Wednesday, November 14, 2007

34 Colleges and Universities Nationwide Join College Veg Pledge Day

Excellent to see this kind of support in the colleges and universities. As you’ll read below, the options were much better than in the past.


Veggie-based promises dominate dining

Penn joins 34 other schools in night of vegan-only meals at Kings Court Dining Hall

Helen Yoon

Pizza was a little different yesterday at Kings Court/English College House.

On the standard college staple, the cheese, pepperoni and sausage were replaced with non-dairy products like soy cheese, soy meat and layers of vegetables.

That dish was part of the dining hall's bi-annual entirely vegan dinner last night, in celebration of College Veg Pledge Day.

The event was sponsored by the Penn Students for Animal Rights, a coalition of college animal-rights groups. PSAR obtained 89 signatures from students who agreed to abstain from eating meat for a day.

The aim of the day is to raise awareness of vegetarianism and stimulate students to think about it.

"There's a lot [of vegetarian options] out there and they're good," said College senior Heather Gorn, president of PSAR.

"It's not the goal of the pledge to reach x number of vegetarians," Gorn said. Rather, student groups are out to spread the truth about the consequences of eating meat.

And reasons to turn vegetarian involve more than just ethical ones.

Meat consumption is also one of the top three causes of pollution, Gorn said.

For example, the greenhouse gas methane comes from cows and contributes to global warming. And when an unnaturally large number of cows are raised for food, it creates a serious problem.

To commemorate the day, 34 other participating schools hosted similar events.

Princeton University threw a vegan dessert party, serving vegan hot chocolate and catered desserts from Zen Palate, a vegetarian restaurant.

"We want to show that [eating vegetarian] is actually doable," said Princeton junior Jenny Palmer, who is the president of the Princeton Animal Welfare Society.

But because the dining halls serving vegetarian and vegan entrees everyday, vegetarianism is nothing new at Penn.

In fact, Penn is one of the more vegetarian-friendly campuses in the country.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals recently nominated the University for their 2007 ranking of schools with quality vegetarian and vegan food available. Penn earned ninth place on the same list last year.

A lot of the credit for that goes to Penn Dining.

"Penn Dining is fantastic," Gorn said. "They are very willing to accommodate vegetarians and vegans."

Food served at the dinner included crispy fried tofu and sauteed vegetables.

Although some students turned away at the prospect of meat-free entrees, most students enjoyed the dinner nonetheless.

"As long as it's good, I don't care," Engineering freshman Eyas Mahmoud said.

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