Veg Celebrities

Andy Jacobs – A Giant has passed

Andy JacobsWhile celebrating all the gains made by vegetarians during the past year, we should always remember that our accomplishments are in no small way due to the groundbreaking work of those who came before us and set the stage for progress. Much of the credit belongs to them. We stand on the shoulders of giants. Sadly, one of those giants has just passed away. Congressman Andy Jacobs was the first congressman to publicly come out as a vegetarian in the 20th century.

In 1970, the 6-foot-3 Mr. Jacobs became a vegetarian, choosing what he called a “cruelty-free diet.” While initially motivated by compassion for animals, he later adopted the health cause as well. In a 1977 Vegetarian Times interview he said, “The leanest steak has fat and grease. You’re putting grease in your body that you wouldn’t pour down your kitchen sink.”

Years before vegetarianism became widely accepted, Jacobs ate no meat and did not wear leather. “He couldn’t stand, in any way, suffering to other creatures,” said John Krull, a longtime acquaintance, director of the Pulliam School of Journalism at Franklin College. That meant that at rubber chicken political dinners, Jacobs would often “just eat the vegetables,” said Bill Crawford, a former longtime member of the Indiana House of Representatives, who like Jacobs, is a vegetarian.

Andy was a United States Marine who fought and was wounded in the Korean War. He died on December 28, 2013 at his home in Indianapolis, aged 81. He is survived by his wife, Kim Jacobs, and two sons. But, he lived to see the founding of the first ever Vegetarian Congressional Caucus. This giant will be missed but never forgotten.


About Vegetarians of Washington

Vegetarians of Washington is a large non-profit vegetarian society based in Seattle, WA. We encourage people to discover the advantages and experience the pleasures of vegetarian food. We welcome everyone, whether you're an experienced vegetarian, a beginner or just curious. You don't have to be a vegetarian to join our organization, or to follow our blog! We run the largest vegetarian food festival in the country, Seattle's Vegfest, held in the Seattle Center in March each year. We also host monthly dining events and give free nutrition and cooking classes. We've written several nationally published books, including our latest book "In Pursuit of Great Food: A Plant-based shopping guide", which provides valuable information on what to buy and how to choose great food. Our other books include "Say No to Meat" which gives the information and real-world advice that new vegetarians need the most, in an easy question-and-answer style, the fact-filled "The Vegetarian Solution", and a wide range of delicious recipes in "The Veg-Feasting Cookbook". All our books are available in local bookstores, and via our website or


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