We’ve had 46 American Presidents with varying views and lifestyles. Being a vegetarian I’ve wondered has there ever been a vegetarian president?
There has never been a vegetarian President in the United States Of America. That said we have had vegan Presidental candidates, former presidents that have gone vegan, and one that was nearly a vegetarian while in the white house.
Has There Ever Been A Vegetarian President
As of 2021 we have never had a vegetarian president in office in the United States.
With that said we did have one president that came very close.
Was Thomas Jefferson A Vegetarian President
Thomas Jefferson was known for being a picky eater that leaned towards eating lots of delicious vegetables.
He’s been quoted saying ” I have lived temporarily eating little animal food and that not as an aliment so much as a condiment for the vegetables that constitute for my principal diet.”
Jefferson lived to the ripe old age of 83 years old during a time when the average life expectancy of a man was between 30 and 40 years old. That’s pretty impressive. I have to wonder if his dietary habits played a role in his longevity.
Thomas Jefferson was our third President and wrote our Declaration Of Independence. He lives forever as one of the faces of Mount Rushmore.
Was Benjamin Franklin A Vegetarian
Although he was not a President of the United States, Benjamin Franklin was one of our founding fathers.
Benjamin Franklin was a vegetarian during periods of his life. He learned about the vegetarian diet and the ethics behind it from friends and a man by the name of Thomas Tyron.
Thomas Tyron wrote a book about the vegetarian diet and Ben Franklin at the influential age of 16 decided to follow his advice.
Ben Franklins diet fluctuated throughout life depending on the availability of food.
Are There Any Former Presidents That Have Become Vegetarians
Former President Bill Clinton used to be a meat lover while he was in the White House.
In the early 2000’s Bill Clinton experienced a life threatening heart attack that resulted in quadruple bypass surgery.
After that life altering event he transformed his diet and now considers himself a vegan.
His new vegan diet completely changed his health for the better.
Bill Clinton’s vegan diet has been a topic of debate. Some say he doesn’t follow a strict vegan diet and shouldn’t be using the “vegan” term. Either way, it’s proof that you can make the necessary changes at any point in your life to improve your well-being.
Have Any Vegetarians Run For President
In 2020 a Senator from New Jersey by the name of Cory Booker ran for President.
Cory Booker follows a vegan diet and would’ve been the first vegan President in the White House if he had been elected.
Cory Booker had a very typical transition into a vegan diet. He was inspired by a book written by Gandhi and decided to give the vegetarian diet a chance.
As his body responded well to the vegetarian diet he decided to transition into a vegan diet when he became are of the environmental impacts of animal products.
Cory Booker was not the first vegan candidate for the US Presidency. In the 2008 election Dennis Kucinich a vegan Representative from Ohio and former Cleveland Mayor had an unsuccessful run at the Democratic nomination.
Why Does The President Pardon A Turkey
Every year at Thanksgiving there is a ceremony where one special Turkey is pardoned and is not sent to a dinner table.
A Turkey has been pardoned every year since Harry Truman was in the White House.
How Did The Tradition Of Pardoning A Turkey Begin
There is a story that begins with Abraham Lincoln being sent a live turkey as a gift for Thanksgiving dinner. Abe’s son Tad becomes attached to this turkey even giving the bird a name. When it was time to kill the bird and prepare it for their meal Tad became distraught and burst into a meeting that his father was attending. Abraham Lincoln decided to spare his son’s turkey.
How Are The Pardoned Turkeys Selected
Every year the National Turkey Federation hatches thousands of turkeys to prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday.
In August of every year, the turkeys are evaluated with a handful of pristine turkeys being selected for the “good life” or potential pardoned turkey.
These special turkeys are isolated from the rest and are feed the best food, and are trained to be around people and the environmental conditions that may arise during the pardoning ceremony.
In November, the winner and runner-up are selected. The turkeys who were not chosen meet the same fate as the others.
What Happens To The White House Pardoned Turkeys
The two turkeys that are selected each year make the trip to Washington and get to stay on the top level of the Washington Hotel.
After the ceremony is completed the birds go to their final home at Virginia Tech called Gobblers Rest.
The birds are then cared for by staff and students.
How Would A Vegetarian President Approach The Turkey Pardoning
Personally, I would be interested to see how a Vegetarian President would approach this subject.
Would the President ignore the elephant in the room and just do the ceremony as usual?
Would a vegetarian President use the pardoning as an opportunity to discuss animal cruelty within the framing industry.
I would hope the later but, you’ll never know until it happens.
Is The United States Ready For A Vegetarian President
I believe the United States is ready for a Vegetarian President.
That said if a candidate runs for office with a focus on animal cruelty and passing legislation that would affect the farming industry I think they would have a hard time getting elected.
Are There Any Vegetarian Politicians
There are many Vegetarian or Vegan Politicians currently worldwide.
- Tulsi Gabbard – A US Representative from Hawaii
- Chokwe Antar Lumumba – Mayor Of Jackson, Mississippi
- Eric Adams – State Senator From New York
- Adam Schiff- A US Congressman from California
Have There Ever Been Any Vegetable Gardens Grown At The White House
There have been many vegetable gardens grown on the White House Property.
The first known garden was planted by John and Abigal Adams in 1800. They were able to provide produce for themselves out of that garden instead of buying it at the market.
When Thomas Jefferson entered the White House he expanded on the garden started by John and Abigal Adams with fruit and ornamental trees.
Andrew Jackson had a hothouse built to grow tropical fruit. This hothouse used to stand where the current west wing resides.
A historic and inspirational vegetable garden was planted by Elanor Roosevelt during World War II. This was an extremely difficult time that resulted in many people hungry due to the lack of food. Americans were encouraged to grow their own gardens or community gardens to feed themselves. These gardens became known as victory gardens.
Hillary Clinton had a garden while she was in the White House. Her garden was in an unusual location. It was planted on a rooftop.
Michelle Obama had the largest garden of them all. Her garden blossomed right on the White House lawn.
At this point in history there has not been a complete vegetarian or vegan President in the White House.
I personally would like to see a vegetarian in the White House at some point as long as they are the best candidate for the job.
I would never vote for or against someone based on their dietary habits nor, do I think the dietary preferences of a President would play a big part in their presidency.
What do you think?