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It will soon be the year of national elections (2024), and we need to be ready. Once you have a ballot in hand, you will probably see five options for president, each representing a particular political party: Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Green, and Constitutional.

But what happens if there is no party that represents a candidate that you like? I believe that we need another party, one that truly represents our once-great American nation, and that party should be the VEGGIE party. You will soon realize why once I outline our (I speak as a vegetable) platform.

Every party has a platform, which is a “raised level surface on which people or things can stand.” In this case, it will be “things,” although we vegetables are alive and have feelings. Haven’t you ever felt “rotten as a tomato,” or “bright as a peach”?

A plank is “a long, thin, flat piece of timber” that is the fundamental position of a political party. It is also often used as a sidewall for raised gardens, which brings me to my Veggie (get used to saying that word) pledges:

  1. We promise that every home will have a vegetable garden. America was built on topsoil, and it is the most underused and overpriced ingredient sold at stores like Walmart. We promise that gardens will become so common that future generations will have to be told the meaning of words like “cement” and “asphalt.” Two of our slogans will be “It takes a garden to raise a vegetable” and “No vegetable left behind.”

  2. We promise that every vegetable will be represented and that minority ones like kale, rutabaga, and spinach will be given every opportunity to grow to their full potential. Of course, staples like potatoes and corn will always be a solid plank on the Veggie platform because they symbolize the great vegetable farmers on our planet.

  3. We promise that our children will receive free copies of “Veggie Tales,” and that they will be given free apples and turnips at school. But “why turnips?” you may ask. Because turnips are one of the most neglected of all vegetables, except perhaps for beetroot and sour cabbage. Children will learn to love turnips because we will put a small gummy in each one given out at school.

  4. We promise that we will allow vegetables to grow sideways. Our culture has learned to grow them upside down and right side up, but not sideways. However, it has been proven by veggie-ologists that some vegetables prefer to grow differently than the prescribed, standard way, and that we should let them grow however way they wish.

  5. We promise to abolish all greenhouses. These veritable prisons cook the skins and wilt the leaves of many vegetables. It is undemocratic and unconstitutional to imprison any vegetable in such hothouses. We also promise to recycle the glass from greenhouses.

  6. We promise universal care for any ailing vegetable, including free transportation in government-owned wheelbarrows to bulb, stem, leaf, and tuber hospitals that will be established within a mile of any garden. Infusions of broccoli juice, as well as soybean vitamins will be available. No vegetable with a preexisting condition—like that of mushrooms, okra, or pumpkin—will be without affordable medical care.

  7. We promise that no vegetable will be embalmed or cremated. All old vegetables will be gathered in buckets and metamorphized as compost, helping new veggies to thrive and survive.

  8. We promise to promote raw vegetable consumption and digestion. It has been proven by science and Reader’s Digest that cooking a vegetable changes its essence—the very core beliefs that are inherent in its structure.

  9. We, therefore, promise to stop vegetable mutilation. No more mashing of potatoes, peeling of onions, husking corn, dicing, slicing, tossing, splitting, melting, frying, baking, blending, boiling, steaming, skinning, carving, canning, or otherwise disfiguring veggies. Punishment will be working five months at a sushi farm or in an oyster bed.

  10. We promise that the very soul of our civilization—vegetable growth and care—will be re-established throughout our nation. Edible flowers will be optional, but available to plant along the border of any garden. All vegetables will be equal, although, as someone once said, “Some will be more equal than others.” Immigrant vegetables, like Irish potatoes and Dutch stamppot, have already been part of our past.

  11. We promise that in the next 20 years, we will grow vegetables on the moon and Mars. Our platform includes a new “Veggies in Space” floorboard which will allow all future immigrants and aliens to eat aloft without needing green cards or Visas.

  12. Finally, the Veggie party promises to develop a vaccine that will make the sight of meat revolting. Animals will be safe to grow freely and roam anywhere, except in gardens. One exception may be cats, which seem to be natural predators of vegetables. In addition, we promise that all vegetables will be allowed to carry peelers for protection in Texas.

Farl Kranklin, for The Vegetarian National Committee Waco, Texas June, 2023

Note: no actual vegetable has been harmed during the writing of this essay.

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