Beyond Beyond the Bottle: Brown Loves Vegans!

This past week PETA released it’s Top 10 Most Vegan Friendly Colleges list and guess who made it onto the top 5? Ra Ra Brunonia at number 4 in the Small U.S. Schools category! According to PETA, the vegan population on campus has a lot to be happy about. They give shout outs to the jamaican jerk tempeh and the vegan nuggets, a personal fave. I know passionate chicken finger friday loyals may be hesitant, but these sesame covered nugs are worth a try – even PETA thinks so! They also mention our unveiling of a “range of new vegan baked goods, including vegan  pumpkin cheesecake and brownies.” Calling all carnivores – don’t be afraid to dig in to the vegan treats Brown Dining has to offer! And to all the vegans out there, the best news about PETA’s list may (hopefully) be that it’ll encourage BuDS to keep adding more tasty vegan options to the menu!

The list was created by reviewing PETA’s independent assessments on the quality and quantity of vegan cuisine available on each campus, combined with student votes. So who came in first? UC Santa Cruz topped the large schools list and Northwestern randomly got the top spot for small schools. Brown was preceded by Brandeis at #2 and Georgetown snagged the #3 spot. Our artsy neighbors at RISD received an honorable mention, with particularly good reviews on their food truck.

PETA’s major message is about animal rights, and while that’s a totally valid, amazing cause, there are other really important reasons why going vegan, or even just vegetarian, can be really meaningful. The meat production system in our country is inefficient; we produce tons and tons of grain and instead of using it to aid malnourished nations, we feed it to cows (who shouldn’t be eating grain to begin with). It takes 20kg of grain to produce 1 kg of meat – an efficiency rate of only 5%. The level of efficiency rises going down the list from pork, to eggs, to chicken and down to milk. Not only that, but it takes anywhere from 1800 – 1500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of beef and the process is heavily reliant on fossil fuels. What I’m trying to say is that where we get our food calories has big consequences for the global environment because dietary choices make a huge footprint.

ES0490: Environmental Science in a Changing World, 10/13/2011

I don’t think it’s fair to ask for a world of vegan eaters – there are myriad cultural and socio-economic factors in different parts of the world to complicate that approach, but at least consider Meatless Mondays! By omitting meat from his/her diet just once a week, each individual can save 890 gallons of water (that’s 22 bathtubs full!) and almost a gallon of gasoline. Maybe that doesn’t sound like much, but when thousands of people do it every Monday, the annual savings add up to quite a lot. Brunos have some of the tastiest alternatives to meat in the country, so why not? If nothing else, BearDailyHerald could use more animal friends.

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