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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Students pig out without pork

    Students line up to meat out at the Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals booth on the UA Mall yesterday afternoon. The group gave away free vegan food to promote awareness of vegan alternatives to eating meat.
    Students line up to ‘meat out’ at the Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals booth on the UA Mall yesterday afternoon. The group gave away free vegan food to promote awareness of vegan alternatives to eating meat.

    Hundreds of students and faculty were treated to a free lunch on the UA Mall yesterday at the third-annual “”Meat Out”” hosted by Students for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

    Four tables piled high with meatballs, turkey sandwiches, chili, burritos, chicken nuggets and riblet sandwiches fed more than 200 people between noon and 1 p.m., and the only catch was that not a speck of animal products went into any of them.

    The event was intended to raise awareness about the health and ethical reasons behind a meat-free diet, but SETA president Kristen Drumm, a third-year law student, said the primary goal of the event was to help advertise the many vegan products and restaurants that donated food for the event.

    “”The whole point of the event is to show people that eating vegan tastes good,”” Drumm said. “”We just want people to try the food because it’s delicious.””

    Food for the event was donated by vegan packaged food manufacturers like Amy’s Organic and Turtle Island Food’s new line of Tofurky products. Donations were also made by area restaurants like The Lovin’ Spoonful and No Anchovies and alternative markets including Trader Joe’s and Wild Oats.

    Many of the people lined up for the food were vegetarian or vegan, but the sight and smell of the “”Meat Out”” did attract a few curious carnivores, like pre-business sophomore Kenny Dahill.

    “”I wanted to see what it tasted like,”” Dahill said between bites of vegan chili and “”meat””balls. “”I really can’t tell the difference. I’d have to check out how much this stuff costs, but if it’s a lot cheaper than meat I’d be willing to switch.””

    SETA also had vegan desserts, including four apple crumb pies from Marie Callender’s and three large coolers filled with cases of Little Bettie Soy Ice Cream sandwiches from Soy Delicious.

    Karl Dutson, a physics and mathematics junior, said he has considered becoming a vegetarian to stop supporting large corporate farms but finds it hard to avoid eating meat on campus.

    “”My wife and I eat a lot of vegetarian meals at home, but when you spend all day at school it becomes a convenience thing.”” Dutson said. “”But as long as I get my protein I’m OK.””

    Dutson said he thought it would be “”pretty tough”” to be a vegan and eat most of your

    The whole point of the event is to show people that eating
    vegan tastes good.

    – Kristen Drumm,
    third-year law student

    meals on campus, but Drumm said that the number of options for vegan students is growing.

    “”Being vegan on campus is getting easier,”” Drumm said, pointing to a number of vegan options that have sprouted up on campus since she began her undergraduate degree, including Amy’s Organic products available at the student union markets and a vegan chocolate cake introduced this year at the Canyon Bistro.

    Drumm said the UA is starting to take notice of the vegetarian-vegan market, but the university could do more to cater to its vegan students.

    “”Even simple things, like labeling, would be a big improvement,”” Drumm said. “”You can ask the employees, but you don’t want to be the one that holds up the line with a lot of questions.””

    Dana Acevedo, an ecology and evolutionary biology research specialist, said she rarely eats at the student union because she has trouble finding food that is certified vegan.

    “”They don’t have ingredients lists, and you never know how knowledgeable the person you’re asking really is,”” Acevedo said. “”They may not know if there’s lard in the tortillas or not.””

    Matt Watts, a vegan graduate student in applied mathematics and member of SETA, said he never eats at the student union restaurants because of the university’s cozy relationship with major food chains like McDonald’s and Papa John’s.

    “”Being vegan isn’t just about the meat, but the way the food industry is set up,”” Watts said.

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