Your Voice | Veganism: sweeping the nation


Students pressure is compelling universities to provide more vegan options on campus




I am writing in response to Yessenia Gutierrez’s article. It is no surprise that demand for vegan food is sweeping campuses across the country.

A Bon Appétit poll taken in 2006 and then again in 2010 showed that the number of college vegans doubled in that four-year period and that the number of vegetarians rose by 50 percent. Schools should definitely be paying attention to what their students are demanding.

In 2011, the University of North Texas (UNT) opened Mean Greens — the nation’s first all-vegan dining hall — and UNT Dining saw voluntary meal plan sales rise by 30 percent. According to Foodservice Equipment and Supplies, “Once-skeptical administrators have come around and fully support the project, in part because of its obvious success and in part because it’s proving to be a draw not only for current students but for prospective students, as well.”

UNT Executive Director of Dining Bill McNeace said, “As at most schools, we have students who frequently give tours to prospective students and they report that when a lot of those kids hear about Mean Greens their eyes light up and they get excited about it.”

From the smallest community colleges to the largest state schools, vegan options — including some great options at the University of Pennsylvania — are everywhere nowadays as a direct result of student pressure.

The Penn Vegan Society is currently rallying support for an all-vegan dining hall on campus to keep Penn on the cutting edge. Interested readers should contact the Penn Vegan Society to join the campaign, and visit peta2.com for a free vegetarian/vegan starter kit.

Kenneth Montville is the college campaigns assistant for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. His email address is KennethM@peta2.com.

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