People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is hosting contests to see which college or university is the most vegan-friendly. There are two contests for 64 American and 16 Canadian schools. In the American competition, there will be a winner in a division for large schools and one for small schools. They have a March Madness style bracketing of competitors listed on their website.
So far the University of Colorado has defeated the University of Texas, the Florida Gators have bested Virginia Commonwealth, and UCLA beat UC-Santa Cruz. These contests were decided in the first round with the winners moving on to the second. Four rounds are held to determine the last two contenders who go into the final to see who is the most vegan friendly.
Last year’s winners were Wesleyan University in the American school category. They won for serving students dishes like veggie chicken red curry with steamed broccolini and organic jasmine rice, three-mushroom vegan ragu with penne pasta, and barbecue seitan The most vegan friendly Canadian school was McMaster University. They served items like soy chicken bruschetta wraps, Shanghai noodles, and vegetarian chili.
In this year’s small college competition so far Evergreen has defeated Lewis and Clark, and Northwestern defeated the University of Chicago. You can see the rest of that bracket on their website.
A dietitian for Colorado State University, Britney Stuard said, “The health benefits of being a vegan come from the entirely earth-based diet. But a lot of students choose veganism because it promotes the humane treatment of animals, and is more eco-friendly CSU is in the PETA vegan tournament for the first time this year.”
Another hopeful is Kent State University. Students there worked with PETA in order to gather over 2,000 signatures on a petition to have more vegan fare offered by the campus food outlets. The university responded by providing more fruits and vegetables, mainly from local farmers. There is also now a program for students who can call a phone number and order vegan food so it is ready for them when they pick it up. About twenty menu options are available for this program.
PETA has been evaluating vegan friendliness on campuses for the last five years, and has published a vegan college cookbook with 275 recipes.
Image Credit: J.E. Fee