March 18 2013 12:00 AM

PETA names Cooley Law School Stadium a top 10 vegetarian-friendly ballpark

Friday, May 20 — Eating hot dogs at a baseball game is about as common in American culture as eating turkey on Thanksgiving. Traditional? yes. Vegetarian-friendly? No.

The prevalence of vegetarian diets is growing and now ballparks across the country are accommodating fans who don’t eat meat. Some places are doing it better than others. Case in point: Cooley Law School Stadium, home of the Lansing Lugnuts.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals rated Cooley Law School Stadium in the top 10 “Vegetarian-Friendly Ballparks” in minor league baseball.

“We are very excited to have Cooley Law School Stadium included in PETA’s top 10 vegetarian friendly ballparks this year. We try very hard to make sure that a variety of food options are offered at the ballpark so that we can accommodate as many fans as possible,” said Brett Telder, director of food and beverage at the stadium. “The fact that PETA recognized our efforts this year is a great compliment for us.”

This is the first time the ballpark made the list, which started 10 years ago in response to the growing demand for vegetarian food options, said Pulin Modi, PETA action team manager. PETA ranks the top 10 major and minor league ballparks throughout the country.

“I think one of the reasons we like it (the list) is because baseball is this all-American sport. The fact that so many athletes are looking to eat more vegetarian and the concern with the humane treatment of animals, all those things together seem like a great thing for fans and to commend ballparks,” Modi said.

Cooley concession stands offer a range of vegetarian options. Some items include a meatless burrito, a veggie burger, roasted corn on the cob, three varieties of hummus with pita chips, taco salad, vegetarian baked beans and a vegetable tray.

“The vegetarian options are not our most popular menu items, but the amount of fans ordering these items is definitely a growing segment,” Telder said. “Eating at the ballpark is a big part of the overall game experience, so it’s important for us to offer great choices for our vegetarian fans.”

Modi said making the list is fairly competitive. PETA compares and contrasts several major and minor league baseball stadiums before making a selection of what stadiums to include on the list. Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, has been in the top five of the major league list for the past two years.

Other stadiums on the minor league list include Hammond Stadium in Florida, home of the Fort Myers Miracle; Frontier Field in New York, home of the Rochester Red Wings; and Municipal Stadium in Maryland, home of the Hagerstown Suns.

Click here
to see the full list of minor league ballparks.