Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No Beef With Santa Cruz

UCSC students push for meatless Mondays (excerpts)

By Shanna McCord, San Jose Mercury News 09/21/2010

SANTA CRUZ — UC Santa Cruz sophomore Virginia Hanrahan hasn't had a bite of meat since she was 15. The 19-year-old from Orange County started shunning other animal food products, such as cheese, eggs, butter and honey last year in her desire to become a vegan. "I had never associated real animals with what I was eating. Like ribs, you're actually eating someone's ribs," Hanrahan, an environmental studies major, said. "Once I started thinking about it, I was disgusted."

Hanrahan — who adopted the vegetarian/vegan lifestyle for health reasons in addition to concerns about animal cruelty and the environmental impact of producing meat — was part of a student group at UCSC last year that lobbied campus dining officials to begin meat-free Mondays. The student animal rights group Banana Slugs for Animals, with help from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, pushed the university to offer only vegetarian dishes at least one day a week. UCSC dining officials responded by agreeing to make one of the five dining halls completely meatless every Monday on a rotating basis.

The dozens of veggie options on Monday's meat-free menu include chili and cheese enchiladas with green sauce, pho with tofu, soy taquitos and portabella cheese steak sandwiches. Several vegan meals will be available, UCSC's Executive Chef Dwight Collins said.

UCSC, already widely known for a commitment to sustainability and progressive politics, is No. on PETA's list of vegetarian-friendly universities...

UC San Diego, University of Maryland and University of Central Florida are a few that have signed on to the program, said Ryan Huling, a PETA college campaign coordinator...

Regardless of the popularity in tofu and rice, many UCSC students don't want meat taken off the menu completely. "I'm a hard-core meat eater," sophomore Karen Vences said. "But if it's only one dining hall one time a week, I'm OK with it. It might be good to try out."

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