Dec 9, 2011

Local Colleges Win Most Vegan-Friendly Award

After counting thousands of student votes and conducting an independent assessment of the quality and quantity of vegan dining options at colleges and universities throughout the country, PETA recently announced the winners of the sixth annual Most Vegan-Friendly awards.

Among the winners were Georgetown University for vegan beef stir-fries and vegan barbecue riblets, and American University for zucchini quinoa lasagna and vegan cherry pie.

And this is a big deal to a growing number of high school students who either maintain or wish to explore a meat-free lifestyle. So big, in fact, that many colleges have instituted “meatless Mondays" in response to student requestsalthough not everyone isLinkon board with the plan.

This fall, the University of North Texas took the movement one step further by opening the first all-vegan dining hall in the country. The Mean Greens Cafeteria features everything from vegan pizza and made-to-order Panini’s to popular gluten-free options for those on special diets.

“This is certainly the latest example of a growing trend of schools offering a wide variety of vegan samples,” said Ken Botts, UNT director of special projects for Dining Services in an interview published by USA TODAY.

PETA estimates that the number of vegetarian students has risen by 50 percent since 2005, and the number of vegan students has more than doubled in the same period. To promote the trend, PETA conducts an annual contest and provides college students with an online “Veganize your Cafeteria” pack.

The winners of this year’s large U.S. schools category were:

  1. University of California—Santa Cruz
  2. University of Florida
  3. University of California—Irvine
  4. Ohio UniversityLink
  5. UCLA
  6. Cornell University
  7. University of Connecticut
  8. University of Illinois
  9. University of California—Berkeley
  10. University of Colorado—Boulder

And in the small schools category:

  1. Northwestern University
  2. Brandeis University
  3. Georgetown University
  4. Brown University
  5. Bennington College
  6. University of Rochester
  7. University of Puget Sound
  8. Bradley University
  9. Wesleyan University
  10. American University

You can bet that the University of North Texas will find a spot on these lists next year!

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