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Veggie Dogs

Reprinted from VegNews, April 2002.

In April 2000, vegetarian hot dogs were not available in any Major League Baseball stadiums. Vegetarians and health conscious fans were stuck with little to choose from when attending ball games except peanuts and popcorn. Most would eat before coming to the game or would bring their own snacks.

On June 19, 2000, this started to change. The Chicago White Sox began selling veggie dogs at Comiskey Park. By 2001, six more MLB parks had responded to the growing number of vegetarian requests (the Los Angeles Dodgers, Seattle Mariners, Montreal Expos, Toronto Blue Jays, Oakland Athletics, and Florida Marlins).

The Cincinnati Reds and Houston Astros are the latest confirmed additions to the veggie dog ballpark list. Six more stadiums are expected to reach a decision near the start of the season. This year, Toronto's Sky Dome will offer "Yves at the Dome," the first branded veggie cart at any MLB stadium. It will offer a variety of vegetarian
(mostly vegan) items from Yves Veggie Cuisine and will be situated in the main concourse of the stadium. A variety of Minor League baseball teams are also testing veggie dogs and plan to add them to the 2002 concession menu.

The meatless offering came in response to requests, saidCincinnati Reds team spokesman Mike Vassallo: "People asked for it, and we did it." Among those asking was William Messer, co-chairman of EarthSave Cincinnati, a group that promotes plant-based diets as the most healthy option for people and the planet.

"The hot dog is the great symbol of American baseball,"he said, "but people need choices." Veggie dogs have about half the calories and one-tenth the fat of a regular meat wiener, according to Soy Happy, a Los Angeles group trying to get vegetarian fare in all mainstream public venues.