Walter Mencken 12:34 p.m., July 24
PETA Youth Group Seeks to "Veganize" Campus Cafeterias
Activists with peta2, a branch of animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals aimed at teens and college-age adults, is planning a rally to “veganize” the cafeteria at San Diego State University tomorrow, the campus’ Daily Aztec reports.
Part of a “Veganize Your Cafeteria” campaign, the aim of the group is to convince the school to expand vegan and vegetarian dining options on campus. Volunteers hope to gather at least 2,000 signatures to present to Paul Melchior, director of SDSU Dining Services.
“Last month, we worked with University of California San Diego students to gather 3,000 signatures supporting alternative dining options. In response to the overwhelming student support, UCSD has opened Roots, an all-vegan dining hall,” Ryan Huling, a peta2 campaign coordinator, told the Daily Aztec.
Melchior, for his part, told the student paper that “every food outlet we have has at least vegetarian options and many offer vegan options,” and that such offerings had been expanded after meeting with vegan students over the last year.
The effort differs from another peta2 action, “Meatless Mondays on Campus,” in that it simply seeks to expand student menus, where Meatless Monday actually seeks to deny omnivores access to meat products for a full day each week. The organization says this “would introduce tens of thousands of students to delicious cruelty-free cuisine. Hopefully, they'd like it so much that they'd eat it the remaining six days as well!”
UC San Diego is one of dozens of universities that have implemented Meatless Mondays on campus, according to peta2’s website, which also offers users “street team points” which are awarded for activism (petitioners, for example, are paid 50 points for each e-mail address they gather) which can be exchanged for merchandise.