News

Petition for more vegan options circulates

Muscovy ducks and lizards were not the only animals wandering around campus this week.

While donning a cow suit, Shannon Soper encouraged students to sign a petition for increased vegan options on campus this past Monday and Tuesday. The petition was organized by peta2, which is the youth outreach group for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, known as PETA.

Vegan options on campus have been a concern for many students for the past few years. Peta2 hosted a similar protest last spring semester but returned this semester because the group did not see as much change as they hoped for, said Soper, peta2’s campus outreach coordinator.

Junior Blake Simmons, the president of Students Helping Animals, struggled to find vegan food while living in Stanford during his freshman year.

“If you live in the dorms you’re required to have a meal plan,” said Simmons. “I was going to Whole Foods every Friday and shoving it into my little refrigerator. That $5000 meal plan was going out the window.”

After peta2 came to campus last year, Simmons sat down with the Dining Services Department to discuss vegan options.

“I met with the head of Chartwells and he brought out a list and checked all things that were vegan,” he said.

According to Simmons, the next step “was to let everyone know up front what is vegan, what is vegetarian, and what’s not.”

After the meeting, dining services made changes to the labels on the food in the dining halls. Last February, Chartwells introduced the Balanced U Program, which introduced an icon system that clearly labels vegan and vegetarian options in the dining halls.

“It encourages students to make better choices in food selection,” said Ana Alvarez, UM’s director of auxiliary services. “This has been a great feature for students who would like to identify what vegan and vegetarian options are available.”

In addition to changing the labeling, additional vegan options were added.

“The concept called Terra Ve serves only vegetarian options, of which over 60 percent…are vegan,” Alvarez said.

Currently, one soup per day is vegan, and the concept called Sandwich Central has a daily vegan sandwich. Additionally, students have the option to create vegan salads and stir-fry.

Even with these changes, some students feel that the vegetarian section as a whole needs more variation.

“I don’t eat at the dining hall because, ninety percent of the time, the vegetarian food that is there is tofu,” sophomore Bharathi Subramanian said. “Just because I’m a vegetarian doesn’t mean I like tofu. Other than that, it’s fries.”

Like Subramanian, Simmons desires more options in the dining hall.

“I would love for a full vegan stand where every day is something different,” he said.

Other students feel that the labeling system needs improvement.

“The section that usually has vegetarian and vegan food is sometimes a safe bet – I’ve eaten there a few times with food that was labeled as vegan, but actually had cheese or other animal products in it,” junior Stephanie Kryzak said.

Simmons plans to send the petition, which got more than 1,000 signatures, to dining services.

“We will send the petition just to say, ‘Hey, we still have a big amount of vegans who would like more options,’” he said. “We plan on peta2 coming back every semester to show that it’s not a disappearing trend.”

March 22, 2012

Reporters

Kylie Banks

Staff Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Remember Trent Harris, the Miami Hurricanes' sack leader everyone respected and raved about, th ...

The Hurricanes wrapped up spring with a big, as in 6-5 and 290 pounds, surprise on Saturday. Four-st ...

Spring ended Saturday for the Miami Hurricanes, with hundreds of UM football alumni and family membe ...

One day left for the youngsters to show University of Miami coach Mark Richt what they can do. One d ...

Former Miami Norland High star Zach Johnson is coming home for his final year of college basketball. ...

University leaders from the Americas explore creating a Hemispheric University Consortium to work to ...

High-tech space helmet technology, a lifelike infant simulator and 3D printing are featured at the U ...

The Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and NOAA have worked together for more than ...

The Energy and Conservation Organization was recognized with the 2018 Roberta “Bosey” Fulbright Foot ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team checks in at No. 39 in the Oracle/ITA rankings Tuesda ...

The Miami women's tennis team moved up two places to No. 15 in this week's Oracle/ITA rank ...

Miami's women's track and field team entered the top-15 in the latest edition of the NCAA ...

Junior righthander Andrew Cabezas was recognized with ACC Pitcher of the Week honors after an outsta ...

Hurricanes record their best round of tournament on Monday. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.