John T. Griffith 5:14 p.m., May 22
Group Wants More Vegan Food at UCSD
People for the Elimination of Animal Cruelty Through Education, or PEACE, is petitioning for expanded vegan dining offerings on the UC San Diego campus. The group, founded in late 2009, has been associated with peta2, a youth oriented spin-off of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which promises teens and college students “guides to show you exactly what to eat, what to wear, and even what to put on your face,” on its website.
PEACE tells UCSD’s The Guardian that the group gathered over 2,000 signatures in the spring of 2010 in support of adding more vegan food to student menus. “We compiled countless vegan recipes that were feasible for large-scale production and mailed them to [university dietician Becky McDivitt],” said group founder Alisha Utter on a meeting with university staff following the 2010 petition.
Though Utter says McDivitt and Dining Facilities Executive Chef Vaughn Vargus seemed receptive after the meeting, she asserts that no changes have been made, even after a second petition in fall 2011 garnered another 2,000 signatures and another meeting.
University spokesperson Christine Clark noted on questioning that UCSD was recently recognized as one of the most vegan-friendly colleges in the country by peta2.
“This ranking is a result of misinformation being distributed by UCSD dining services,” Utter told The Guardian. “A majority of the items on the Internet list entitled ‘Eating a Vegan Diet at UCSD’ [which PETA used for its ranking] do not even exist or are not vegan.” She said that she had contacted PETA contesting the ranking, and as of today the school’s name appears to have been scrubbed from the list of winners.