Penn may be the most vegan-friendly campus in America, according to an annual People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals competition.

Animal rights group PETA’s youth division, peta2, conducts a survey each year to determine which American college or university has the most vegan options. Penn, one of 32 schools nominated, advanced to the second round Tuesday in the large-campus division.

The bracket tournament-style competition will announce its winner on November 21. The criteria include the number of votes received via Facebook “likes,” the variety and quality of vegan options, the school’s enthusiasm in promoting vegan options and student feedback.

The competition, according to peta2 Tour Supervisor Paige Snyder, “celebrates [the schools] for providing vegan options.” Snyder believes that “being vegan is the best thing you can do for your health, for the environment, and for the animals.”

According to the peta2 website, Penn’s nomination is largely due to the vegan Daiya cheese pizzas, cranberry scones and carob-chip banana squares. While the Kings Court English College House dining hall offers the most vegan choices, “all the dining halls always have a vegan or vegetarian option,” Marketing Manager for Bon Appétit at Penn Dining Tatianna Losk said.

According to a study conducted by Bon Appétit, the number of vegan students has more than doubled nationally since 2005.

Chef Manager at Kings Court Lydia Kumpa and Regional Director of Nutrition at Bon Appétit at Penn Dining Terri Brownlee note that not only is a vegan diet healthy, as it cuts down on saturated fats and reduces risks of certain diseases, but it also benefits the environment by reducing one’s carbon footprint.

Co-Founder and President of the Penn Vegan Society Victor Galli, a College senior, says that with only Kings Court focusing largely on vegan options, “consistency across the entirety of the Penn Dining system is lacking.” However, as a result of Bon Appétit’s collaboration with the Vegan Society last year, the school “saw a surge of options available,” he said.

College senior Joseph Lawless, who is vegan, said he appreciates the school’s effort to accommodate students’ dietary choices. “I appreciate seeing the labeling of foods that are certified vegan,” he said. “It’s respectful of the way I choose to eat.”

Barbara Lea-Kruger, spokeswoman for Business Services, also notes that for Bon Appétit, the nomination serves as a “nice validation” for their focus on expanding vegan options at Penn.

Students can vote for Penn by logging onto peta2’s website and “liking” Penn at peta2.com/VeganColleges.

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