The Pensacola Vegetarian Society was organized in 1996.

We have monthly potlucks to bring people together who are vegetarian, want to become vegetarian, or just want to find out how to prepare healthier dishes.  The Vegetarian/Vegan Potluck is normally scheduled the third Saturday of the month.  The Raw Potluck is normally scheduled the first Saturday of the month.  In December we usually combine the potlucks and hold one potluck on the second Saturday of the month.

A Bit of History

April 1997 - Earth Day Celebrations

The Pensacola Vegetarian Society participated in the Earth Day Celebrations in April of 1997.  The Pensacola News Journal wrote an article titled Visit Natural Foods Court by J.  Lowe Davis.  “The Earth Day celebration all day Saturday in Seville Square will include plenty of food - earth-friendly food, of course.  Visitors to the Emerald City Eco-Village in Seville Square will find the Earth Care Cafe, which is sort of  a natural foods court near the center of the square.  The 1997 Earth Day theme ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ focuses on ways to adapt earth-friendly ideas to daily life, and the food court will offer choices that illustrate how you can eat well without depleting the Earth’s resources.  The Menu for the Earth Care Cafe offers:

  • Veggie burgers from the University of West Florida Humane Association.
  • Smoothies, tempeh salad, tofu pate, and hummus sandwiches from Naturally Delicious.
  • Tabouli and salads - Mediterranean, pasta, roasted veggies - from Breezes.
  • Twelve-bean soup with rice from Ever’man Natural Foods.
  • Coffee coolers and flavored coffees from Barnie’s.
  • Carob chip cookies, sandtarts, walnut pie, and herbal iced tea from the Pensacola Vegetarian Society.


October 1997 - Alternative Health Fair

The Pensacola Vegetarian Society participated in Ever’man Natural Foods Pensacola Alternative Health Fair on Saturday October 18, 1997.  It was held at the Pensacola Garden Center from 12:00 PM to 5:00 PM.

November 1997 - Turkeyless Thanksgiving

In November of 1997 the Pensacola News Journal wrote an article titled “Share a Turkey-less Thanksgiving.  The Pensacola Vegetarian Society and Gulf Coast Environmental Defense are cooking up  a vegetarian feast for anyone wanting to enjoy Thanksgiving without the meat.  The feast organizers invite Pensacolians to share the meatless holiday meal and consider the health, environmental and other benefits of vegetarianism.  The dinner will be at 6:15 PM Saturday in the Unity Church Basement Hall, 716 N. Ninth Ave.  Admission is $5 for adults and $2.50 for children.

A vegetarian Thanksgiving includes all the usual holiday dishes, including dressing, cranberries, hot apple cider, breads and desserts.  ‘No Turkey’ is the substitute turkey made from vegetable proteins and flavorings.  Vegetarian Society President, Brian Donlon will speak on  ‘How Do You Save the Environment? - Just Eat Your Veggies’”  People who attend are asked to bring a vegetarian side dish or nutritious beverage with a list of exact ingredients.”


November 1997 - Easy to Go Meatless for Thanksgiving

The Tuesday, November 13, 1997 edition of the Pensacola News Journal also had an article by Christian Wagley on “The Vegetarian Society makes it easy to go meatless this Thanksgiving.  The Pensacola Vegetarian Society is using a Thanksgiving meal to show how our diets can be tasty, healthy and better for the environment if we go meatless.  The Environmentally Sound Thanksgiving Potluck Dinner includes traditional Thanksgiving fare like dressing, cranberries, hot apple cider, breads and pumpkin pie.  But the main course is a ‘no turkey’ turkey made from a wheat-based product called seitan and a blend of herbs and spices.

There are many benefits to being a vegetarian - not only health benefits but also environmental benefits said Vegetarian Society President Brian Donlon.  It requires more energy and resources to support a meat based diet compared to that of a vegetarian, a message Donlon will send in a post dinner speech on the connection between the environment and what we eat.  For example, feeding the average vegetarian requires only about a fourth as much energy as it does to feed someone eating a 30 percent animal-based diet, said Donlon.  Raising chickens, cows and other livestock requires large amounts of water and energy.  Many tons of grain are needed to produce even small amounts of meat.  If more people were vegetarian, he said the earth could feed more people with less pollution.  The vegetarian diet is the most effective way to achieve a sustainable life on earth, he said.

While eating low on the food chain might be better for the environment, how do you make a ‘turkey’ with no turkey?  Bonnie Bayly, a gourmet vegetarian caterer who will prepare the ‘turkey’, has the answer.  Stuffing is made with traditional bread crumbs and celery.  Seiten, a wheat-based product, is layered over the stuffing and covered in filo dough, which gives the ‘no turkey’ turkey a smooth finish and a brown color when baked.  It is almost the texture of chicken or turkey, it’s similar in color and it tastes like turkey, she said.  ‘Vegetarian food never tasted so good.’  The gravy is made from a mix of spices and miso, a soy-bean paste common in Japanese cuisine.

You do not have to be a vegetarian to attend the dinner.  Donlon estimates that more than half the group’s 50 members are not strict vegetarians, though they enjoy meatless meals most of the time.  Those who attend are asked to bring a vegetarian dish to share and the recipe on a 3×5 card.”