By Heather Moore
Animal-friendly baseball fans don't have to settle for popcorn, peanuts, and cracker jacks anymore. They can score veggie dogs, faux steak sandwiches, and vegan versions of other stadium favorites at many big-league ballparks. Check out PETA's list of the top 10 vegetarian-friendly major-league ballparks of 2010 to see where your team ranks in the standings:
1) Citizens Bank Park (Philadelphia Phillies)
It's hard to say whether the Phils' biggest off-season acquisition was ace Roy Halladay or the new faux chicken sandwich and vegan rice crispie treats offered at concession stands. Added to other meat-free fare, including veggie burgers, Southwestern black-bean burgers, veggie dogs, faux steak sandwiches, veggie chicken steaks, mock crab cakes, hummus and pita chips, and fresh fruit, Citizens Bank Park is the first undisputed dynasty in the history of PETA's prestigious rankings.
2) AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants)
Vegetarian meals are flying off AT&T Park's concessions stands faster than a Tim Lincecum fastball. Meat-free Giants fans can power up with a protein-packed veggie dog or Gardenburger along with a brand-new mixed vegetable sandwich, a portobello mushroom sandwich, a California roll, a vegetable roll, vegetable burritos and tamales, a broccoli tofu platter, vegetable chow fun, and more.
3) Minute Maid Park (Houston Astros)
Carlos Lee might be coming up empty at the plate, but fans are loading their plates with veggie burritos, quinoa tabbouleh, and sun-dried tomato rigatoni, all new for the 2010 season. Minute Maid Park also serves up hearty veggie dogs, Thai noodle salad, hummus and vegetable wraps, vegetarian sushi, fruit smoothies, rice and beans, and organic baby-vegetable ratatouille.
4) Comerica Park (Detroit Tigers)
Jeremy Bonderman is healthy once again, and Tigers fans can be, too, by putting down the fatty hot dogs and choosing one of Comerica Park's delicious, nutritious vegetarian options, including black-bean burgers, vegetable fried rice, and a hummus plate as well as veteran favorites such as veggie burgers, veggie dogs, and vegetarian taco salads, stir-fries, and sushi.
5) Coors Field (Colorado Rockies)
It used to be that finding satisfying vegetarian food at ballparks was harder than spelling "Tulowitzki," but nowadays smart folks—like the concessions staff at Coors Field—are responding in a big way to the booming demand for humane, healthy meat-free ballpark fare. Rockies fans can chow down on veggie burgers, dogs, wraps, burritos, kabobs, and paninis as well as fresh salads and fruit, roasted portobello sandwiches, and made-to-order potato skins.
6) Turner Field (Atlanta Braves)
With the arrival of Jason Heyward, the Braves' future is looking bright, and fans can make sure that they're around to enjoy it by going vegetarian and slashing their risk of heart attack, cancer, and diabetes. Turner Field now has everything from veggie dogs and meatless tacos and burritos to baked beans, Asian noodles, and organic zucchini dip.
7) PETCO Park (San Diego Padres)
PETA is not a fan of PETCO—the massive corporate giant that buys animals from abusive factory farms that PETA has exposed over and over again—but we're cheering for all the animal-free options at the Padres' stadium. With veggie burgers and veggie dogs, vegetarian sushi rolls, roasted corn, vegetarian burritos, and hummus and vegetables, there's plenty of good eats for animal-friendly fans to enjoy.
8) Angel Stadium (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)
No matter what the team is called, fans can agree that Angel Stadium is heavenly for vegetarians. The stadium has an all-star lineup of vegetarian options, including veggie Chicago dogs, edamame, Gardenburgers, California cucumber rolls, veggie paninis, bean burritos, roasted vegetable sandwiches, and more.
9) Miller Park (Milwaukee Brewers)
Vegetarian slugger and reigning Home Run Derby champ Prince Fielder is proof that players don't need to eat meat to go yard, and fans of the Brew Crew don't need to go far to find great-tasting meatless meals. The stadium sells veggie dogs, veggie wraps, baked potatoes, made-to-order pasta, build-your-own burritos, portobello mushroom focaccia sandwiches, and other vegetarian foods.
10) (tie) Target Field (Minnesota Twins)
With vegan pitcher Pat Neshek back soon, Kirby the Kestrel on the foul pole, and veggie dogs, veggie burgers, veggie burritos and tacos, fruit kabobs, and other vegetarian items in the concession stands, the new Target Field is a pretty animal-friendly place.
10) (tie) Progressive Field (Cleveland Indians)
The Indians haven't gained much ground this season, but Progressive Field has shown that it's pretty, well … progressive. The stadium has expanded its roster to include veggie dogs, veggie subs, wild grain and tofu curry, and veggie pasta in addition to veggie wraps, fruit cups, and roasted vegetables.
Continue reading for the honorable mentions.
Players will tell you that winning is the only thing that matters, but there's really no shame in receiving an honorable mention. These stadiums definitely have something to play for in 2011:
-- Fenway Park (Boston Red Sox)
Red Sox Nation can enjoy veggie burgers, veggie dogs, veggie burritos, fruit cups, smoothies, hummus and crackers, and other vegetarian options while they're at Wally's house.
-- U.S. Cellular Field (Chicago White Sox)
President Obama and other ChiSox fans can enjoy veggie dogs, veggie burgers, made-to-order vegetarian burritos, vegetable wraps, char-roasted vegetables, crispy chickpeas, and other veggie foods while they're watching Ozzie Guillen get tossed.
-- Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (Oakland Athletics)
Along with an extremely large amount of foul territory, Oakland Coliseum has veggie burgers, veggie dogs, bean burritos, baked potatoes, and other vegetarian options.
-- Dodger Stadium (Los Angeles Dodgers)
With vegetarian fans such as Alyssa Milano attending the games, it's no surprise that Dodger Stadium serves veggie burgers, veggie dogs, cucumber rolls, vegetable wraps, char-roasted vegetables, crispy chickpeas, and other plant-based foods. There's even a healthy meat-free kids' meal for the little-league sluggers.
-- PNC Park (Pittsburgh Pirates)
The Bucs offer veggie burgers, veggie wraps, hoagies, pasta primavera, and a variety of other vegetarian sandwiches, stir-fries, and side dishes.
-- Safeco Field (Seattle Mariners)
The M's aren't faring well this season, but fans have plenty of reasons to go to the ballpark: Gardenburgers, veggie dogs, vegetable primavera pasta bowls, vegetarian gyros, hummus, organic smoothies, vegan soup, Greek salad, fresh fruit, and more.
Check out the vegetarian options available at minor-league stadiums too.
Thanks to Johanna McCloy and Soy Happy for their hard work in getting vegetarian items added to menus at ballparks nationwide!