PETA petitions for more vegan dining options
The collegiate arm of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals circulated a petition Feb. 11 requesting that Tulane Dining Services add more vegan options. The petition amassed just under 500 signatures.
The organization, PETA2, sends representatives to college campuses regularly to promote vegan lifestyles and highlight problems within campus dining programs.
PETA2 came to Tulane because it saw a clear demand to expand vegan options in Tulane’s Dining Services, said Ryan Huling, PETA2 assistant manager of college campaigns.
“At Tulane, more students want healthier, more vegan-friendly options, whether it be for health concern or because of animal cruelty,” Huling said.
While vegetarians only exclude meat from their diets, vegans eliminate meat and animal byproducts, including dairy and eggs.
Huling said the number of signatures collected proves that many Tulane students believe the campus needs more vegan meals.
Because Tulane does not have an undergraduate animal cruelty opposition group, Huling reached out to third-year law student Rachel Mathews, president of the student animal defense fund, to deliver the petition to the administration and Dining Services.
“We have not given the petition to Dining Services, but it’s going to happen soon,” Mathews said. “There is a disconnect between the people serving the food and the students.”
Residential Chef Whit Thorne said Bruff Commons has many different vegan choices for students. He said that Bruff constantly looks to improve its vegan selection, and has a cook entirely dedicated to providing vegan options.
“We [rotate] between vegan and vegetarian on the vegetarian station,” Thorne said. “We also have a vegan cooler, which has vegan options in it. If a student came to me and says, ‘I’m not really getting all the nutritional benefits I need [from the vegan selection].’ I would say, ‘What can I do for you?’”
Vegan options in the Lavin-Bernick Center differ from restaurant to restaurant.
Third-year law student Roy Wygant said he would like to see a vegan labeling system for food in the LBC. He said many vegans are confused about which foods actually contain animal products.
“It would be really great to know exactly what I’m eating, and whether or not it’s vegan,” Wygant said. “I don’t even think the peanut butter and jelly in [the Bruff To Go Section of] the LBC are vegan, but I don’t know that. So I’m hungry, I’m going to assume it’s vegan, but I don’t know.”