Annual Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cook Off

A vegan bowl of red. Source: mollyjade

I hope you’re hungry for chili this weekend, because Sunday is the 24th Lone Star Vegetarian Chili Cook Off! More than twenty teams will test their mettle by trying to cook the best five gallons of vegan chili ever made. And you’ll get to try each one.

This year’s festival is organized by the duo behind Austin’s Gathering of the Tribe’s potluck, and they’ve made a few changes. There are now two chili categories, All Veg and Traditional (read: fake meaty), as well as the usual People’s Choice award and recognition for the chili that best exemplifies the Engine 2 Diet principles. Lots of awards to go around!

Besides the usual chili cook off, there’s also a speed chili contest sponsored by Upton’s Naturals and Le Creuset. The winner of this contest will leave with Le Creuset cookware.

In the judges’ booth, you’ll see a few vegan celebrities, including Austin’s Lazy Smurf, the blogger behind Will Travel for Vegan Food, and Rob Franco, coowner of Arlo’s.

The cook off is back in its former location, the Burnet Road Farmers’ Market (formerly Travis County Farmers’ Market) on Sunday, November 11, from noon to 4 PM.

Will Travel for Vegan Food in Texas

Neener neener people who joke that you can’t be vegan in Texas!

“According to, a veg restaurant resource website, New York City has the greatest number of all-vegan restaurants in the world. While NYC remains the forerunner in this category, through my multistep research plan to find vegan food in each state, I’ve come to learn that Texas houses more than 50 vegan, and an even greater number of vegan-friendly restaurants. Particularly in Houston and Austin where there is a combined 30-plus vegan restaurants. I’ve never been to Texas so I am looking forward to explore this surprising and growing vegan hub,” said [Kristin] Lajeunesse. (emphasis mine) [Source] 

Lone Star Plate was started in 2009 by a group of Texans who wanted to show that, yes, you can be vegan in Texas. Does this mean it’s time for the blog to retire?

You can follow Kristin Lajeunesse’s travels through Texas and beyond at her website.

Animal Issues in Texas

By now you’ve surely heard about the pig slaughterhouse in Dallas that was dumping pig blood into a creek in a residential neighborhood via an underground pipe. This very serious violation was discovered by an amateur drone pilot. Really.

Apparently the blood is noticeable from Google Map images of the area. It’s amazing to think such a flagrant violation went on for so long unnoticed.  If the meatpacking plant cares so little for environmental regulations, you can imagine how they must treat the animals and their employees. The plant immediately responded by closing down.


Last night, 60 Minutes did a segment on exotic animal “ranches” in Texas where animals from Africa are kept and selectively hunted for a huge amount of money. Priscilla Ferral from Friends of Animals gives the animal rights perspective in the link below:

Priscilla Ferral on 60 Minutes