I went vegan for a day and here’s what happened

Veganism is something that is very dreadful for a lot of people, myself included. I did a small research before writing this and most people I asked said that being vegan involved being stigmatized, it’s expensive and it limits your choices. That scared me a bit but hey, I was only doing this for a day so why not try it on campus. With a limited access to a kitchen and $10 in my wallet, I went on to look at a list of my choices.

Southside:
Well, there is the obvious salad bar and stir fry. The pasta and sandwich stand might be a choice for some if you don’t add any protein.

Johnson Center:
This was definitely where there was the most choices but it is not very accessible to most meal plans. I have freedom so I could go wherever I wanted and ask for a dish without meat or animal by-product in it. I felt that I had the most freedom to customize in Freshens which is a place inside the Express. The menu includes different rice bowls, crepes, salads, and smoothies.

The Globe:
There was a salad there and different cooked veggies and carbs such as rice and pasta. There wasn’t any plant-based proteins the day I went but it was still very good.

I only investigated those three dining options but I her Ike’s is also very good. My only concern about on-campus vegan options would be for someone who has limited meal plan. I have “freedom” so I can choose to eat wherever I want but for someone who can only go to dining halls, the options might be a lot more limited and boring. There’s only so many times you can eat stir-fry.

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4 comments

  1. Joshua Stickles · February 19, 2016

    This is where you can make a difference as a student. There are so many students on this campus who have to have food accommodations for them and there does not seem to be enough options. My suggestions would be going to dinning services and talking to them about it. Hopefully they will make changes but if not then keep fighting.

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  2. rogerwleblanc · February 19, 2016

    Clara, thanks for listing these out. I think this will be helpful for Garrett and the other students in the LLC interested in becoming vegan to see these options. Josh is right about student power, the more vegan food we eat the more of a demand is created and options will increase!

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  3. aimeecastil7 · February 22, 2016

    I can’t believe the limited options for vegans on this campus. Coming from a culture where vegeterianism and veganism is rare, it’s amazing to think about the different food options at the dining halls and how it’s negatively affecting those who have food restrictions. Kudos to you for going vegan for a day!

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  4. garrettfojtik · February 23, 2016

    Clara, thanks for doing this “vegan for a day” experiment and reporting your findings! It’s definitely not easy to be a vegan on a college campus, but there are increasing vegan options that make it a little better. Southside has started incorporating dairy-free, cultured yogurts in the dietary restrictions refrigerator in addition to labeling vegan/vegetarian options more frequently. I definitely encourage anyone interested in eating a plant based diet to try it, because it does get easier the longer you lead the lifestyle. I’ve found that it is possible, with a bit of extra creativity, to get the necessary nutrients in the dining halls without eating the exact same meals everyday. There is definitely a lot of room for improvement, though, and we need more students to speak up to Mason Dining with their vegan requests.

    I haven’t eaten at Freshens yet, but I’ll definitely have to use some of my bonus to check it out this semester 🙂

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