Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Chelsea Clinton's (Mostly) Vegan Wedding

One of the biggest weddings of the season is coming up - Chelsea Clinton will be marrying her long-time boyfriend and investment banker Marc Mezvinsky. The wedding will be held on an estate in Rhinebeck, New York later this year.  The menu will be almost entirely vegan.

An insider recently told Life & Style magazine, “Chelsea is a vegan. The food will include vegan, and gluten-free dishes, but there will also be grass-fed organic beef on the menu.”

Besides eating a totally plant-based diet, Clinton is also allergic to gluten and will, therefore, be choosing a gluten-free, vegan wedding cake for the big day.

According to the Vegetarian Star, Chelsea has been cutting meat and dairy since childhood — and leaned on White House chefs to help in preparing her vegan meals.
"Before Chelsea Clinton went off to Stanford, Hillary asked the White House cooking staff to teach her daughter how to prepare delicious vegan meals. But this was more than just a weekend of 'helpful hints'. Chelsea spent an entire six weeks learning the craft and upon completion, she received a Walter Scheib Cooking School certificate."
While it's disappointing to hear that there will be meat served, the focus will definitely be on the vegan fare. In an ideal world, we would have the whole wedding be green, eco-friendly, vegan and all natural.  As someone pointed out, however, it takes compromise to make a wedding (and marriage) last so we applaud her for at least making veganism a part of her special day.

Vegan, mostly vegan or not vegan at all? Weigh in on what you think!

Photo Credit: Natalie Maynor


  1. No, Chelsea's wedding is not in any way going to be vegan. They are serving beef at the wedding. Please, please stop watering down veganism to include anything with a vegetable in the vicinity. This in not in any way a vegan wedding. This is a wedding at which a vegan guest won't have to go hungry.

  2. So the wedding "is vegan" because some of the food is vegan? By that rationale, every wedding I've ever been to has been vegan because there has always been *something* vegan, even if it was just some water and celery sticks. Heck, even barbecues often have potato chips and some of those are vegan.

    I think it's great if she is vegan, but that is hardly a vegan wedding and I think it's sad that it won't be.

  3. I think that there are 2 ways to look at veganism, extremist and moderates. While both are vegan, the moderates have the sense to realize that with any movement, there has to be incentive for others to follow.

    Chelsea's wedding, although the menu contains food for those who aren't vegan, is being promoted on a big scale as such. I think that extreme vegans need to stop whining that the wedding isn't totally meat-free and start celebrating the fact that veganism has a high-profile and powerful public face rather than hippies on a farm!

  4. So, it's "extreme" to point out that a "vegan" wedding isn't when there's beef being served? I guess your "moderates" don't mind if anything is called vegan (let alone actually vegan) so long as the word is super trendy like "all natural" and "organic".

    Trust me, I'm well aware that most weddings aren't at all vegan and, while I wish they were, I'm not "whining" that there's meat there, I'm complaining that the wedding is being misrepresented as something it's not and the writer of this piece should know better.

    We don't need "high-profile and powerful public faces" if it's going to lead to further confusion about what veganism is. And it's not just having a dairy and egg free wedding cake or some vegetarian entrees. Veganism is against animal exploitation, period.

  5. "Veganism is against animal exploitation, period."

    Agreed. And it is also about a healthier lifestyle, and preventing harm to the environment. What do you think of this on CNN - http://www.allnaturale.org/2010/07/cnn-talks-about-benefits-of-vegan-diet.html

  6. @Ven

    Plant-based diets can be very healthy when done right, but veganism itself isn't a diet and the health effects are side effects for us. I don't believe that someone who eats lots of vegan fudge and cupcakes is less vegan than someone who doesn't. Neither is it about preventing harm "to the environment" as some sort of abstract. Because we care about other animals (including human animals), we should be mindful of the indirect effects that our choices have and that can often be seen as being "eco-friendly".

  7. Meg, check this out - the debate (for some reason?) is continued. - http://www.allnaturale.org/2010/08/should-vegans-serve-meat-at-weddings.html

    Veganism is a philosophy and lifestyle whose adherents seek to exclude the use of animals for food, clothing, or any other purpose.[1][2] Vegans endeavor not to use or consume animal products of any kind.[3] The most common reasons for becoming a vegan are human health, ethical commitment or moral conviction concerning animal rights or welfare, the environment, and spiritual or religious concerns.[2][4][5] Of particular concern to many vegans are the practices involved in factory farming and animal testing, and the intensive use of land and other resources for animal farming.

  8. Again, health and environment are secondary, more like side effects.

    And don't trust Wikipedia as a source on veganism.

    From The Vegan Society: "Veganism is a way of living that seeks to exclude, as far as possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing and any other purpose."

    They are the ones that actually came up with the term (the founder, Donald Watson, to be specific).

    Veganism has always been about avoiding cruelty and exploitation to animals, first and foremost.

    I've yet to find a true vegan (i.e. not just someone eating a vegan diet, but an actual vegan) that was actually just doing it for their health. There's no reason to give up stuff like leather and silk and beeswax and lanolin if it's just for one's health. Neither will you find a consistent vegan who is just doing it for "the environment".

    Also, from "Veganism Defined" (1951, by to VP of The Vegan Society):

    "One may become a vegetarian for a variety of reasons - humanitarian, health, or mere preference for such a diet; The principle is a smatter of personal feeling, and varies accordingly. Veganism, however, is a principle - that man has no right to exploit the creatures for his own ends - and no variation occurs. "
    - http://veganmeans.com/vegan_who/VEGANISM_DEFINED.htm

    No talk about veganism for one's health or the environment there!

    In any case, turns out that even her wedding cake wasn't vegan. It had eggs. So, I wonder now if she is even vegan or just one of the many "sometimes I don't eat dairy or eggs, but sometimes I do" celebrity vegetarians.