PETA vs. Fenway Park

I’m always amazed at what email I get through out the day, especially since starting the blog. I get the usual media alerts and 9 times out of 10, I chuck them. But this one peaked my interest. I don’t remember signing up for the PETA newsletter, but I received emails from them for the last few years and their most recent email stood out.

On Friday, PETA sent out a mass email to their members asking them to contact Red Sox President & CEO, Larry Lucchino, and see if they can persuade Lucchino to  “step up to the plate” and offer more vegetarian options at Fenway Park.

Now, anyone one who knows me – knows I like a good burger and I’m hardly the poster child of a healthy lifestyle. But I’ve had some really good veggie burgers & vegetarian meals over the years and looking over the menu at Fenway Park, there really isn’t many options for vegetarians other than a fruit cup and a bean burritos.

I was lucky to enough to hear from Chris Holbein,  a native New Englander who’s a manager in PETA’s Special Project Division and also a diehard Sox fan, and he said, “Most MLB stadiums have recognized the booming demand for healthy, humane meat-free food and are offering delicious cuisine ranging from veggie dogs to Philly faux steak sandwiches. We hope that Fenway’s management will do the right thing for the numerous vegetarian BoSox fans and offer at least a veggie dog or burger.”

After hearing that, I decided to take a look around and see what other ball parks are doing and the Red Sox organization could learn a lot from the other teams in the MLB.

In PETA’s 2009  Top 10 Vegetarian-Friendly Ballparks list, Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia was #1. Yes, the city of brotherly love and hatred for Santa loves vegetarian food and was actually one of the first parks to embrace a vegetarian menu. On top of the usual treats that one can get at the ball park, Philly fans who are looking for healthy options can pick up veggie “steaks”, Southwestern black bean burgers, salads and faux crab cake to name a few. Also in 2009, the park started offering gluten free options. Who knew Philly had a caring bone in their battery throwing body?

Even the minor league teams are getting on the vegetarian kick. The New Hampshire Fisher Cats serves its fans Portobello mushrooms, veggie burgers and veggie sausages. So what’s the problem, Larry? Why doesn’t American’s Most Beloved Ball Park embrace the healthy menu? When I spoke to Chris Holbein from PETA, I asked what  the response has been when contacting the Sox about adding the vegetarian options to their menu, Holbein replied “We have contacted them in the past and they have been polite but unfortunately haven’t thus far added good hearty meat-free options. Hopefully after hearing from some vegetarian Sox fans they’ll add at least a veggie burger or veggie dog.”

For the record, I did make attempts to get the Red Sox side of the story and I’m still waiting for an answer. *sigh* I think having the other options would be great and financially they’d be stupid not to do it. People are willing to pay more for healthy food and it would be nice to have other options on the menu.

So what do you think? Do you think Fenway should offer more vegetarian options and more importantly will you eat them if they’re there? If you think they should, send Larry an email and who knows, maybe it’ll work.

Follow Cameron Frye on Twitter.


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