Many stadiums, including the Orioles’ Spring Training home, are becoming more vegan-friendly!
Hey, sports fans! I’m Heather Moore, the new volunteer VeggieHappy Manager for the Baltimore Orioles. I’ve been following the O’s my whole life, and I think they’ve been “following” me, too—although that’s probably just a coincidence. I was born in B’more, and I moved to Norfolk, Virginia, with PETA, the organization where I now work, in 1996. Soon after that, the O’s announced that their Triple-A team was going to play in Norfolk, about 10 minutes from my apartment. Years later, when I was considering moving to Sarasota, Florida, the O’s announced that they were going to hold Spring Training at Ed Smith Stadium, which happens to be about 10 minutes from the house I ended up buying. Clearly, I was meant to get Spring Training season tickets.
Since I’ve been vegan for 25 years, I’m just as interested in the options in the concession stands as I am in the action on the field. When I went to buy the tickets, I told the salesperson that I was hoping for more veg options in the concession stands, because in 2010, there wasn’t much other than popcorn, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks. The season ticket salesperson said he’d pass my request on, and apparently he did, because the next year, Ed Smith Stadium had veggie burgers, which I bought at every single home game. I haven’t missed a game in eight years—but I tend to go for the veggie dogs now, which they added to the lineup two seasons ago. The main café has hummus now, too.
This past March, veggie burgers and veggie dogs were available to all of the fans at the season ticket holder special event at Ed Smith Stadium. Previously, the O’s staff would bring me a specially prepared vegan meal, but I usually had to request it. They were always friendly and accommodating, but it’s more exciting now that veg options are automatically available to everyone in attendance.
That’s one of the reasons why I volunteered to be the VeggieHappy Manager for the Orioles. I figure Buck Showalter already has his hands full managing the team, so I should help out by making sure that the fans have access to veggie options. I’m looking forward to working with the O’s food service staff—as well as other O’s fans—to get even more vegan fare at O’s stadiums.
Many ballparks, including Minor League and spring training stadiums, will offer vegan options if the fans simply express interest.
As the VeggieHappy Venue Vegetarian Guide shows, many ballparks now offer a variety of vegan options, thanks to feedback from VeggieHappy and fans who enjoy tasty, animal-friendly fare at the stadium. It only makes sense for stadiums to offer meat-free fare, considering that MLB partners with Stand Up to Cancer and many of the foods traditionally sold in baseball stadiums—like hot dogs and hamburgers—can cause cancer.
Humane and health-conscious fans can opt for veggie burgers and veggie dogs at most stadiums, and some—including Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.; Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park; Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles; and the Minnesota Twins’ Target Field—have even scored spots on PETA’s popular list of veg-friendly ballparks.
I can’t spoil the surprise just yet, but PETA’s 2017 list of top 10 vegan-friendly MLB stadiums will be released soon, and it’s even more exciting than the Opening Day extra inning walk-off home run by O’s DH Mark Trumbo! (Note from VeggieHappy: PETA’s list considers options available in suites, catering, and clubs, in addition to general concessions. Menu listings in the Venue Vegetarian Guide are focused on general concessions.)
Stay tuned—or as O’s centerfielder Adam Jones says, stay hungry! Oh, and O’s fans, you can always contact the Orioles to let them know how much you enjoy meat-free meals and would love to see even more vegan options at all of the Orioles’ stadiums.
Heather Moore is the new volunteer VeggieHappy Manager for the Baltimore Orioles. She’s a lifelong O’s fan, a seasoned vegan, and a staff writer for the PETA Foundation. She can be reached at HeatherM@petaf.org or at 941-330-6430 (call or text) if you have questions or want to help get more vegan options at O’s stadiums.