback. We make it easy for you by providing contact information with each listing on our guide.

We welcome pix of fans noshing on their fave fare at the ballparks. And please, let us know if you discover anything that we haven’t yet posted about the menus. Sometimes, we’re notified after the fact, so it’s good to have fans in the stands, looking out for us too.

Happy baseball season, everyone!

 

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We helped get vegan franks at the Super Bowl!

February 13th, 2014

Yup!  We did. And that feels pretty darned good. We announced facilitating these vegan options at MetLife Stadium back on Dec.30, 2013 but we didn’t make official announcements about the Super Bowl itself because this was requested from us… and we abided. (The NFL restricts the use of its “Super Bowl” trademark.) After the game, they told us, was more than fine.

We did celebrate the FOX NY media coverage that popped up without any help from us…and we link to that again here.

Cheers!

 

 

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Celebrate Veggie Happy Day (January 10)

January 8th, 2014

Here’s to you on Veggie Happy Day!

Here’s to all the folks who have made a difference on foodservice menus by chiming in with their feedback. And here’s to empowering yourselves to continue. Hip, hip, hooray!

Start now by thinking about your local and frequented venues or food establishments. Are there any that stand out to you for either having a great vegan option that you like to purchase….or for having no viable options at all?

Take the opportunity to celebrate your power on Veggie Happy Day by telling them about your experience. Customer feedback will reinforce the options you already enjoy or help open the door to the options you want.

Note: If you’re a baseball fan, January is the most optimal time to offer menu feedback to the ballparks.

Go to our Veggie Happy Day page for more information and easy venue links.

Remember that you, yes you can make a difference!

 

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